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Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair 2013 summary and 2014 startup

Posted: September 8, 2013 - 12:03am
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2013 Intel International Science Fair Participants (L to R): Erin Gaffaney, Samantha Heidersdorf, Anna Thompson and Erin Hand   Photo by Lawrence Schaufler
Photo by Lawrence Schaufler
2013 Intel International Science Fair Participants (L to R): Erin Gaffaney, Samantha Heidersdorf, Anna Thompson and Erin Hand

In March 2013, students from throughout Southeast Alaska gathered in the Marie Drake gymnasium to share with the public the months of work invested in an incredibly diverse array of science projects. As part of the Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair, these hardworking youth were provided the opportunity to receive recognition for their efforts. However, this event would not have happened without the combined efforts the region’s communities.

The Southeast Alaska Regional Science Fair Organization Committee would like to acknowledge and extend whole-hearted thanks to the hundreds of volunteers, mentors, and judges who generously donated hours upon hours of time, passion for science and learning, boundless energy, and superb organizational skills to this year’s Science Fair. The 2013 fair, the 20th anniversary of this landmark community event, was the largest ever with 184 students presenting over 150 projects that required months of research, perseverance, and labor.

This annual event would not be possible without the support and direct involvement of individuals throughout Southeast. From mentors, ranging from family members to scientists, to judges, to parents and individuals working behind the scenes — everyone had the common goal of providing students with a unique opportunity to explore science at a level beyond classroom learning.

The work for several of the top award winners from the 2013 fair did not even end with the school year. Special congratulations is given to those students who competed in advanced competitions this past summer. Erin Gaffaney, Erin Hand, Samantha Heidersdorf and Anna Thompson went on to participate in the 63rd Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz. Austin Carlile advanced to compete in the State level of the 2013 Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. Kevin Sigler and Sommer Ward competed in the 2013 Genius Olympiad in Oswego, NY, where Ward received an Honorable Mention and Sigler received a Silver Award. Congratulations to all of these hard-working individuals who dedicated a portion of their summer to representing Southeast Alaska in these events.

With the beginning of the new school year comes the start of a new science fair year. Students, many new to the process as well as a number of veterans, are busily preparing for a new round of scientific investigations. The 2014 Southeast Alaska Regional Fair is scheduled for March 1, 2014 in Juneau. Similar to last year, we plan to hold a garage sale fundraiser on Sat, Sept. 14, 7:30 a.m. until noon in the TMHS Commons area. Donations are being accepted up until the day of the event. We will also need volunteers to set-up, work at the event, and clean up unsold items. For more information, please contact Joann Rieselbach at 209-3752, or Lawrence Schaufler at 209-8000.

Putting on the fair each year requires a great deal of funding and many dedicated volunteers. Despite the fact that Southeast Alaska has countless events and activities also requiring help, our community rallies together each year to support and develop of one of our state’s most valuable resources: our youth. To be a part of this wonderful event, please contact one of the organizing members listed above.

Each and every one of you who has volunteered in our fair is extended the deepest appreciation for your investment, and we hope you will again choose to participate. The SE AK RSF Organization Committee cannot thank you enough.

Sincerely,

Joann Rieselbach and Lawrence Schaufler

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