Radford University's College of Science and Technology and Department of Chemistry will host the 22nd annual Blue Ridge Highlands Regional Science Fair March 8-9 in the Peters Hall gymnasium.
This will be the third consecutive year that the regional fair has been held at RU. Chemistry professors Christine Hermann and Kimberly Lane are co-directors for this year's event, which is open to students from 16 counties and three cities across the region.
The goal is to stimulate an active interest in science and engineering in young students, provide an unparalleled experience in research and presentations, and expose the public to the hard work the students are doing, the professors said.
Through posters and oral presentations, participants will present the results of their research in the fields of animal science, behavioral and social science, biochemistry and chemistry, cell and molecular biology, computer science, earth and planetary science, environmental management and science, engineering, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant science.
Students in grades six through eight will compete in the junior division, and students in grades nine through 12 will compete in the senior division. Hermann and Lane are expecting about 120 projects to be on display this year.
The science fair is open to students in the counties of Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Giles, Grayson, Lee, Montgomery, Pulaski, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Wise and Wythe and the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton. Students from the Southwest Virginia Governor's School in Pulaski also will participate.
Science professionals, professors and a number of volunteers from various disciplines will serve as judges for the regional event, Hermann and Lane noted. The fair will have 40-50 judges.
The first-place winner in each individual senior category will receive an invitation to participate in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair at Virginia Military Institute on April 5 and 6.
Grand award winners (the top two senior division projects) will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix the week of May 12-19.
All projects must be submitted for approval before the exhibition at the fair. The deadline to submit a registration form and abstract is Friday, Feb. 22. Rules and guidelines as well as registration and other forms are available online.