On February, 15 in Mena, Arkansas, a total of 55 local students participated in UA Rich Mountain’s 4th Annual Science Fair sponsored by the Math and Science Program. Of the 55 participants, there were a total of 28 projects, 21 for competition, and 7 for display. The event was held in the Ouachita Center on the Mena campus.

Josiah Eakins earned 1st place in the Elementary division with his project, Microbes. He was awarded $200 and a plaque.  Faith Tucker placed 2nd with Planaria Habitat and Survival and received $100. Earning a $50 gift card and 3rd place was Breanna Crider for her project Bernoulli’s Forces Tested. Honorable mention and a $50 gift card was also awarded to Lucy Barfield and Wyatt Barfield for their Effects of Sugar project. 

Taking 1st place for the Middle School level was Emma Rath, Isai Cortes, Ishby Cortes for their project titled Mechanical Clean-Up. The trio earned $300 and a plaque. Seth Feltenberger placed 2nd with his project that determined which cheese molds the fastest. Seth was awarded $100.

The High School/College Level garnered participation from Caddo Gap, Norman, Mena, Bonnerdale, and Glenwood but at the end of the competition it was Brandy Castillo and Emma Garcia from Bonnerdale that took home the 1st place plaque and $300 for their project Free Fall. Second place was awarded to Sarah Lynch, Morgan Wadkins, and Alexi Mortimore for their project How Color Affects Taste. The trio also received $150. David Gonzales, Kyzer Black, and Taylor Allen received a $50 gift card for honorable mention for their project Force Box.

The Fair is under the leadership of UA Rich Mountain’s Math and Science Division Chair Gaumani Gyanwali who expressed his sincere appreciation to the event sponsors that help make the event possible: Union Bank, Walmart, Nidec, Country Express, Chiquita’s, Baja Rios in Cove, and Richard Ruth. Dr. G, as he is commonly called, also expressed his appreciation to all of the volunteers who helped to make the event such a great success, “We would like to thank all the volunteer students, faculty, and staff who extended their helping hands for the fair. We highly appreciate the time and devotion of our esteemed judges who have been consistently helping us with the difficult task.”

He was also struck by the sophistication of this year’s entries and participants, “It is encouraging to watch this event continue to grow in participation each year. I was particularly impressed by the caliber of students at this year’s fair. If this trend continues, it certainly raises the bar for future participants. The experience obtained through such a fair is very valuable to students as they continue their education. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.”

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