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Strong regional showing at Science and Engineering Research Challenge | Granite City News


From mask and disinfectant-related projects to a regional collaboration between a Belleville student and a St. Louis biological sciences research hub, the more than 60 projects presented at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s virtual Science and Engineering Research Challenge were impressive.

The annual April event is hosted by the SIUE STEM Center. It provides students grades 5-12 the opportunity to think like a scientist, make new discoveries and test theories beyond classroom curriculum.

“This event promotes independent critical thinking and the opportunity to learn through the scientific process,” said SERC Director Colin Wilson, instructor and outreach specialist in the SIUE STEM Center. “It also builds relationships between the university and local educators. SIUE is proud to support these students who may go on to study in STEM fields and become future industry professionals.”

This year’s top-placing students included:

  • Lisa Crawford, Governor French Academy (Best in Challenge)
  • Tahlor Johnson, Governor French Academy (First Place Senior Division and First Place Paper Competition)
  • Lillian Kemper, Zion Lutheran School (First Place Junior Division)
  • Spencer Herberts, Governor French Academy (Second Place Senior Division)
  • Manel El Morabit, Governor French Academy (Second Place Junior Division)
  • Will Wojcieszak, Edwardsville High School (Third Place Senior Division)
  • Marcus King, Governor French Academy (Third Place Junior Division)
  • Nathan Hay and Jared Christopher, Collinsville High School (Second Place Paper Competition)

Johnson has been named the nominee to the International Science and Engineering Fair, where she competes this week in the virtual Regeneron ISEF 2021. She and 16 other standout students from the regional SERC event will also move on as representatives at the IJAS State Science Fair in May.

For a list of results, visit

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