Katy and Houston News


Katy students honored with ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair awards

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A Katy student was recognized for their innovation and scientific prowess at the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, held March 20–23, in San Antonio. Hosted by The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Sciences, the state-level competition offered students who placed at regional science fairs the opportunity to vie for top prizes and college scholarships, and qualify for the international science fair. High-resolution photos of the winners are available upon request.

“We continue to be impressed with the innovation shown by the aspiring scientists that participate in this competition every year,” said Dr. George Perry, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. “UTSA is proud to have hosted this event for eight years and the fair fits in with the UTSA College of Sciences’ mission to push the boundaries with new technology and open new doors in the sciences for precollege-aged students.”

Winners were selected from 1,100 participants representing two divisions — junior (grades six through eight) and senior (grades nine through 12). First- through fifth-place winners received awards in one of 17 categories. Two grand-prize winners and one best-of-show project were also selected from each division.

Joanne Shang, a junior at the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, won second place in the senior Earth Science category for her project, “Geothermal Study of Archaeal Glycerol Dialkyl Glycerol Tetraether Lipids in Yunnan- China.”

“Texas businesses are world-class and rely on an innovative and skilled workforce to help them succeed,” said TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar. “I congratulate all the regional and statewide winners and encourage them to continue excelling in STEM fields of study and exploring creative solutions to current and emerging issues that face our country. I look forward to their contributions to the Texas economy.”

As part of the prize package, eligible senior division winners will receive all-expenses-paid trips to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.

The Texas Workforce Commission and the ExxonMobil Foundation have co-sponsored the event for 13 years. UTSA has hosted the EMTSEF since 2004 with assistance from the Texas Science Careers Consortium, which has managed the EMTSEF since its inception 28 years ago.

“This fair is an opportunity for students to explore technical fields and gain valuable experience that can help them advance in their careers and education,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ronny Congleton. “We hope this experience will inspire them to continue on this path and use their creativity as part of Texas’ workforce in the future.

To be eligible to participate in the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, students won first- through third-place or grand prize at one of 12 regional fairs held across Texas. Each regional fair is sanctioned by Science Service, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the understanding and appreciation of science among people of all ages.

“STEM professionals have the ability to build communities and transform society,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Hope Andrade. “The students at this fair are working to solve some of the world’s most complex issues: cancer, hunger, poverty, scarcities of water and energy, transportation, and more.”

For more information on the 2014 ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, please visit emtsef.utsa.edu.