Brown helps promote science

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LAPS > Coordinator coaches young scientists

By Bernadette Lauritzen

Los Alamos County Science Fair Coordinator Dawn Brown, is still hard at work, even after the Regional Science Fair last week.
“The Regional Fair was a very competitive competition with our 68 LAPS students rising to the challenge,” Brown said.
“The students presented and displayed projects which garnered 37 Regional awards and 23 State Science and Engineering Fair qualifiers.”
Brown said she was impressed with the Regional Qualifiers and how they presented themselves to the judges and the public.
Prior to the event, many of them worked to get ready. “Many of them had emailed me with questions about improving upon their projects and their presentation skills,” Brown said.
The efforts of Brown and her site coordinators yielded representation of all seven LAPS schools at the fair March 2.
“The science minds of our students is amazing. Their curiosity and interests are a credit to our community that is all about discovery,” said LAPS Superintendent Dr. Gene Schmidt.
“Dawn is a sensation. Under her guidance our program has grown both in quality and in caliber.”
Once again, Brown went above and beyond the call of duty, arranging an ice cream social for those arriving the night before and a luncheon for the time in between judging and awards.
She also recognized three seniors from LAHS, at the Regional Qualifiers Luncheon. The ’Toppers include Leia Roach, Haleigh Wall and Holly Erickson.
“In the Senior Division, we had one Best of Show International Science and Engineering Fair Qualifier and two International Alternates,” Brown said. “LAPS swept the Senior Division New Mexico Junior Academy of Science Regional Paper Competition and took a first place in the junior division.”
According to Brown, the first and second place winners will progress on to the State Science Fair.
Brown worked to connect the budding scientists to local volunteers that could answer questions and guide students with advice and those connections seem to have paid off for Los Alamos youth.
“Los Alamos is blessed with such caring and involved volunteers. Judges were genuinely interested in the projects and made numerous comments about the depth of knowledge the contestants knew about their projects,” Schmidt said. “All felt it was getting more competitive every year.”
“Those students moving on to the state competition April 5-6th at New Mexico Tech will compete against 400 students 6-12th grade from across the state,” Brown said. “These 400 students were chosen as the best of the best to represent their region in the state competition.”
LAHS students were also able to qualify for the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix May 12-17, by earning a Grand Award at the Regional level or Grand Award at the State level.