Island University Hosts 670 K-12 Students at Coastal Bend Regional Science Fair

By Richard Guerrero, Joshua Esparza | Published: February 13, 2020

Island University Hosts 670 K-12 Students at Coastal Bend Regional Science Fair

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Grade school students packed University Center, dressed in their most professional suits and dresses to show off their scientific discoveries at the Valero Energy Foundation and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Coastal Bend Regional Science Fair. Ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade, 670 student participants covered a wide variety of topics. Student science projects asked questions, such as which drinks erode teeth the quickest as well as whether macaws are feistier in isolation or around humans.

This year’s fair, held Feb. 8, was one of the most expansive yet, with 11 Coastal Bend counties and 25 districts and charter schools taking part.

“We’re one of the only science fairs to host participants at the kindergarten to the fifth-grade level,” said Dr. Debra Plowman, Assistant Professor in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Learning Sciences and Science Fair Director. “Having this event happen on the Island campus, where those elementary students can come up and shake the hand of the dean and be on a stage at a university, brings a lot of positive energy to us.”

More than 250 volunteers, who represented 50 organizations and businesses and included University students, shared a passion for knowledge and sciences and were eager to lend a hand.

“It's awesome to see these students be passionate about the world around them. It’s super cool to see how the next generation is going to solve problems,” said Sara Hodges, a senior biology student, who volunteered for the fair. “The science fair gets them to think about and solve problems at an early age.”p-cbrsf-student-winners-020820_8370.jpg

Projects like “Smokin’ Hot” by Addison Garza and Chloe Fox, a pair of middle schoolers from Alice, Texas, have real-world applications. For this project, the duo measured the effectiveness of photoelectric and ionizing smoke detectors.

“We wanted to see which smoke detector you would want in your house and make sure you get the right one that's best for your safety,” Chloe said. “It was a lot of fun!”

Although many of the students participating in the Science Fair were in primary school, they noted that they were already thinking about what college they would attend. For many, the Island University is that destination.  

“A lot of former science fair participants go on to become Islanders,” said Plowman. “One of my current students took part in the science fair in 8th grade and was a top winner.”

For a full list of winners, visit Top prize recipients may present their work at the statewide level or be deemed eligible for a scholarship to the Island University.

“The regional science fair provides a way for students to see A&M-Corpus Christi as a viable avenue to explore the sciences,” said Plowman. “It shows that the Coastal Bend is a great mecca for young students who do really cool things.”

For more information

To see photos from the awards presentation, click on the Awards Photo Gallery link.