Third annual Eastern Washington Regional Science and Engineering Fair draws in more than 300 students

Written by Janae Carrothers, MESA Director, Spokane Falls Community College annd EWRSEF Planning Committee member

Over 300 middle and high school students shared their science and engineering projects at the 3rd annual Eastern Washington Regional Science and Engineering Fair (EWRSEF) held at the Washington State University – Spokane campus on Thursday, March 14. Students from Deer Park, Curlew, Pride Prep, and homeschooled middle schools shared their projects during an open poster session in five to ten minute oral presentations to judges from community industries and schools. The top seven middle school projects were acknowledged and offered the chance to apply for Broadcom MASTERS, a national competition held in Washington, D.C.

The high school participants arrived from Central Valley, Ferris, Lewis and Clark, Mead, Mt. Spokane, North Central, Odessa, Pullman, Rogers, Spokane Valley Tech, Wilbur, Innovation, and Homeschool High Schools. These student projects ranging from animal science, biomedical research, material science, mechanics, physics, and everything in between presented their posters in five to ten minute oral presentations to judges volunteering their time. After the completion of three judging sessions, a small number of projects were asked to return for another round of oral presentations in front of a panel of judges. Four project winners at the high school level are supported through an all-paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) competition, this year held in Phoenix, AZ. Student winners at both Broadcom MASTERS and Intel ISEF are eligible to win thousands of dollars in prizes, scholarships, and other opportunities for their advancement in the STEM fields.  

The EWRSEF committee would like to thank all of the community sponsors and volunteer judges for their hard work. Volunteers for this event are members of local schools and universities, industries, and retired STEM professionals. We spent the day providing feedback to all students on their research methods, poster layouts, and oral presentations, including next steps in their research and encouraging scientific inquiry. A big thank you to WSU-Spokane, North East Washington Education Council, and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories for making this fair and transporting our students to Intel ISEF possible! The Eastern Washington Regional Science and Engineering Fair is held every spring. Public sessions are offered to view student projects, along with chances for businesses, schools, and other community members to present and get involved!