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Georgia College hosts Regional Science & Engineering Fair

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February 06, 2014

Alex Alvarez watches as members of the Georgia College Chemistry Club conduct experiments.Alex Alvarez watches as members of the Georgia College Chemistry Club conduct experiments.More than 200 K-12 students spent weeks preparing their projects for the 37th annual Georgia College Regional Science & Engineering Fair.

Their projects ranged from exploring which diapers are most absorbent to examining whether e-cigarettes are safe.

Seventh-grader Alex Alvarez focused his research on ways to better treat heartburn.

“I used Tums and found that if you take three at one time, it will give you quicker relief and it’s still safe,” said the Georgia College Early College student.

With plans to become an internal surgeon, Alvarez used the experience to learn more about science and kick-start his plans for the future.

Other student scientists from across central Georgia displayed their projects. Fair participants at all K-12 levels identified problems and designed unique, organized and logical strategies to find solutions.

Dozens of volunteers were also on-hand to judge the projects and help facilitate the fair.

“These kids are the next generation of physicians, engineers and scientists,” said Georgia College senior chemistry and physics major Kris Schock—who volunteered to help with the parachute challenge, which is a side engineering competition at the fair. “They could create the next great innovation, so by exposing them to sciences and engineering, we can fuel that creativity.”

The research process teaches students how scientists and engineers contribute to advancements in their field.

“This is a chance for students to showcase their research skills and earn recognition on regional, statewide andSenior Kris Schock helps students create parachutes at the Regional Science & Engineering Fair.Senior Kris Schock helps students create parachutes at the Regional Science & Engineering Fair. international platforms,” said Dr. Rosalie Richards, Kaolin Endowed Chair in Science and director of the Science Education Center.

The top middle and high school projects advanced on to the state competition in March.

For the K-5 division, Ava McKallip from T.G. Scott Elementary in Monroe County won best in show.

Auriel Wright, an 11th-grader at Northeast High School in Macon, won the Best of Show ribbon at the junior/senior division and received an all expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in May.

“The fair is an opportunity for the entire regional community to rally around science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), which is a national initiative,” said Richards. “Each year, this fair gives Georgia College an avenue to advance STEM education, increase K-12 student interest in these fields and build stronger partnerships with our regional schools.”

To see the complete lists of winners from the Fair on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, select the links below.

ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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