Exploring the STEM Scene in Round Rock, Texas

High school students in Round Rock, Texas have the opportunity to explore the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through the annual RRCA STEM Day. Teams of students compete in 20 physical and life science project categories, with the two best projects in each discipline winning grand prizes. The winner of the youth category is then selected from these two grand prize winners to be named best in the exhibition. This year's winner of the best in the youth category was Kevin Meng from Robinson High School in Plano.

His project, “Smart School Bus Pro” for Android, is a school bus tracking and monitoring solution for students, parents and drivers. The two grand prize winners will go on to compete at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair, while the best of fair senior division projects advance directly to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. The Austin Energy Regional Science Festival is one of the largest regional science fairs in Texas, with nearly 3,000 students from third to twelfth grade competing. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) recognizes the achievements of eligible students at regional and state science and engineering fairs through their National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (NSAP) program.

The American Chemical Society's Education Division also promotes excellence in science education and scientific literacy through a series of activities to support chemistry teachers and students. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) awards special prizes to recognize outstanding projects in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, meteorological and climate sciences with cash prizes. The Taiwan International Science Fair (TISF) also offers a special prize for projects that demonstrate creativity and scientific applications. The Partners in Education Foundation of the Round Rock Independent School District works to develop resources that enrich, improve and maximize the quality of education for all students.

Last year's winner of the Young Scientist award at the International Science and Engineering Fair was Jerath from the University of Texas at Austin. He was recently named 30 under 30 by Forbes magazine in the energy sector for his invention of an improved device to contain the head of an oil well. The National Taiwan Science Education Center (NTSEC) is a national organization and scientific center whose objective is to promote science education in Taiwan. The National Geographic Society also awards special prizes to Regeneron ISEF participants whose projects showcase excellence in geography and geospatial science.

The Lawrence International Summer Science Institute of the Weizmann Institute offers students a unique opportunity to participate in practical studies in professional academic laboratories that are at the forefront of scientific research. Nearly 1,150 of the best and brightest young minds in science and engineering from across Texas exhibited their projects at the 30th Annual Texas Science and Engineering Fair on April 2nd. Alex Chaiken, Gabe Graf, Jarrett Grier, Addison LeCates, Joshua Millikan and Lydia Pergande participated in the Regional Science Fair on Thursday, February 19th. The Shanghai Youth Science Education Society (SYSES) is committed to popularizing and disseminating science and technology among young people and the general public.

Charlene Bracco
Charlene Bracco

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