The State Science and Technology Fair kicked off Thursday with a senior high school competition, and Friday, junior high students showcased their projects. The students are competing for trips to an international science and engineering fair, as well as for scholarships and prizes. Jay Staker, STEM Specialist for Iowa State’s Extension and Outreach 4-H program, says this fair is crucial to fostering growth in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.
“STEM is very critical, and it gives these kids an opportunity to understand the world around them,” he said.
Micaela Bryant, a senior at Central Lee High School, located in Donnellson, has been participating in the state science fair for the past seven years. Her research on ways to treat the MRSA bacteria earned her a first-place award Thursday, and she says it’s all thanks to the science fair for helping her discover her passion.
“This fair and these science projects have actually helped me to find the career that I will be going into in the future,” she said. “And it helped me figure out where I want to go for college. I will be going to Iowa State next year, and going into microbiology, and doing – for my life – what I’ve been doing in these science fairs.”
Bryant was also awarded a $6,000 scholarship to attend Iowa State next year, and will advance to the international science fair from here.