On April 1, the Muscatine Mall will host Muscatine area students ranging from 5th to 8th grade.  The Science and Engineering Fair has been a tradition for over 50 years and will once again be a place for area students to present experiments they have prepared.

The fair is organized by the Muscatine Chapter of the Iowa Engineering Society.

Over 320 students will be broken down into categories, based on grade in school and type of project they will be presenting.  Ben Niedergeses of Stanley Consultants, has been the coordinator of the event since 2010.  According to Niedergeses, this year’s science fair is the largest in recent history with over 199 projects being presented.

Students can present in either physical science or biological science and will have the opportunity to compete for awards.  A total of $1000 dollars in cash prizes will be presented to the winners.  Students are able to present individually or as a two member team.

Judges will ask students to explain their project and how the scientific process was applied.  Students will need to have knowledge of their project and the steps involved along the way, including any challenges they encountered.  Niedergeses explains that even when a project does not turn out as anticipated, it can be viewed as a successful experiment if the students are able to explain the variables that affected the change.

Judges will be on hand representing several work places in the community, including Stanley Consultants, GPC/Kent Corp, Monsanto, MPW, MCC, and Wastewater Management, among others.

In addition to the standard awards, representatives from Muscatine Power and Water will be on hand to present a special award.  The MPW award will be presented to an individual or duo whose project involves power generation, renewable resources, or any other of a variety of topics that relate to energy and energy management.

Monsanto representatives will be on hand to examine experiments and present a similar award for a project involving environmental sustainability, crop production, or other projects involving topics that relate to topics involving agriculture.

All teachers represented at the science fair will be in the running for a $100 cash award to be used on classroom supplies.

Set up at the mall begins at noon with the first round of judging taking place from 1-3 p.m., at which time finalists will be announced.  The second round of judging is scheduled to take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m. The final awards ceremony is expected to take place around 5:30 p.m.

Sponsors for the Science and Engineering fair include: Stanley Consultants, Inc., HNI Industries, Kent Corporation, Eastern Iowa Light and Power Coop, Muscatine Kiwanis Club, Society of Women Engineers, First National Bank, CBI Bank & Trust, Community Bank, SSAB Steel, Miller-Harrison Insurance, Team Staffing Solutions, and Sycamore Printing.