Park City students prepare for regional fair |

Park City students prepare for regional fair

Douglas Greenwood

Park City students in grades 6-12 were invited to participate in the beginnings of a district-wide science fair at Ecker Hill International Middle School last week. Winners are now preparing to compete in the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair later this month.

Most of the participation came from students at Ecker Hill, according to Stacey Hamill, who helped organize the fair for middle and high school students. She said participation grew by about 70 percent among Ecker Hill students. A number of eighth- and ninth-graders from Treasure Mountain participated, while the fair saw no entries from students at the high school, according to Hamill.

"This is the first year that every school has been invited," Hamill said. "Even though we didn’t have any takers at the high school, we think that will change." The district fair will be at the high school next year.

A number of sixth- and seventh-grade projects are going on to the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair, which will pit Park City students against others from Salt Lake, Granite, Canyons, Murray and Tooele school districts.

In the past, individual students have represented their school and taken projects to the regional fair, but this year, the entrants will be present on behalf of the Park City School District, district Career and Technical Education director Janice Jones said. Jones is heading up the coordination of the district-wide science fair and also teaches chemistry at the high school.

"We are becoming part of the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair consortium," she said. " next year, we hope to have everyone competing."

Along with the middle school competitors, fifth-grade entries from the four elementary schools will also competing in the regional fair, according to Jones.

"We are trying to introduce the students to that type of competition," she added. "We are hoping that the interest will build from the elementary school and carry on to the high school."

Jones said students who take part in the regional fair have the opportunity to see what other students along the Wasatch Front are researching. Students can earn scholarships and winners at the Sal Lake Valley fair may go on to compete in national and international competitions as well, she said.

Hamill said members of the science fair committee are working to change the way fairs are organized throughout the district. In the past, each school has chosen whether to send students to the fair, she said. Next year, each individual school will hold a fair before early February. The winners will go on to compete in the district-wide fair for a chance to be sent to the Salt Lake Valley fair.

The regional fair this year is scheduled for March 23-25 at the University of Utah. About 32 entrants from the district will be able to participate, Jones said.

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