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Date: Thu, Mar 11th, 2021

Great Falls College Science and Engineering Fair goes virtual this year

Awards are ready to go out to winners in the Great Falls College Science and Engineering Fair.

GREAT FALLS, Mont. – The first-ever virtual Great Falls College MSU Science and Engineering Fair for area middle school and high school students was notable on Tuesday for the quality of the projects and the enthusiasm of the students.

"We had some really good projects," said Charla Merja, science fair coordinator for the college. "And I've heard from a few judges and teachers who said it went really well."

There were 31 projects from 11 schools, including nine high school projects and 22 middle school projects.

This week's fair also was notable because last year's fair was the last public event held on campus before the COVID-19 shutdown.

"The science fair is always one of our favorite events of the year as we have student projects lining the hallways, and there is such a buzz and enthusiasm," said Dr. Leanne Frost, executive director of instruction and director of the science fair for the college. "We were pleased to be able to host it virtually this year to continue to foster that love and appreciation for science."

As well as it went on Tuesday, Merja is hopeful to have the halls filled again with students next year.

"We are missing that camaraderie," she said.

Students and judges met in virtual chatrooms, and the students presented just as they would have face to face, and the judges were able to ask them questions.

"It worked really well," Merja said. "The judges were able to all be in the room at the same time with the student and ask questions together, so that was nice."

Sunburst students Jeena Alborona and Claire Bucklin placed first and second respectively and will continue on to the International Science and Engineering Fair, which also will be held virtually this year.

Alborona's project was titled "Regeneration Rates of Dugesia japonica using Glucose Oxidase Enhanced Honey," and Bucklin's was titled "Microplastic Contamination in Montana's Mountains."


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Record Number: 733


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