Approximately 700 public, private and home school students in grades four through 12 participated today in the 28th annual Kentucky American Water Science Fair coordinated by Fayette County Public Schools at Bryan Station High School in Lexington.
The event included students’ science fair projects judged by 150 professionals, as well as hands-on, educational exhibits and demonstrations coordinated by Bluegrass PRIDE.
A total of 143 student projects received awards.
Six students received special recognition from Kentucky American Water for demonstrating achievement in water science projects, and four students received the Urban Environmental Award, which recognizes outstanding projects related to environmental stewardship.
Alltech sponsored special awards in animal sciences and Lexmark International provided Lexmark printers to first-place engineering award recipients.
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray joined Kentucky American Water President Cheryl Norton and Fayette County Public Schools representatives Jack Hayes, Mike McKenzie and Ketsy Fields in the award presentations.
Judges evaluated the student projects according to the following categories: animal sciences, behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, computer science, earth and planetary science, engineering, energy and transportation, environmental sciences, medicine and health sciences, microbiology, physics and astronomy and plant sciences.
Kentucky American Water initiated the science fair for junior high school students in 1985 as part of the company’s centennial celebration. The next year, the company joined with Fayette County Public Schools in coordinating the event. The fair has been expanded twice: first in 1989 to include elementary school science projects, and again in 1991 to include high school projects.
During her remarks, Norton congratulated students for their achievements in science, and thanked parents for supporting science, math and technology education.
Norton started her career in the water utility industry nearly 25 years ago before she graduated from college through a part-time research position at the national laboratory of Kentucky American Water’s parent company, American Water, located outside St. Louis. After graduating from college she joined the lab full time, conducting a variety of national research studies on drinking water issues, and eventually moved into management positions that culminated in her leading the facility. She joined Kentucky American Water as president in January 2011.
Students who received awards at today’s competition advance to the Central Kentucky Regional Science and Engineering Fair to be held at the University of Kentucky on Saturday, March 3.
Kentucky American Water also serves as a leading sponsor for that event.