Elementary, middle and high school students from five counties showed off their creativity and ingenuity during the sixth annual ACTC/FIVCO Science and Engineering Fair on Jan. 25.

The fair, coordinated by Ashland Community and Technical College, showcased science projects throughout six different categories of science. Those categories were Biomedical and Behavioral Health Sciences; Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences; Engineering and Mathematics; Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy; and Robotics and Computer Science.

Participants were judged on five criteria — originality and creativity; scientific method or technological design; thoroughness; skill and clarity; and approval forms and data notebook.

“This was our seventh year, and we placed a major emphasis on middle school STEM exploration in efforts to strengthen student retention through their high school years,” said Mia Brown, fair director. “Each year we increase in participants and in fun. This year we are thrilled to have Kentucky Science Center (KSC) to join us for a day of learning and exploration.”

After students presented their projects to judges, each school level participated in a variety of hands-on science experiments and demonstrations led by the Kentucky Science Center.

“Elementary school students learned about electricity generation and conservation with KSC’s own energy-saving superhero, Captain Current. Middle school students completed engineering design challenges and got messy with chemistry. High school students got to the heart of STEM by learning about the cardiovascular system and dissecting sheep hearts,” said Dr. Alison Hill, assembly program coordinator, KSC.

This year’s fair sponsors were King’s Daughters Medical Center and ACTC.

First, second and third place awards were given in each category. First and second place winners will advance to the Regional Science and Engineering Fair at Northern Kentucky University. 

Award winners are listed below by category and grade level.

Biomedical & Behavioral Health Sciences

Elementary School – First Place: Myah Hamilton, Crabbe Elementary; Second Place: Hunter Evans, Catlettsburg Elementary; Third Place: Mya Sarver, Russell McDowell Intermediate.

Middle School – First Place: Samuel Tibbitts, Ashland Middle; Second Place: Laney Fannin and Macie Bevins, Ashland Middle; Third Place: Miracle Sammons and Bailey Blevins, McKell Middle.

High School – First Place: Erin Borders and Lillian Jones, Boyd County; Second Place: Emma Dowdy and Olivia Allen, Paul G. Blazer; Third Place: Hannah Taylor and Dustin Gifford, Boyd County.

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