AMES, Iowa -- The State Science and Technology Fair drew approximately 800 high school students to Hilton Coliseum to show their science projects this week. The students came from 71 schools over two days.
“The science fair is really an economic engine for the state of Iowa, because this is our future entrepreneurs, our business people, our farmers, said Jay Staker of Iowa State University Extension and director of the State Science and Technology Fair. “These are the people who are going to make this place grow using STEM and STEM understanding, communication, problem solving, all the things that come out of this process.”
The students cover a variety of study areas, including some working on water quality topics.
“The purpose of our experiment was to help Iowa farmers because we are one of the most agricultural states in the whole entire country,” said Derek Jensen, an Ankeny seventh grader.
“We learned that some fertilizers perform better than others, some are only intended for outside use, some for inside use, and you need to read labels quite carefully," said seventh grader Ian Herzberg.
The science fair has grown so much that organizers are considering qualifying science fairs to be able to fit everyone in.
“We have 400 junior high projects, 200 high school projects, we are bursting the seams of Hilton Coliseum, so it's a new kind of Hilton Magic,” said Staker.
“Absolutely do your research so you have evidence to back it up,” said Callie Wicker a seventh grader from Des Moines. “Just work on it, a lot, because the more you work the better it’s going to end up.”