With over 200 students presenting at this year’s Indian River County Regional Science an Engineering Fair on Saturday January 25th, Education Foundation needs to recruit more volunteer judges. Elementary level judges need to have an understanding of scientific method. High school and college students are encouraged to volunteer. They also need to be able to hear soft voices and maneuver in tight quarters between fair displays. Secondary judges are required to have a degree or related work experience in science or engineering.
To fill out a volunteer form or donate a cash prize for the winning competitors, visit the Education Foundation of Indian River County website: https://www.edfoundationirc.org/science-fair-sponsorship/ The Vero Beach High School website has more information on the Regeneron Talent Search: https://vbhs.indianriverschools.org/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2194251&pageId=24519245
For information on the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair, please call Education Foundation 772 564-0034.
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VBHS Science Fair Competitor Receives National Recognition
Griffin Wagner is one of Indian River County’s award winning Science Fair competitors and has just been recognized as a Regeneron Science Talent Search Scholar. This year’s Regeneron Science Talent Search had 2000 applicants and only 300 students were named as semi-finalists. Judging for the award is based on exceptional research skills, commitment to academics, innovative thinking and promise as scientists. Griffin will receive $2000 and Vero Beach High School will also get $2000 for funding STEM activities.
Over the past eight years he has demonstrated his passion for science and a determination for completing research projects. As a fourth grader Griffin was assigned to test Styrofoam’s effect on temperature retention. Five years later he was growing algae in the Vero Beach High School laboratory. He is now working with the leading scientists at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute to perform the first machine learning survey of microcystin hepatotoxins in the Indian River Lagoon.
Griffin has participated in regional, state, national and international competitions. He has won many awards including; Fourth Place in the International Science Fair in Environmental Engineering, Second Place in State Science Fair in Microbiology and Best In Show in Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair.
When asked about Science Fair and the impact on who he is today. Griffin stated “I have found success at every level; however more important are the relationships I have formed.” His science friendships include students in Miami and as far away as Poland. Fellow science students and new professional contacts have given him support and inspiration to keep his work moving forward. “I have also met and collaborated with enthusiastic scientists at the Florida Atlantic University and Florida Institute of Technology.”
Being an award winner at the Indian River Regional Science and Engineering Fair opened opportunities and established these connections. When Griffin needed more than $4,000 to continue his research, the Education Foundation was able to direct him to funding grants. He admits there were times when he struggled and became discouraged. Griffin credits his science fair friends for encouraging him to continue to explore new possibilities, “Science fair builds a community of dedicated and passionate individuals unlike any other activity in which I have participated.”