Science Fair remains an important educational institution


After a quarter of a century, the science fair experience is still fun and remains an important piece of science education, according to students and educators.

The 25th annual Region IV Science Fair was February 18 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Almost 200 students participated, including several students of Fayetteville Academy science teacher John Harbison.

“The quality of science projects is very good this year. I’m very impressed,” Harbison said. “All my students make a science project, and we try to teach the eight steps of the scientific method.”


Overall winner - Hannah Woriax (center) with Provost Charles Harrington and her science teacher Ann Jacobs.

Besides methodology, science projects also teach organizational skills, Harbison said. His efforts worked for Fayetteville Academy students who walked away with six medals in the senior division.

Purnell Swett High School in Pembroke, N.C., produced the overall winner. Hannah Woriax, whose mother Dr. Velinda Woriax is a biology professor at UNCP, won a $1,000 scholarship and first place in the senior biology division.

Woriax has won the biology division four straight years and was overall winner in 2003.

The McDonald’s Award and $500 for best junior project was Garett Lawson of Western Harnett Middle School. Lawson won first place in the junior technology division and an award for excellence from Lumbee River Electric Membership Cooperative.

Win or lose, the 25th annual Science Fair was fun for three entrants from Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton, N.C.

“I won first place at school for my project,” said Meaghan McDonald. “The judges were real nice here.”

“I don’t remember what the judges asked, but they said I had a good chance of winning,” said Casey Williamson.

Science Fair is still fun for UNCP’s Dr. Jose D’Arruda who coordinated his 25th consecutive annual event.

“The enthusiasm of the kids for science makes this exciting, especially when the projects get better every year,” Dr. D’Arruda. “We had a smaller turnout this year, but we have competition from events like Mathcounts and Science Olympiad, which is good.”

During the presentation of awards, UNCP’s Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Charles Harrington summed up, saying Science Fair participants are “the future of science.”

“Scientific inquiry is important to every one here and a ground in science is important every day of our lives,” Dr. Harrington said. “Keep up the good work. Our future depends on it.”

The top two winners of the junior and senior divisions and the top eight in the elementary division go on to the state competition.

For more information about Region IV Science Fair, please call (910) 521-6247.

Here is a list of winners and their schools:

Senior Biology

1st - Hannah Woriax, Purnell Swett High
2nd - Grace Ferrara, Fayetteville Academy
3rd - Shannon Cannon, West Bladen High
4th - Molly Robinson, Union Pines High

Senior Physical Science

1st - Patrick McLaurn, Fayetteville Academy
2nd - Jonathan Floyd, Fayetteville Academy
3rd - Aaron Anderson, Northwood Temple
4th - Amber Milczakowski, West Bladen High
Hon Men - Danielle Gallant, West Bladen High

Senior Earth Science

1st - Alyssa Bullard, Purnell Swett High
2nd - Mary Anderson, West Bladen High
3rd - Monique Gainey, Fayetteville Academy
4th - Lauren Lansdowne, North Moore High

Senior Technology

1st - Milan Kantesoria, Fayetteville Academy
2nd - Ethan LaMaster, East Bladen High
3rd - Jessica Roux, Fayetteville Academy

Junior Biology

1st - Andrew Lomax, Clarkton School of Discovery
2nd - Cameron Talbert, East Middle School
3rd - Spencer Dawson, West Hoke Middle
4th - Helen Wilson, Harnett Central Middle

Junior Physical Science

1st - Danielle Correll, Irwin Intermediate
2nd - Emily Greenhaw, Stoney Point Elementary
3rd - Rebecca Klingenschmidt, Flora McDonalds Academy
4th - Virginia Johnson, Harnett Central Middle
Hon Men - James Britt, Flora McDonald School

Junior Earth Science

1st - Martha Vorder-Bruegge, Eastover Central Elementary
2nd - Joseph Pope, Clarkton
3rd - Veronica Brodsky, St. Patrick's School
4th - Seth Thomas, Western Harnett Middle

Junior Technology

1st - Garett Lawson, Western Harnett Middle
2nd - Chip Stewart, St. Patrick's School
3rd - Haley Edwards, West Lee Middle
4th - Sterlyn Newkirk, Clarkton School of Discovery


1 - Eugenie Vorder-Bruegge, Home School
2 - Austin Cameron, Academy Heights
3 - Payton Harrell, Star-Biscoe Elementary
4 - Cameron Hedgepeth, Plainview Primary
5 - Stuart Fox, Elizabethtown Middle School
6 - Seth Altman, Wayne Ave. School
7 - Katylyn Fouse, Upchurch Elementary
8 - Brook Solheim, Upchurch Elementary

Elementary Honorable Mention

1 - Chipper Cashwell, Stedman Elementary
2 - Zachary Belden, Stedman Elementary
3 - Mary Norton, Tanglewood Elementary
4 - Mallory Blake, Star-Biscoe Elementary
5 - Zane Singletary, Bladenboro
6 - Madison Parker, Boone Trail Elementary
7 - Patrick Myers, E. Melvin Honeycutt Elementary
8 - Mari Sutton, Parkton School

Navy Awards

Senior - Hannah Worriax, Purnell Swett High
Senior - Stephanie Sexton, Union Pines High
Senior - Shannon Cannon, West Bladen High
Senior - Alyssa Bullard, Purnell Swett High
Junior - Wesley Sutton, Parkton School
Junior - Terri Brisson, Parkton School
Junior - Seth Locklear, Union Chapel Elementary
Junior - Bryanna Summers and Carolina Fountain, Pondersosa Elementary
Junior - Olivia Kemmer, Gray's Creek Elementary


Garett Lawson, Western Harnett Middle

Lumbee River Electric

Jonathan Floyd, Fayetteville Academy
Garett Lawson, Western Harnett Middle
Christian Monroe, Peterson Elementary

Overall Winner

Hannah Woriax, Purnell Swett High