Connecticut's 7-12th grade science and engineering competition celebrates its 68th year

HAMDEN– Now for the 68th year in a row, volunteers with the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF) will organize the annual event for students in grades seven through twelve. Over 700 young scientists from 130 schools from across the state will compete at the Fair, from which about 150 students 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 17. They'll compete for nearly $200,000 in prizes, as well as several trips to represent Connecticut at national and international competitions. CSEF is generously hosted by Quinnipiac University at its Mount Carmel Campus in Hamden.

"I hear from manufacturers and high-tech startups all across Connecticut that they're in desperate need of young workers who have a passion for science and engineering. That's where the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair comes in," said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy. "The Fair is a fun way for Connecticut's students to explore science, technology, and math while showcasing their hard work."

Olivia Hallisey, an alumna from last year, went on to win the Google Science Fair, an accomplishment that in addition to prize money and international recognition landed her an appearance on "The Late Show  with Stephen Colbert." (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkdTdG_gR- 8) That is just the beginning – there are countless students who have participated in CSEF and now study science and engineering at the highest levels, and many, like CSEF Director Bob Wisner, a 1959 alumnus, have had storied careers as scientists at home in Connecticut.

Past Fair winners have also been recognized by organizations including the MacArthur Foundation, CT Women of Innovation, and Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Indicative of the Fair's gravitas and prestige, this year CSEF is pleased to welcome the Connecticut State Department of Education's Ronald P. Michaels, a leading science educator and consultant, who will tour the Fair on Thursday, March 17.

In addition to the CSEF awards, some of the Fair's top winners will represent Connecticut and compete for millions more 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.

School groups are invited to visit the Fair on Friday, March 18 from 9:00am to 2:00pm, and can register at www.ctsciencefair.org.