2016 Results and Impact

This article reviews the results of LRSEF and the advancements of winners.

The Louisville Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held on March 5, 2016, at the Kentucky Science Center with 304 students in grades 6-12 registering their projects. The Science Center welcomed this event for the second year, and about 1,000 guests from the general public engaged with the students to learn about Engineering, Microbiology, Chemistry, Plant Science and more. Over $10,000 in cash was awarded to students along with trophies, certificates and ribbons in 22 different STEM categories. In addition, over 50 special awards were sponsored by local and national companies and nonprofits. LRSEF volunteers included 240 judges with expertise in the STEM fields and 50 community volunteers helping as hosts. LRSEF will be held at the Kentucky Science Center again on March 4, 2017.

Four high school projects were selected by LRSEF to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona, from May 8 to May 13, 2016. These students were: Joshua Jacob, grade 10 at St. Xavier High School, in Materials Science for Development of a Hybrid Inkjet 3D Printer; Sydney Kessler, grade 10 at Ballard High School, in Earth & Environmental Science for How Does a Gravel Seafloor Versus a Sand Seafloor Affect the Wave Velocity of a Tsunami?; William Schuhmann, grade 10 at  Ballard High School, in Physics for Vapor Propelled Marangoni Effect; and  Shruti Wadhwa, grade 11 at Kentucky Country Day, in Biochemistry with Analysis of Different Nrf2 Inducers on Reversal of Stress-induced Changes in Renal Tubule Cells.  

The top seven projects won LRSEF Best of Fair Awards from a special 10-year grant of innovation funds established by Kevin Nolan, vice president of GE Appliances, in 2014. In addition to the senior project winners listed above, three Junior Best of Fair winners from St. Francis of Assisi were awarded. They are: Emmett King, grade 7, in Behavioral & Social Sciences for Charitable Donation Decisions: Parent vs. Child; Elaina Render, grade 7, in Microbiology for Exploring Antibiotic Resistance in Probiotics; and Jacob Stroud, grade 6, in Materials Science for Creating Effective Bioplastics.

Eighty-eight winning Junior and Senior projects from the Louisville Regional Science and Engineering Fair (LRSEF) representing six middle schools and nine high schools competed in the Kentucky State Science and Engineering Fair (KY-SEF). It was held at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky, on Saturday, March 26.

The LRSEF Senior division included 122 students from 12 high schools in Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham and Warren counties. The represented schools were Ballard, J. Graham Brown, Bullitt Central, Central, Eastern, Gatton Academy of Science and Mathematics, Kentucky Country Day, North Oldham, Trinity, St. Xavier, Valley and Western. The winning high schools were Ballard (first place), Valley (second place) and Kentucky Country Day (third place). 

The LRSEF Junior division included 182 students from 13 middle and junior high schools. These schools included Anchorage Public School, J. Graham Brown School, Carrithers , Hebron, Highland, Islamic School of Louisville, Kentucky Country Day,  North Oldham, Newburg, Nur Islamic, St. Agnes, St. Francis of Assisi and South Oldham. The wining middle schools were St. Francis of Assisi (first place) Carrithers (second place) and Newburg (third place).

On March 15, 2016, the Best of Fair winning students and representatives from the wining schools were honored in our state capital, Frankfort. Top winners met with Governor Matt Bevin. All students toured the Capitol Building and were presented to the Senate and the House of Representatives for special recognition and certificates.

The top 10 percent of the junior division were awarded invitations to enter the Broadcom MASTERS national competition for a chance to win a trip to Washington, D.C. Students from St. Francis of Assisi, South Oldham Middle School, Carrithers Middle School and Highland Middle School were selected. In September, two LRSEF students were named the only semifinalists from Kentucky among the 300 semifinalists from over 2,400 entries.

LRSEF sent four high school winners and two teachers to ISEF. Team Kentucky had a total of 18 projects and 21 students participating. Joshua Jacob was the only student from Kentucky to win a top prize at ISEF. He won first place in Materials Science for Development of a Hybrid Inkjet 3D Printer.     ###