Alamo Regional Science Fair Seminar set for Sept. 18

SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 7, 2010) — If your teen or preteen is creating experiments in the garage or reading books on the theory of relativity, chances are you should enroll this budding star in a seminar coming up this month at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.

The Alamo Regional Academy of Science and Engineering (ARASE) will hold its annual Science Fair Seminar for grades 6-12 on Saturday, Sept. 18, at the Health Science Center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Campus, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive.

The seminar is the official launch of the academy’s year of science fairs, and provides students, teachers and parents the rules and guidelines for conducting good scientific research. Regulations of upcoming competitions will be outlined.

“Fairs give students opportunities to meet scientists, interact with them, conduct more studies and pursue careers in the sciences,” said Rose Perez, seminar director with her husband, John.

Perez announced that Robert F. Curl Jr., Ph.D., professor emeritus at Rice University and winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1996, will speak to students, parents and teachers at 11 a.m. in the Pestana Lecture Hall. Dr. Curl shared the Nobel Prize with colleagues who worked with him on discovery of the fullerenes, molecules that are composed of carbon and take the shape of hollow spheres, cylinders or tubes. The spherical fullerenes are called “buckyballs.”

Floyd Curl Drive in the South Texas Medical Center is named for Dr. Curl’s father, who as a Methodist Church administrator helped establish Methodist Hospital and the medical center. Dr. Robert Curl is a graduate of Jefferson High School in San Antonio and has been a professor at Rice since 1958.

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, president of the UT Health Science Center and a Master of the American College of Physicians, will welcome the students to campus. Robert Fanick, chemist at Southwest Research Institute in the emissions department, also will attend. In August he was inducted into the American Chemical Society as a 2010 Fellow.

Previous winners of science fairs will exhibit their projects to give students ideas, Perez said.

ARASE is a nonprofit, educational 501(c)(3) organization. For more information about the seminar or any of the year’s activities, please call the seminar directors, John and Rose Perez, at (210) 736-2716. Individuals interested in attending are asked to register by Monday, Sept. 13. The fee is $8 for students and $10 for adults.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $739 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

Upcoming competitions

The Sept. 18 Science Fair Seminar at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio is the beginning of a yearlong slate of competitions to energize and assist budding young scientists, all coordinated by the Alamo Regional Academy of Science & Engineering (ARASE).

On Feb. 12-13, 2011, ARASE will sponsor the Junior Academy of Science at The University of Texas at San Antonio. This is a program of the National Academy of Sciences for students in grades 6-12. At this event, entrants will deliver a 12-minute oral presentation of their science research before two judges within their category. Eight to 10 students will be in a lecture room with two judges. UTSA provides space to accommodate 12 categories in the physical sciences, the health sciences and the life sciences. Once the students present, the judges ask them questions about their experiments or research. Each student is evaluated for the oral presentation and also a written presentation that is submitted to the judges.

High school students can advance to the Texas Junior Academy, which will be held at Texas A&M University in April. Top winners move on to the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Junior Program, scheduled for February 2012.

The Alamo Regional Science and Engineering Fair will take place March 6-8, 2011, at St. Mary’s University. This is for students in grades 6-12 and top projects can advance to several competitions.

Winners can advance to the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair, which is hosted by UTSA at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

Six projects can advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), hosted by Intel Corp. and the Society for Science and the Public, publisher of Science News magazine. This is in May.

Winners can advance to another international competition known as I-SWEEEP, which is held in Houston in May. I-SWEEEP stands for International Sustainable World in Engineering, Energy, and Environmental Program.

“We service 32 counties of public, private, parochial, charter and home schools grades 6-12,” said Rose Perez, Alamo Regional Science Fair director. “Our mission is to promote science research and enhance an interest in science careers among secondary students.”

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