Top STEM students compete at the annual Science and Engineering Fair of Houston to show off inventions for scholarships

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Future doctors, engineers, and scientists put their hard work and innovation on display in downtown this weekend. Top STEM students competed in Houston’s annual Science and Engineering Fair for their share of millions in college scholarships.

They are hardworking and fortunate few middle and high school students whose science projects earned them a spot at Houston’s Science and Engineering Fair.

Whether it’s an app to analyze better MRI and CT testing needs or software that turns a game controller into a predictive typing keyboard, the students at the SEFH are among 1,000 who qualified from among 35,000 entries in 128 schools and 23 counties.

“There are some amazing projects ranging from engineering to computer science. I saw a few that looked like psychology, really interesting,” judge Donna Stokes, an Associate Dean at the University of Houston, said.

“But I am just amazed at what these students are thinking about at this age.”

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The winners will advance to the state and international science fairs.

“This is great for our students because they get the opportunity to engage,” Madelyn Traylor, the co-director of the nonprofit Kids Lives Matter, explained. “They get the opportunity to meet other professionals.”

The University of Houston hosts the fair, and judges come from companies, colleges, government organizations, and nonprofits who award scholarships and prizes.

Some of them include judges who are former contestants like Nakia Toliver, who can relate to the nervous students as they explain their projects.

“If I feel that they look a little nervous, I can be like, hey, I was in your shoes once,” Toliver said. “You don’t need to be nervous. It’s very easy. Just believe you can do it, and you’ll get through it.”

It’s an incredible opportunity for young scientists whose minds are just beginning to explore what’s possible.

“The early sneak peeks suggest that we have a very bright future in the area of STEM,” judge and UH Interim Dean Cathy Horn said.

For updates on this story, follow Tom Abrahams on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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