The 30th annual Missouri Southern Regional Science Fair will be held Tuesday, March 26, in the third floor ballroom of Billingsly Student Center at Missouri Southern State University.

The competition for high school and middle school students is affiliated with the Society for Science and the Public. Individual or team (middle school only) projects are accepted from students in the following counties: Vernon, Barton, Jasper, Newton, McDonald, Barry, Lawrence, Cedar and Dade in Missouri; Neosho, Crawford, Montgomery, Labette, Bourbon and Cherokee in Kansas.

This year’s fair will include entries from 82 students in the junior category (grades 5-8) and 11 in the senior category (grades 9-12) from Carthage, College Heights, Joplin South, Hume R-8, NE Vernon County R1 Elementary, St. Peter’s Middle School, and Triway Elementary and College Heights, Joplin, and Lamar high schools. Categories include behavioral and social sciences; cell, molecular and microbiology; chemistry and biochemistry; computer science, engineering and mathematics; earth and environmental sciences; human and animal sciences; physics and astronomy; and plant sciences.

Closed judging will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with public viewing from 1 to 5 p.m.

Missouri Junior Academy of Science presentations will be held from 1-3 p.m. Tuesday in Reynolds Hall in rooms 204, 205, 225 and 237. High-school and middle-school students write a formal research paper and then present their project during a 10-minute talk. Students may enter both the science fair and junior academy of science with the same project. The presentations and papers are judged and given a rating of I, II or III.  Both senior and junior participants are eligible for the state competition on April 12 at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville.

An awards ceremony will be held from 4 to 5 p.m. in Taylor Auditorium.

Science fair first-place winners will receive a scholarship to Missouri Southern (graduating high-school seniors in the senior division), or a cash prize (for the junior division and all others in the senior division). Grand prize winners (two senior division and two junior) will receive cash prizes. The senior grand prize winner will also receive an all-expense paid trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair, to be held May 13-17 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Special awards – ranging from an iPad to two $500 cash prizes – will be offered by a variety of sponsors.

They include: the American Meteorological Society, the American Psychological Association, Association for Women Geoscientists, Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Award, Binney-Day Excellence and Innovation Award, Broadcom Masters Middle School Competition, Dr. James Jackson Professor Emeritus Award, Intel Excellence in Computer Science, Macy’s Award for Innovation, Curiosity, and Excitement,  MSSU Biology Club, MSSU Caduceus Club, MSSU Environmental Health Club, MSSU Women in Sciences Club, MU Alpha Theta Mathematics Award, NASA Earth Systems Science Award, NOAA, Perry Thomas Physical Science Award, Luke Nugent Memorial Award, Pro 100 Most Professional Award, Ricoh Americas Corporation Award, SideCars Incorporated and WiseAPP Innovation Award, Society for In Vitro Biology, Stockholm Junior Water Prize, U.S. Air Force Award, U.S. Metric Association, U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps, and the Yale Science and Engineering Association.