Over the years I have been at quite a few science fairs from
grade school to college level. But the ingenuity of the students
and their projects continues to amaze me.
Regional Science Fair for middle and high schoolers from northern
Illinois on a recent weekend at NIUs Chick Evans Field
House was well worth visiting. There I saw 385 student projects,
the result of hundreds of hours of extracurricular effort on
the part of young people and their teachers. There were 34 middle
schools and 11 high schools that had entries.
just like the history fair a few weeks earlier, only a handful
of schools from DeKalb County were represented Sandwich
High, Clinton Rosette Middle School in DeKalb and the middle
schools from St. Mary in DeKalb and St. Marys in Sycamore.
Those from nearby counties that I noticed included Hampshire,
Leland and Marengo.
Listening to some of the discussions
around the displays I was so impressed with students talking
about physics, chemistry, geography, biology and other technical
areas I was never exposed to as a youth, except maybe in one
science class. It was heartwarming to think that these young
people will be our scientists, engineers, educators, doctors
and leaders in the future.
Judy Sheppler, the
Region 5 coordinator along with Maggie Jung for the Illinois
Junior Academy of Science, said the top winners from this fair
advance to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for
the statewide exposition in May. Several departments at NIU donated
funds in support of the fair, probably hoping some of the winners
will make Northern their college of choice. She reported that
two projects were judged at the top from DeKalb County
Ian Dougen from Clinton Rosette and Madeline Alger from St. Mary
This project titled Natural Radioactivity in Northern
Illinois Groundwater was presented by eighth-grader Ian
Dougen of Clinton Rosette Middle School in DeKalb. He captured
a first place.(Schrader photo)Madeline Alger's "How Does Wing Placement Help"
took a first and will do on to state competition. She is an 8th
grader at St. Mary School in DeKalb.