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Students earn Fairmont State scholarships during Science Showdown Impact
Fairmont State News

Students earn Fairmont State scholarships during Science Showdown

Science Showdown 2024Seniors from two winning teams, Jefferson High School (Shenandoah Junction, WV) and Parkersburg High School (Parkersburg, WV) each received a $1,000 Fairmont State scholarship in recognition of their accomplishments during Fairmont State University’s science showdown. Twelve teams of four students comprising juniors and seniors from seven area schools competed in a series of scientific challenges as part of the University’s Science Showdown on February 24. This is the second year in a row Fairmont State has hosted this event. 

“The Science Showdown is a wonderful chance for high school students to show off their science skills, meet Fairmont State faculty and students, and perhaps win a $1,000 scholarship to the University,” said Professor of Chemistry Matt Scanlon. “The events they participate in are designed to be performed in 40 minutes. These challenges also promote teamwork as the time limit requires students to divide and conquer. It was such a pleasure to watch the various teams discover new information while working their way through the challenges.”

Competitors in the Science Showdown compete in teams to complete different forensics, chemistry, physics, geoscience, and biology challenges. A point-based system determines the winners of the competition.

“Individual challenges are performance-based and conducted in a laboratory setting,” said Education Outreach Specialist for the Katherine Johnson NASA IV&V Education Resource Center Josh Revels. “Students showcase their ability to plan, conduct, and analyze results of scientific experimentation. Additionally, they utilize scientific process skills such as classifying, measuring, and calculating to answer questions pertaining to topic.”

The winners of the 2024 Science Showdown were Jefferson High School (Shenandoah Junction, W.VA), who placed first with 160 points, and Parkersburg High School (Parkersburg, W.VA) who placed second with 149 points

Jefferson High School’s team was made up of Gibbs Miller (senior), Jon Mapa (junior), Kegan Adams (senior) and Zach Overton (junior).

Parkersburg High School’s team was made up of Liam Guns (junior), Sophia Miller (junior), Grant Murphy (senior) and Jackson Simmons (senior).

Seniors from the winning teams received a $1,000 scholarship to Fairmont State University as a prize. Those who received a $1,000 scholarship include Gibbs Miller, Kegan Adams, Grant Murphy and Jackson Simmons.

“Congratulations are due to all the students that competed. We wish all of them well and look forward to seeing them when they arrive at Fairmont State their freshman year,” said Scanlon.

Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences Dr. Deb Hemler is happy to see so many young students interested in STEM and hopes to see the number of participants in the Science Showdown grow.

“It is always amazing to see how our young STEM minds rise to the challenges put forth by our faculty,” said Hemler. “We are only in our second year of this challenge but hoping the competition and scholarships awarded, encourage more high schools to engage next year.”