Apr 032007
Authors: Jessi Stafford

This week students find out if horses are left-footed or right-footed, learn the importance of trout habitats, see the new developments in bio-diesel fuels and even watch a distinguished CSU professor eat fire.

CSU will host the 52nd annual Colorado Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF) April 5-7 in the Lory Student Center. The event will showcase 282 projects created by over 300 junior and senior high school students. Each student will be competing in his or her chosen category, which range from chemistry to behavioral and social sciences to physics.

The exhibits will be in the LSC Main Ballroom for public viewing Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m.

Students will be with their projects all day Saturday in order to answer questions and interact with the public.

“The students do a really good job and they love to talk about their projects,” CSEF Director Courtney Butler said.

The newest category, “energy and transportation,” was added this year by the CSEF board of directors and highlights renewable energy sources.

“A lot of times these kinds of projects get overlooked because they have been thrown into categories where they don’t really fit,” Butler said. “We thought this was the best category to add.”

To compliment the new category, Stephen Thompson, chemistry professor and director of the Center for Science, Mathematics & Technology Education, will be giving a speech titled “Fire in the Mind.”

This England native and CSU Distinguished Teaching Scholar said he found his motivation for the speech from his past experiences as a fire-eater and sword-swallower in the circus.

Along with his views on fuel, Thompson will be demonstrating his skill and electing a few brave people from the audience to come up and try the circus act during his presentation.

“The whole history of the world has been a search for fuel,” Thompson said. “People have this notion that we will find other fuels or be able to depend on wind power, but this is not true.”

Thompson will also discuss air pollution and its repercussions.

“We are going to have to do something about carbon dioxide and global warming,” he said. “My idea is to learn from science and have some fun.”

Staff writer Jessi Stafford can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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