State’s Largest Science Competition for Middle- and High-School Students Celebrates 65th Anniversary, Awards $150K in Prizes

Posted: 5 March 2013

Filed Under: Media Releases

HAMDEN, Conn., Feb. 26, 2013 – For the 65th year in a row, volunteers with the Connecticut Science Fair (CSF) Association will provide a forum for middle- and high-school students to showcase their science prowess. (See 2013 Schools)(See all 2013 Projects) More than 600 students are signed up, from which about 150 will be selected as finalists.  The finalists will present their research to nearly 300 volunteer judges from government, academia, professional societies and industry on Thursday, March 14, and compete for $150K in prizes (See Award Sponsors) and several trips to represent the state at international competitions. (Get download of Pre Fair Media Release )

The event brings together the cream of the crop as participants have been selected from more than 12,000 students throughout Connecticut and several bordering New York state towns who have participated in local science fairs during the current school year. It will be held at Burt Kahn Court on the Mount Carmel Campus at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

“Having the opportunity to see young people demonstrating their science and engineering learning at such a great event is fantastic,” said Lucie Howell, director of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Quinnipiac University. “The fact that it takes place on the Quinnipiac campus and we get to be a small part of that learning experience by recognizing the students for their hard work and commitment is just a bonus.”

“It is a very proud moment for all of us that the fair is celebrating its 65th Anniversary this year,” said CSEF Fair Director Bob Wisner, who was a top winner at the event himself in the late 1950s.  “As a former winner myself and through my work with these kids each year, I can testify to the impact this event has on our youth.  Their research is impressive and I know these kids will be the science and technology leaders of the future.”

Past fair winners have been recognized by organizations including:  MacArthur Foundation “Genius”, CT Women of Innovation, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics

They are still advancing the interests of science in their roles as entrepreneurs, professors, heads of industry-

  • 1973 Alumni, Richard Hart’s science project research became his life long career. He became a principal in a Connecticut start-up DeMaria Electro-Optical Systems that was bought by Coherent Inc., Bloomfield, CT
  • 1994 Alumni Kelly Benoit Bird- Continued her science project research in sounds of whales to become a research professor in this field at the University of Oregon and received the MacArthur Foundation Genius award in 2010
  • 2002 Alumni, Jacob Fox’s mathematics project in combinatorial mathematics is still his passion and is now an assistant professor of applied mathematics at MIT pursuing combinatonics and a 2010 winner of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Dénes König Prize in Discrete Mathematics

Some of the interesting project titles that students are working on for this year’s fair are:

  • Cardiovascular Pharmacogenomics: Assessing New Genetic Variants for Warfarin and Clopidogrel Response
  • Ocean Currents–Modeling the “Ocean Conveyor Belt”
  • How Different Tsunami Barriers Protect the Shoreline
  • The Correlation between Psychosocial Disorders and Childhood Psychological Stresses and Neurological Data
  • Development of a frictionless magnetic drive to increase efficiency in wind driven turbines

The media is invited to see innovation in action as the 150 student finalists showcase their research during final judging between 8:30 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 14.   STUDENTS AND JUDGES WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS.  Another potential media opportunity exists on Saturday, March 16, during the Award Ceremony.


In addition to the State Fair Awards, some of the CSEF’s top winners will represent the state and compete for more than $5 million in cash and scholarships at competitions including the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college science fair, the International Sustainable World Engineering, Energy & Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) GENIUS Olympiad and the Broadcom Masters Competition.

The schedule during fair week is:  (Get downloadable Schedule and Directions )

Tuesday, March 12                           12:30 – 7:30 pm

Project set up

Urban School Students

Preliminary Judging Interviews      12:30 – 6:30 pm

Wednesday, March 13                     9 am – 2 pm

Preliminary and Special Awards Judging (Students ARE NOT present)

Thursday, March 14                        9 am – 1:15 pm     BEST MEDIA OPPORTUNITY 

Finalist Judging – Approximately 150 student finalists and 150 volunteer judges are present and available for interviews

Friday, March 15

Project Pickup

Saturday, March 16                          9 am – 10:30 am       Special Awards Ceremony

11 am – 1 pm                        Finalist Awards Ceremony

All events are held in the Burt Kahn Court on the Mount Carmel Campus.

Broadcast media interested in doing live broadcasts may contact Karen Cohen (Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair) at 860.228.5188 or 860.455.6459 (cell) or [email protected] or John Morgan (Quinnipiac University) at 203.582.5359 or [email protected] for arrangements.

For more information about the 2013 fair, visit  To get the latest CSEF news releases, visit and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

# # #

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.