St. Mary-Oak Ridge students once again place high in UT-Knoxville science fair

Students at St. Mary School in Oak Ridge continued their tradition of success at the Southern Appalachian Science & Engineering Fair (SASEF), this year held virtually because of COVID-19 on March 30.

The annual St. Mary School middle school science fair was held Feb. 6. Projects were divided into two categories: biological and physical sciences. Awards were determined by an expert panel of judges representing local civic organizations, industry, and educational entities. Fourteen St. Mary students received awards, making them eligible to compete at the regional SASEF at the University of Tennessee.

The SASEF is sponsored by UT and numerous local companies and agencies and draws students from 23 counties in East Tennessee. The goal of the fair is to promote teaching the scientific method in science, engineering, and math.

Over the past 20 years, 13 St. Mary students have been named grand champion or reserve champion at SASEF. This year, St. Mary had six students, representing five projects, entered into the fair, and those five projects won a total of seven awards. The following awards were received this year by St. Mary students:

  • The SASEF Local Award—Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair staff presents $50 cash awards and certificates to its favorite projects: “Music to My Ears,” by Maverick Queern
  • Junior Division honorable mention—SASEF awards the distinction of honorable mention to those students whose projects were determined by the judges to be of exceptional merit: “Dropping Like Flies,” by Tennison Barnes and Isabella Zolnierczuk; “Music to My Ears,” by Maverick Queern; “Is it Worth Dying For?” by Sarah Duhamel; “Set Them Up and Knock Them Down,” by Jonas Tilson
  • Junior Division Certificate of Excellence awards—The Certificate of Excellence Award is given to those students whose project was determined by the judges to be of exceptional merit and deserving of higher honors. Each Certificate of Excellence winner will receive at least $50: “There MITE BEE a Problem,” by Victoria Corbett. Victoria also won the overall Junior Division Award, fourth place, which carries a $75 prize, for her project.

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