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APSU hosts Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair, March 23-25

About 140 students from 19 middle and high schools throughout middle Tennessee will flood the campus of Austin Peay State University this week to participate and compete in the 54th Annual Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair (MTSEF).

The fair will be held this Thursday through Saturday in the Morgan University Center. However, the Awards Ceremony is slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, April 8 in the Morgan University Center Ballroom.
About 140 students from 19 middle and high schools throughout middle Tennessee will flood the campus of Austin Peay State University this week to participate and compete in the 54th Annual Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair (MTSEF).

The fair will be held this Thursday through Saturday in the Morgan University Center. However, the Awards Ceremony is slated for 10 a.m., Saturday, April 8 in the Morgan University Center Ballroom.

This marks the third year APSU's science faculty and science majors have hosted the event, which is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

According to Dr. Ron (Labman) Robertson, associate professor of chemistry and director of MTSEF, the goal of the fair is to provide a forum for middle and high school students of the mid-Tennessee region to exhibit their scientific and engineering projects to the public.

Student projects also are considered for more than $6,000 in awards in various scientific and engineering categories by selected MTSEF judges and by local, national and international sponsors. Both MTSEF and ISEF accept team projects.

As many as two Grand Prize winners may be awarded at each Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair, and these Grand Prize winners are sent onat the expense of APSUto compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair, held this May in Indianapolis, Ind.

Although students from grades 9-12 participate in the MTSEF, Grand Prize winners must be from grades 9-12.

As a former MTSEF participant himself, APSU senior chemistry major Kenneth Robertson, Dickson, enjoys watching middle Tennessee's “brightest and best” middle and high school students compete each year.

About his own MTSEF experiences when he was in middle and high school, Robertson says, “The science fair prepared me for college in ways other high school activities couldn't. Public speaking, creativity and poise under pressure all come into play when you're being judged by Ph.D.s who know more about your research than you do.”

With his outstanding academic record in high school, Robertson was offered several full scholarships to other universities, including a $100,000 scholarship to Centre College in Danville, Ky., one of the nation's most prestigious private liberal arts school. However, he chose APSU because of the outstanding science faculty, including his father, and the top-notch science education facilities.

For more information about the Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair, go to www.apsu.edu/mtsef or telephone Dr. Ron Robertson at (931) 221-6298. — Dennie B. Burke