May 12, 2004 :: Oklahoma Students Win First-Ever Virtual Science Fair
Six students from four Oklahoma schools were announced recently as winners of the Oklahoma EPSCoR Virtual Science Fair.
This first-ever event in Oklahoma allowed students from across the state to compete and interact with one another using cutting-edge technology in their classrooms. The event was similar to typical science fairs, with one exception – students presented their entries to a video conference camera that projected the images of the science projects through Internet2 and OneNet for viewing by the judges and students around the state.
Charles Hill, teacher at Vanoss Middle School, was pleased with the results. “We had video streaming on a 10-foot LCD projection screen, and more than 100 kids and teachers watched,” said Hill. “It was a really good experience for all of us.”
The Virtual Science Fair was intended to encourage students’ interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and was sponsored by the Oklahoma Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). A panel of 18 science experts from various Oklahoma colleges and universities served as judges for the event and selected outstanding research projects in two divisions.
Sixth grader Kyle Ressel of Comanche Middle School won first place in the division for third through seventh graders with a project called “The Weather Station.” Derek Rowe, seventh grader from Bethel Middle School, Shawnee, won second with “Which Paper Towel Is the Strongest?”, and Dani Martin, seventh grader at Bethel Middle School, Shawnee, won third with a project on saltwater and buoyancy.
The eighth- through 12th-grade division resulted in winning projects such as “Which Plane Wing Is Most Efficient?”, presented by Chrystal Cain, 11th grader at Bartlesville High School, who took first place. Sharon McCullough, 12th grader at Bartlesville High School, placed second with a project entitled “Building an Improved Hoof Jack,” and eighth grader Shelby Hill from Vanoss High School, Ada, placed third with “Interpreted or Compiled.”
EPSCoR plans to sponsor this event annually. To view highlights from the event online, go to www.okepscor.org/sciencefair/video.htm.