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Regional science and engineering fair set for Feb. 22-23 at College Park Center

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

News Topics: engineering, faculty, science, staff

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The University of Texas at Arlington College Park Center will host hundreds of the North Texas area’s brightest middle and high school students Feb. 22-23 during the 65th Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair is the longest running science and engineering fair in the state. It is expected to draw more than 550 students from 10 counties, including Tarrant, Parker, Wise and Johnson. Students in grades 6 through 12 will compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to advance to the national competitions.

“We are thrilled to host this event and take our role very seriously,” said Yuan Peng, director of the 2015 fair and a UT Arlington psychology professor. “A lot of the students will make UT Arlington their first choice when they decide to apply for college and the fair allows us the chance to showcase our excellence in the science, technology, engineering and math fields.”

New since 2014, middle school students will get to speak directly with judges, many of whom are UT Arlington faculty and graduate students. Before 2014, only high school students defended their fair projects to the judges.

Individual or teams of students will compete in the categories of: animal science, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and planetary science, energy and transportation, materials and bioengineering, electrical and mechanical engineering, environmental management, environmental science, mathematical sciences, medicine and health sciences, microbiology, physics and astronomy, and plant sciences.

In addition to the competition, students will get to participate in various activities jointly sponsored by UT Arlington’s Colleges of Science and Engineering, the Office of University Recruitment, RadioShack and Lockheed Martin.

Recruitment representatives will provide lunch and have organized activities that include a tour of the UT Arlington campus.

“We get to connect with a really diverse group of high-achieving young people,” Peng said. “When the students arrive on campus and explore what we have to offer – in terms of our academic environment and world class facilities – they realize even more just how great a university UT Arlington is.”

Last year’s regional fair drew almost 700 middle and high school students. Among them was Lucy Cai, a Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences High School senior, who won “Best of Fair” for her project on alternative antimicrobial treatments.

“The fair was amazing and really encouraged me to pursue research as part of my career,” she said. “I also want to help continue providing this opportunity to students at my school.”

As an affiliated event, the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair may select up to four high school projects for participation in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair scheduled for May 10-15 in Pittsburgh.

Middle school winners at this year’s fair may be selected to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS, a national competition created by the Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science and the Public.

Visit www.fwrsef.org for more information about the Fort Worth Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of almost 48,000 students around the world and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UT Arlington rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.