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Aerial view of students presenting their poster board projects to judges at the Ford Hall of Champions in Kyle Field during the 2019 Texas Science and Engineering Fair.
Students presenting their projects in the Ford Hall of Champions in Kyle Field. | Image: Matthew Linguist/College of Engineering

More than 1,400 of the brightest students in Texas travelled to College Station to compete for prizes at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair (TXSEF) on March 29-30. Co-sponsored by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) and ExxonMobil, the fair is one of the largest and most prestigious competitions that brings together top science and engineering fair winners from across the state.

The event was hosted by Texas A&M University at the Ford Hall of Champions and the All-American Club in Kyle Field. The occasion began with “A Night at the ZACH,” hosted by the College of Engineering on Friday, and culminated with an awards presentation on Saturday at the Gilliam Indoor Track Stadium. Texas A&M is the third to host the competition in its 18-year history.

“This event is a tremendous celebration of innovation and we are proud to welcome these bright young students to Texas A&M University to showcase their creativity,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, Texas A&M Engineering vice chancellor and dean. “Participation at the state-level competition is a significant accomplishment and speaks volumes about the support these students have received from their teachers, schools, families and volunteer mentors. Along with our partners, the Texas Workforce Commission and ExxonMobil, we are excited to encourage the state’s future scientists and engineers.”

In the senior division, Ashna and Ashay Shah from Plano East Senior High School in Plano received the grand prize for physical sciences and Jack Delli-Santi from Lake Travis High School in Austin received the grand prize for life sciences. In the junior division, Otto Beall from Otto Middle School in Plano received the grand prize in physical sciences and Ganesh Venu from Friendswood Junior High School in Friendswood received the grand prize for life sciences.

“The 2019 Texas Science and Engineering Fair once again showcased the wonderful creativity and invention of our students,” said TWC Chair Ruth R. Hughs. “The critical STEM skills the participants are developing will help build the future of Texas’ economic development. I applaud the innovation, dedication and hard work displayed by all of the participants and congratulate the division winners.”

Students competed in two divisions — junior (grades six through eight) and senior (grades nine through twelve) — in one of 22 categories. Nine seniors were awarded Best of Fair honors and will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this May in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition to the Grand Prize and Best of Fair winners, awards were presented to first- through third-place honorees in each category.

First- and second-place winners from the fair’s senior division were also awarded a scholarship to attend the Texas Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy, a week-long residential summer camp, also sponsored by TWC, which will be held this summer at Southern Methodist University.

For a full list of all TXSEF winners by category, visit the TXSEF website.

Visit our gallery to view photos from the fair.