Some of the brightest young minds in the state came together this week for Minnesota's 71st Annual State Science Fair.
LeAnn Wallace browsed the experiments and research projects brought together in the Twin Cities
From twelve through 18 the young Minnesota scientists had won the honor to show off their brain power in Saint Paul this week. Over 4–hundred–50 students in grades seven through twelve participated.
''I think its fun it's a little bit stressful when you're doing the project to make sure it's alright and precise and everything, but in the end it's really fun at the competition.''
The experiments presented were the best of the best from across the state.
''Basically what I did was I collected sumac leaves from a prairie that I restored 2–years ago in Winona Minnesota and I slowed down the rate of decomposition on the leaves by refrigerating them, I kept the same by keeping them at room temperature, and I sped up the rate of decomposition by burying them in mature compost or garden soil.''
''Over 370 projects advanced to the state competition, some students even decided to take an approach that’s important to them, the environment.''
''Lawn Mowers produce a great amount of air pollution, and they are one of the world's largest polluters for off road sources and so I machined a catalytic converter in hopes to reduce these very high emissions.''
Science Fair Director Lise Weegman says events like this encourage students to get excited about science at a time when it's most needed.
''It's especially important right now because of the big STEM initiative approach from our governor Tim Pawlenty, there isn't enough people going into science technology, engineering, and math. ''
''We need more scientist and mathematicians to create the technological world we live in.''
The science fair ended with an awards ceremony to honor not only the winners but all those whose work was good enough to get them to state.
In Saint Paul, LeAnn Wallace, the Northlands NewsCenter.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in science and engineering will increase 70–percent faster than the rate for all occupations through at least 2012.
Meanwhile the retirement of baby boomers is expected to deplete the current science and engineering workforce dramatically over the next 20–years.