On Thursday, March 20th, more than 1,100 middle and high school students will present their outstanding science projects at the 2014 Exxon Mobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair taking place at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). The event culminates on Sunday, March 23rd, with a senior division awards presentation at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. Cortlan J. Wickliff, a Texas A&M engineering doctoral student, will deliver the keynote address to the students.
“This science fair is a great opportunity for these exceptional students to learn from people like Cortlan Wickliff,” said Ronny Congleton from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), which will co-sponsor the fair for the 13th consecutive year.
Wickliff graduated at age 19 from Rice University. He was the youngest person in the U.S. to earn a Bachelors of Science degree in bioengineering and has already mentored middle, high school, and undergraduates students. “Our hope is that these young people become inspired to continue their education in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and use those skills once they enter Texas’ workforce,” said Congleton.
TWC Chairman Andres Alcantar, who will address students at the ceremony, added that TWC is proud to be a part of an event that showcases the talent and hard work of Texas students. “This fair encourages some of this state’s brightest rising stars to enhance science, technology, engineering and math disciplines and gain skills that will be valuable in tomorrow’s workplace.”
The awards will have 17 project categories in each of two divisions, and the winners from the senior division will qualify for the Intel ISEF competition in Los Angeles in May and earn a spot at the Texas Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy, a weeklong residential summer camp.
“Employers in Texas are eager to employ individuals with technical skills and innovative ideas,” said the TWC Commissioner. The Texas Workforce Commission is a state agency dedicated to helping Texas employers, workers and communities prosper economically.