By Tony Parra
High school students from southeastern New Mexico will get a chance to showcase their scientific creativity during the Southeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair in the Campus Union Ballroom on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University.
On Saturday, the regional science fair will include students from grades six through 12th. The senior division is for grades ninth through 12th, while the junior division is sixth through ninth grades. Rosemary Mathews, secretary for the mathematical sciences department and an organizer of the event, said freshmen can enter in either category.
Laura DeBusk, a Portales Junior High School science teacher, said there are six project entries from the junior high. DeBusk said PJHS and high school students prepared for the regional fair with the help of the district fair, which took place on Saturday.
DeBusk said students were interviewed and asked questions about their projects. They also practiced setting up their projects.
Margaret Arguello, who teaches science inclusion at the Portales High School, said there are two high school students participating in the science fair, seniors Becky Gardiner and Justin Torres with a project entitled “Anatomy Page.”
“There are a lot of other things high school students are involved in,” Arguello said about the low number of participants. “This year, we started a Math, Engineering and Science Achievement club to try to generate interest. Students are able to enter in different types of competitions and activities.”
According to The International Science and Engineering Fair official rules, students wishing to participate in the fair need not have been previously entered in any other fair, although some of the schools in the district send their winners. All students can participate in it, even home-schooled students.
Mathews said the judges are ENMU students, professors and Cannon Air Force Base members. Mathews said the projects will be displayed for the judges to view from 9 a.m. to noon. She said at 12:30 p.m. high school students will go through an interview process to explain their projects.
First and second place winners in each category will advance to exhibit projects at the New Mexico Science Fair at New Mexico Tech University in Socorro in April. The winners for the southeast regional science fair will be announced at 4:30 p.m. in the CUB ballroom.
Mathews said there will be science fair activities, demonstrations and exhibits for students and members of the public to view during the day in the Science Building and Roosevelt Hall.
The southeast region fair consists of students from Roosevelt, Curry, Chavez, Eddy, Lea, Lincoln, De Baca and Eddy counties.
The regional fairs will send two delegates to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, held May 8-14 in Phoenix.
The event is free and open to the public. For information, call Mathews at 562-2309.