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Intellect

BYU mentors and local high school students to attend international science fair

Brigham Young University students and faculty, along with representatives from neighboring public schools, are attending the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair May 8-14 in Phoenix, Ariz. Winners were picked from the regional Central Utah Science & Engineering Fair (CUSEF) held on BYU campus in March, which is part of the BYU Public School Partnership.

CUSEF, sponsored by the McKay School of Education, involved BYU faculty, staff and students as judges and mentors. Each year fair officials encourage students to attend college after high school graduation. Now, the top three teams and top six individuals from the region will take their projects to the international fair to be judged in front of an even bigger audience.

"The students from our fair do well," said Lisa Clarke, CUSEF manager and a staff member in the Department of Integrative Biology. "I'm excited about those going this year. At least three [of the students we're taking] are applying for patents."

The patent applications include an innovative air conditioning unit as well as a project about mathematical models in engineering that will help create the curves needed in fingers for robotics.

Seven of the students are mentored by BYU professors, and one even did his entire project in the BYU Microscopy Lab in the Cluff Building. Among the BYU personnel attending are John Gardner, professor of integrative biology and fair director, Lisa Clarke, fair manager, and Tara Kerr, a mentor and chaperone who graduated in April in Biology Composite Teaching.

The international fair includes presentations by each individual and team, which are judged by some of 1,000-plus scientific professionals. They are Ph.D.-level volunteers coming from corporations, the military and scientific organizations, and will judge the projects according to their specific areas of expertise.

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