Vermont State Science and Math Fair Reaches Critical Mass at Norwich

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Co-directed by Norwich University professor emeritus of biology Carlos Pinkham, the statewide event showcased creative, rigorous science projects by Vermont middle and high school students
Norwich University Office of Communications

March 30, 2015

Middle and high school Vermont science students converged on Norwich University on Saturday to compete in the 2015 Vermont State Science and Math Fair, now in its 56th year. Judges represented over 50 STEM partners from academia, industry and professional organizations.

The event is co-directed by Norwich University professor emeritus of biology Carlos Pinkham. “We are so passionate about fostering a love of the STEM fields from as early an age as possible,” he said. “Norwich University is the perfect setting for it.”

The all-volunteer organization awarded more than $9,000 in cash prizes and $300,000 in college scholarships on Saturday and provided nearly $15,500 to Vermont students and teachers to cover travel expenses to competitions outside the state this year.

In the biggest award of the day, three finalists were chosen to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh May 10-15 to compete for $4 million in prizes and scholarships. The Vermont winners were Nathan Kakalec and Sajani Sivakumar, both from South Burlington High School and the team of Ben Beagher and Vincent Moeykens from Windsor High School. Kakalec’s project used computer modeling to predict the outbreak of emerald ash borer in New Hampshire. Sivakumar’s project studied the effects of vitamin D on pancreatic cells under diabetic stress. Meagher and Moeykens studied whether a home computer server could compete with cloud-based services in terms of speed, cost and ease of use.

All three finalists were awarded Next Generation Scholarships to Norwich University.

Norwich to Host 56th Annual Vermont State Science and Math Fair

Norwich University Office of Communications

March 11, 2015

Norwich University will once again host this year’s Vermont State Science and Mathematics Fair (VSSMF) on Saturday, March 28. The day-long event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., anchored in Norwich’s state-of-the-art science complex, Bartoletto Hall, with an awards ceremony in Dole Auditorium starting at 1:30 p.m.

The fair showcases the work of Vermont public, private and homeschool students in grades 5-12 who have won local science and math fair competitions. The students will display projects that tackle questions and pose solutions arising from the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Accepted projects at the state-wide fair will be independently evaluated by at least three judges over the course of the morning to determine winners for medals, cash, trips and scholarships.

Some 125 volunteer judges will be on hand. They include industry scientists and engineers, secondary education faculty, medical professionals, military personnel, retirees and other science-related professionals from across Vermont. All hold advanced degrees or have extensive experience in STEM fields.

Students compete for more than $10,000 in cash and prizes and $17,000 in trip awards and expenses donated by local organizations and $900,000 in scholarships to Vermont colleges. The fair is also affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair, and five other national and international competitions, which award additional prizes.

The event marks the only state-wide science and math fair for middle and high school students in Vermont.

“We are so passionate about fostering a love of the STEM fields from as early an age as possible,” said Carlos Pinkham, co-director of the Vermont State Science and Math Fair and professor emeritus of biology at Norwich University. “And as the country’s oldest private military college, which is rooted in experiential learning, Norwich University is the perfect setting for it.”

The VSSMF, sponsored by the Vermont Principals’ Association, is an all-volunteer, non-profit 501(c)(3) education organization supported by Norwich University and more than 100 other Vermont organizations, colleges and industry partners, all sharing the common vision to excite young Vermont minds about the STEM fields and the opportunities available to them to complete their STEM education and careers in Vermont.

For more information, please contact Carlos Pinkham at (802) 485-2319 or pinkhamc@norwich.edu or Tricia Finkle at scifair@norwich.edu.

This event is free and open to the public.

About the Vermont Principals’ Association

The Vermont Principals’ Association is a nonprofit alliance of education leaders who collaborate on mentoring, professional development and networking while overseeing Vermont’s co-curricular activities. The VPA coordinates the collective interests and needs of school leaders and enhances their professional growth and competency to help improve the quality of education for Vermont’s youth.

About Norwich

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here: bicentennial.norwich.edu