The Regional Science and Engineering Research Challenge (SERC) hosts the finest 5th through 12th grade student projects from the region to present their research and be recognized for their accomplishments by science and engineering professionals who volunteer as judges.SIUE initiated this competition in 1984 to stimulate studentsí interest in science and technology while simultaneously promoting the development of the life skills of communication, decision making, evaluation of alternative solutions, and critical thinking. This unique educational opportunity enables students to understand that science is an integral part of life and participation fulfills many of the Illinois State Goals and Learning Standards.

During the Research Challenge students are rewarded for the knowledge gained and hard work which adds to the excitement and enthusiasm of participants.Winners at the junior high and high school level are eligible to be sent on to compete at the Illinoi Junior Academy of Science State Science Fair, and two high school students are sent to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

For more information contact the STEM Resource Center at


2012 Award Recipients


Last Updated: 23 March, 2012

Contributors & Awards

Financial support for the Fair comes from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and generous donations from corporate and individual donors.

American Chemical Society

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association

Society of American Military Engineers

Scott Air Force Base Joint STEM Advisory Group

Watershed Nature Center

Thanks to our contributors for supporting the 2012 science fair!



2011 Award Recipients


2010 Award Recipients


2009 Award Recipients


2008 Award Recipients


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Illinois State Goals and Standards


These days the classroom is so focused on achievement tests that it often feels like there is no room for projects, inquiry, and discovery.Science fairs are seen as a drain on time and resources when in fact it provides a unique educational opportunity that fulfills many of the Illinois learning standards.


Language Arts

State Goal 5:Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.Students must be able to use a wide variety of information resources (written, visual and electronic).They must also know how to frame questions for inquiry, identify and organize relevant information and communicate it effectively in a variety of formats.These skills are critical in school across all learning areas and are the key to successful career experiences.


State Goal 10:Collect, organize and analyze data using statistical methods; predict results; and interpret uncertainty using concepts of probability.Students must be able to organize data, make sense of variables and patterns, and judge the logical reasonableness of any claims and interpretations made.Students of all ages can collect, display and interpret data to answer specific questions.They also must construct and analyze arguments that involve data and its interpretation.Data analysis and use are important abilities necessary for all careers. The ability to understand and interpret data (e.g., opinion polls, stock prices, tax rates, crime statistics, scientific studies, weather reports) grows more important each day.


State Goal 11:Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.The inquiry process prepares learners to engage in science and apply methods of technological design.This understanding will enable students to pose questions, use models to enhance understanding, make predictions, gather and work with data, use appropriate measurement methods, analyze results, draw conclusions based on evidence, communicate their methods and results, and think about the implications of scientific research and technological problem solving.


State Goal 13:Understand the relationships among science, technology and society in historical and contemporary contexts.Understanding the nature and practices of science such as ensuring the validity of results, building upon the work of others and recognizing risks involved in experimentation gives learners a useful sense of the scientific enterprise.In addition, the relationships among science, technology and society give humans the ability to change and improve their surroundings.



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