Science and Engineering Fair Showcases High School Tech Talent

Participants in the Science and Engineering Fair

Hundreds are expected to turn out this Saturday for the Central Sound Regional Science and Engineering Fair (CSRSEF) at Bellevue College (BC), an annual competition that judges science and engineering projects created by 9-12th grade students in King and Snohomish counties.

CSRSEF encourages innovative student research, and provides professional scientists and engineers the chance to interact with some of the best and brightest young students in the greater Seattle/Everett region. The competition is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Winners with the top two projects receive an all-expense paid trip to ISEF (in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh or Phoenix) and become part of the Washington State delegation of science fair champions.

This year, 19 schools are participating.

Students demonstrate their science project“We’re very excited to see what students have come up with,” said Jennifer Pritchard, program manager for BC’s Science and Math Institute. “We have had some amazing machine learning projects in the last couple of years. One of our previous winners used videos to help determine cardiovascular health and identity verification. We also see that this generation of innovators are very concerned with the future of energy, so we anticipate projects that involve wind, solar or biofuels.”

The Science and Math Institute is the science outreach office at Bellevue College, and serves the community by developing and leading engaging, innovative science and math programs, primarily for middle and high school students.

Jennifer Pang, a director in the college’s science division, said, “When we create opportunities to inspire scientific discovery and think critically, we encourage our community to connect to science in their everyday lives and consider the importance and impact of science- and math-related careers.”

Part of that mission is to foster interest in communities typically underrepresented in STEM fields. Approximately 50 percent of competitors are female, and the event recognizes creative projects in each category from first-time fair participants, rewarding innovation rather than access to resources.

Event sponsors include Amazon, Google and Microsoft—their gifts will go directly to student prizes and travel expenses for the top two fair projects to attend ISEF. In each of the 12 categories, first place winners will receive an Amazon Echo, second place winners will receive an Instax Fujifilm camera, and third place winners will receive phone chargers. Other prizes will include scholarships to Bellevue College, and special awards from professional societies. Grand prize winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m.

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Last Updated March 10, 2018