UA Little Rock STEM Education Center to host regional science and engineering fairs Feb. 7, March 6

Photo of a science fair

Students from the Pulaski County Special School District will present their science fair projects Friday, Feb. 7, in the Donaghey Student Center Fitness Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

The school district anticipates nearly 200 students from grades 3-12 will participate. Select projects will become eligible for competition at the 38th Annual Central Arkansas Regional Science and Engineering Fair (CARSEF) to be held at the same location Friday, March 6. Both events are hosted by the UA Little Rock STEM Education Center.

CARSEF will feature premier competitive projects from students in grades 3-12 from across 13 counties in central Arkansas. Student projects that score at the top at CARSEF will be nominated to compete at the national or international level. Middle school students will compete for an opportunity to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS National Premier Middle School STEM Competition. High school students will compete for an opportunity to participate in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest international science fair. At ISEF, students will compete for $5 million in awards.

“Science fairs are an important venue to motivate students towards STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers,” said Keith Harris, science instructional facilitator for the STEM Education Center and director of CARSEF. “Science research competitions provide students the opportunity to develop their scientific research methods, as well as vital skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, and communication and presentation techniques, which will serve students well in all career fields, not just careers in STEM.”

In 2018, one central Arkansas student who participated in ISEF was awarded a $3,000 first-place prize in the chemistry category, along with a $50,000 Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award. A second student from CARSEF who also who participated in ISEF was awarded a $1,000 third-place prize in the Earth and environmental science category, along with a scholarship to Arizona State University.

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