KOKOMO, Ind.— The Kokomo area’s young scientists will compete in the annual Howard County Science Fair this Saturday, February 18, thanks to a partnership between Indiana University Kokomo and Haynes International.
Susan Sciame-Giesecke, executive vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the science fair promotes careers in the sciences, and having it at IU Kokomo gives students an opportunity to see the university’s outstanding science department.
“IU Kokomo has taken the leadership to save the science fair, along with Haynes. We can’t lose this gem of an activity,” she said. “Students gain so much by developing and completing a science fair project, even if they are not planning a career in sciences. Hosting the science fair enhances our goal of building relationships in the community.”
Emily Bargerhuff, who represents Haynes International on the science fair board, said the event could not happen without IU Kokomo’s involvement. The university provides a place to have the fair and awards program, along with judges and other resources.
She said Marcia Gillette, IU Kokomo senior lecturer in chemistry, brought the fair to campus about 10 years ago, when it was in danger of cancellation due to lack of a venue.
IU Kokomo student Kyle Miller said participating in the Howard County Science Fair during high school helped prepare him for college.
“I learned how to be more experimental, to think more critically, and not to accept a simple answer,” said Miller, a criminal justice major. “I also learned how to research and how to speak in front of people. Those are skills you can use in any major. The Howard County Science Fair was a great experience, and I’m glad I did it.”
Gillette said having a county science fair gives Howard County students an advantage when they move on to the regional fair, where they can win larger cash prizes, scholarships and trips to the state and international science fair. They gain experience presenting their project, as well as feedback to make revisions before the regional fair, she said.
Judges review the projects of about 75 students starting at about 8:45 a.m. The top five high school students meet with the panel again after lunch, while IU Kokomo faculty members provide workshops for the other students in the afternoon.
The awards ceremony is at 3 p.m. in Kresge Auditorium. The top students receive cash prizes, provided by local business owners and donors.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana