Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Rosemary Mathews
PORTALES – Every year school students in 6th through 12th grade show their science projects at a science fair at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
This year the science fair will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2003. The Southeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), headquartered in Washington, D.C.
The fair located in Portales is one of six regional science fairs in New Mexico. Students who enter the Regional Science Fairs can win the privilege of showing their science projects at the state science fair in Socorro, N.M. in April.
According to the official rules, any student may enter the Regional Science Fair without previously having entered their project in a school science fair. If a student has an adult sponsor, and an interest in something scientific, he or she should do some research and present their results using the 2003 International Rules for Pre-college Science Research.
Students may request the 2003 Rules ($2 each) from the Science Fair Office, located on the campus of Eastern New Mexico University. For more information, phone 505.562.2309, or e-mail the science fair secretary, Rosemary Mathews, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the ISEF rules, each school should have an Institutional Review Board consisting of three members: a school nurse, an administrator and a teacher. This committee evaluates the potential physical or psychological risk of research involving human subjects. All proposed human research must be reviewed and approved by an IRB before experimentation begins. This includes any surveys or questionnaires to be used in a project.
Each science fair has a Scientific Review Committee, which oversees all the research plans of the students who enter the fair. The Scientific Review Committee is made up of three science professors at Eastern New Mexico University who are available to answer science questions. These professors are Dr. Darren Pollock, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Manuel Varela, assistant professor of biology; and Dr. Robert McTaggart, assistant professor of physics and director of the Science Fair.
Dr. McTaggart would like to point out that students do not have to be sponsored by their teacher. According to the professor, the best projects at the science fair are often exhibited by students who are sponsored by their parent, or another adult mentor.
Dr. Robert McTaggart, ENMU assistant professor of physics and director of the Southeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair, has revealed that ENMU will host the fair on Saturday, March 1. (photo by Wendel Sloan at WT football game)