April 20, 2007

Ceremonies to honor outstanding
science students and teachers

Outstanding North Texas high school and middle school science students and teachers will be honored by the Beal Bank ­– Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair during formal ceremonies Wednesday, April 25, at Southern Methodist University.

Chelsey Keils of Kimbrough Middle School: "We came to the conclusion that boys' cell phones are dirtier than girls'."
See a video of the science fair.

Featured speaker for the event is physicist Russell A. Hulse of Princeton University and the University of Texas at Dallas. He discovered the first binary pulsar and was a co-recipient of the 1993 Nobel Prize in physics. His presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be at 2 p.m. in the Theatre of SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

“My career in science began as a youngster who was captivated by how science opened his eyes to the fascinating world around him,” Hulse said. “That fascination eventually led to an exciting scientific adventure as a graduate student and a discovery for which I was awarded a Nobel Prize. The experience of receiving the Nobel led me to a new focus on bringing the excitement and adventure of science to a new generation of kids and adults through community-based science education.”

The Regional Fair, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year, was held March 24 and was co-sponsored by Beal Bank, Toyota, and SMU. Some 800 students from 93 public and private schools and 20 districts in North Texas advanced as winners of local science fairs to the Regional Fair. Their projects were judged for creative ability, scientific thought, skill, thoroughness, and clarity.

"The role of the Science Fair in giving our nation's children a firm grounding in math and science is absolutely essential. This is an important educational mission as the United States faces a well-documented shortage of science and engineering teachers and professionals," said Professor Fred Olness, chair of the SMU Department of Physics and director of the Science Fair. "We are extremely grateful to all our sponsors, including Beal Bank, Toyota, and SMU."

Some 85 middle school students will receive awards for their projects in the junior division categories and some 90 high school students will receive awards in the senior division categories.

The Dallas Regional Science & Engineering Fair, first held in 1957, is one of the largest regional student fairs in the country. The fair focuses attention on scientific experience in school, stimulates interest in scientific investigation beyond that which is covered in the classroom, and highlights and rewards scientific talent through exhibit, interview, and demonstration.

Middle and high school teachers receiving the 2007 Toyota Teacher Award include Sarah Craig of Wilson Middle School, Eileen Quinn of C M Rice Middle School, Caryn Crawshaw of C M Rice Middle School, Deborah Johnston of Schimelpfenig Middle School, Kelli Roberts of Robinson Middle School, Joan Horton of Renner Middle School, Melissa Van Houten of Frankford Middle School, Debbi Epstein of Frankford Middle School, Kathy Pillman of Schimelpfenig Middle School, Andrew Copple of Frankford Middle School, Ursula Gross of Clark High School, Seyit Ozturk of Harmony Science Academy- Dallas, Karen Shepherd of Plano Senior High School, Cecilia Sehr of Bishop Lynch High School, Joe Arnett of Plano West Senior High School, Cathy Bambeneck of Clark High School, Laura Biguenet of Jasper High School, Julie John of Williams High School, Christie Caldwell of Vines High School, and Stephanie Peterson of Shepton High School.

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