State Science Fair winners and a savior for the 2018 state fair

posted Apr 18, 2017, 10:38 AM by Granger Meador   [ updated Apr 18, 2017, 12:15 PM ]
Bartlesville Delegates to the 2017 State Science Fair

Twenty-eight Bartlesville students competed at the Oklahoma State Science & Engineering Fair in late March at East Central University in Ada. The group earned three first place, five second place, and two third place category awards and 14 special awards. 216 students with 196 projects competed at the state science fair this year.


The students from Bartlesville who competed at the state fair were selected from over 300 students from Washington, Nowata, Rogers, and Osage counties who participated in the 65th Annual Bartlesville District Science and Engineering Fair, held Feb. 24-25, 2017 at the Phillips 66 Research Center in Bartlesville. Students Allison Biddinger, James Martinez, and Madelynn Shambles were selected at the district fair to go on to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will be held May 14-19 in Los Angeles.

The Bartlesville District Science Fair is fortunate in having corporate sponsors Phillips 66, ChevronPhillips, and ConocoPhillips to fund its operations, along with over 150 adult volunteers. The other five regional fairs and state fair do not currently benefit from such corporate support.

State Science Fair Funding Eliminated in June 2016
In June the State Board of Education adopted a budget which eliminated all $50,000 in state funding for the state and district science fairs. This cut reflected the continuing crisis in state funding for public education. Contrary to its claims that it held the education budget even, the state legislature eliminated all $33 million in funding for textbooks and instructional materials in its 2016 session. It also cut school activities funding by $38 million, leading the State Board of Education in June 2016 to eliminate all funding for a slate of programs, including staff development, standards implementation, competitive grants, and, somewhere amidst that $38 million in cuts, the $50,000 for the science fairs.

The 2017 state fair and regional fairs operated on remaining reserve funds. Dr. Rahmona Thompson, the Director of the state science fair, announced it would be that the 47th state science fair of 2017 would be the last one if new funding could not be secured.

Retired Dentist Funds 2018 Science Fairs
James Young
A few weeks later, retired Ardmore dentist James Young read about the funding dilemma. As a former science teacher, Dr. Young knew the value of science fair for students. He cut a check for $50,000 to keep the state science fair going in 2018 and thus provide some funding for the feeder regional fairs. Dr. 
Thompson said the $50,000 will allow the regional and state fairs to operate normally in 2018.

“I am actively talking with several corporations and community leaders, and we are working on trying to figure out a solution of donations that are sustainable,” Thompson said. “And this gives us more time to work on that.”

Students Advocate for Funding
As reported in the April 15 edition of the Tulsa World, a trio of students at the Cascia Hall Catholic Preparatory School in Tulsa formed a group called Oklahoma Students Advocating for Statewide Science, or OSASS, last year. The group is searching for a way to financially support the fair system so students can continue to inspire and compete with one another. Junior student Brandon Milford said, "We are continuing the search to find a permanent source of funding so this program can be solid and we will never need to worry about something like this happening again.” 

The students at Cascia Hall are asking potential sponsors and other students interested in becoming involved to contact them at osass.ok@gmail.com.

DIVISION I CATEGORY AWARDS (Grades 10-12)


 NameCategory Award Project 
Allison Biddinger 1st Place,
Zoology/Animal Science 
Predicting Pulsations: a comprehensive study to determine the effect of grouping patterns on Cassiopea xamachana 
 James Martinez  1st Place,
Botany/Plant Science
 
Better with Bacteria: The Effects of Bacteria on Chlorella vulgaris 
 Carmen Collier
2nd Place,
Botany/Plant Science 
 The Dangers of Fertilizer: Aquatic Life
Russell Drummond  2nd Place,
Physics/Astronomy
Replicating an Exoplanet: Testing the Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life 
 Carson Rainbolt3rd Place,
Physics/Astronomy 
 Launch Angle
 Matthew Russell3rd Place,
Energy, Transportation, and Engineering 
Dimples 2 Dollars: A continuing study on the effect size and density of dimples has on a boat hull's efficiency 


DIVISION I SPECIAL AWARDS (Grades 10-12)


 NameSpecial Award(s)Project 
Allison Biddinger Northwestern Oklahoma State University ScholarshipPredicting Pulsations: a comprehensive study to determine the effect of grouping patterns on Cassiopea xamachana 
 Russell DrummondECU Society of Physics Students Award

Northwestern Oklahoma State University Scholarship

Oklahoma NASA Space Grant Award 1st Alternate 
 Replicating an Exoplanet: Testing the Possibility of Extraterrestrial Life
 James Martinez  Northwestern Oklahoma State University Scholarship

Sam Roberts Noble Foundation Award

Society of Invitro Biology Award

Southwestern Oklahoma State University Scholarship
Better with Bacteria: The Effects of Bacteria on Chlorella vulgaris 
Anushka SukhadiaSociety for Science and the Public Award for Community Innovation
Stockholm Junior Water Prize
Is Eco-Friendly Detergent Greywater Environmentally better than Regular Detergent Greywater?
 Liza Williams Stockholm Junior Water PrizeOh, Well 


DIVISION II CATEGORY AWARDS (Grades 7-9)


 NameCategory Award Project 
Kamden Bryan 1st Place,
Chemistry 
To Corrode, or Not to Corrode, That is the Question
James Boudreaux  2nd Place,
Energy, Transportation, and Engineering
The Power of Mars 
Sam Campbell2nd Place,
Medical and Health Science
Audiological Study Comparing Bone Conductive Oscillations to Vibrations
Liam Wisner
2nd Place,
Social and Behavioral Sciences
 Does Cost Affect Taste?
 Matthew Russell3rd Place,
Energy, Transportation, and Engineering 
Dimples 2 Dollars: A continuing study on the effect size and density of dimples has on a boat hull's efficiency 

DIVISION II SPECIAL AWARDS (Grades 7-9)


 NameSpecial Award(s)Project 
Kamden Bryan American Chemical Society Oklahoma Chapter Award
Office of Naval Research U.S. Navy / U.S. Marine Corps
To Corrode or Not to Corrode, That is the Question
Daniela FergusonOklahoma NASA Space Grant Award 2nd Alternate Water We Going To Do?