2019 NSWC STEM Science Fair & Expo Creates Unique Learning Environment for Regional Students

(CRANE) – Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Department hosted a youth science fair at WestGate Academy on April 4, 2019.


More than 290 students from 14 southern Indiana schools participated at the annual NSWC Crane Science Fair this year. Several NSWC Crane personnel volunteered as judges and reviewed more than 180 projects.
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Tina Closser, head of NSWC Crane’s STEM Program, says this is the 35th annual science fair that NSWC Crane has been involved in.
“It’s important for the students to make connections with not only professionals in the STEM community but with other like-minded students,” says Closser. “It is also important for the community to see the emphasis we put on STEM and students who are interested in STEM.”
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Closser says the science fair creates a unique learning experience.
“The science fair gives students an opportunity to explore science hands-on and take their classroom work outside of the classroom,” says Closser. “It gives them a chance to see how science plays a part in their everyday world. I do enjoy seeing the kids network and ask each other about their projects, totally unprompted by adults.”
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NSWC Crane professionals also showcased technology from each of Crane’s mission areas: Electronic Warfare, Strategic Missions, and Expeditionary Warfare. Students were able to see first-hand how learning STEM skills can apply to a career later in life.
NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multispectral, full life-cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today’s Warfighter.
The following students earned honors with their projects:
Behavioral Science Junior Division

  • First: Karleigh LeMond & Reagan Fortwendel, Jasper Middle School
  • Second: Ellie Knies & Hope Fromme, Jasper Middle School
  • Third: Brenna Hildenbrand & Haley Laymon, Jasper Middle School

Behavioral Science Senior Division

  • First: Richelle Elkes & Walter Richardson, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
  • Second: Kaylin Cooksey, Linton High School
  • Third: Kristen Howard, North Daviess High School

Biology Junior Division

  • First:Hallie Skorge & Kaleigh Dunn, Jasper Middle School
  • Second: Tori Brandt & Karis Wigand, Jasper Middle School
  • Third: Elizabeth Zaragoza, Bloomfield Elementary

Biology Senior Division:

  • First: Lizzy Busch, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
  • Second: Maxwell Christmas, Loogootee High School
  • Third: Aulbrey Cates, Dekon Kaiser & Logan Moffatt, North Daviess High School

Chemistry Junior Division

  • First: Klee Sill, Homeschool
  • Second: Mollie Parsley & Matthew Cordell, Eastern Greene JH School
  • Third: Jillyan Dickinson, Eastern Greene JH School

Chemistry Senior Division:

  • First: Aubrea Borders, North Daviess High School
  • Second: Whitney Watkins, North Daviess High School
  • Third: Paige Closser, North Daviess High School

Consumer Science Junior Division

  • First: Allison Schnarr & Abby Buschkoetter, Jasper Middle School
  • Second: Kaitlyn Kaeck, Jasper Middle School
  • Third: Jonathan Lyttle & Zoie Ault, Eastern Greene JH School

Consumer Science Senior Division:

  • First: Sage Harker, Shoals High School
  • Second: Caleb Belcher, Shoals High School
  • Third: Hunter Deaton & Luke Chambers, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship

Computer Science Junior Division

  • First: Leyla Brantley & Oakilyn White, Templeton Elementary
  • Second: Kenan Gorby, White River Valley
  • Third: Ian Corbin, Bloomfield Elementary

Environmental Science Junior Division

  • First: Boone Holtsclaw & Miles Skomp, Bloomfield JH School
  • Second: Adalyn Wiseman, Bloomfield JH School
  • Third: Elise Lampert & Jade Maki, Jasper Middle School

Environmental Science Senior Division:

  • First: David Holt, North Daviess High School
  • Second: Lukas Sons, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
  • Third: James Smith & Jacob Loveless, North Daviess High School

Innovations Junior Division

  • First: Delaney Ruhlman & Gage Ray, Eastern Greene JH School
  • Second: Kiersten Page & Emma Bonebright, Eastern Greene JH School
  • Third: Taylor Thompson, Bloomfield Elementary

Innovations Senior Division:

  • First: Sam Fischman & Jesse Kogg, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship

Physics Junior Division

  • First: Sean Borneman, University Elementary
  • Second: Isaac Roach & Ben Mechinus, Eastern Greene JH School
  • Third: Abigail Burkhart, Eastern Greene JH School

Physics Senior Division:

  • First: Garrett Huff, North Daviess High School
  • Second: Reid Morris, North Daviess High School
  • Third: Elijah Cagle, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship

There were also some special awards that were given. See below for the students who were honored for their hard work.
Bowhead Support Junior Division:

  • Jacob Speer, Bloomfield JH School

Bowhead Support Senior Division:

  • Maxwell Christmas, Loogootee High School

Office of Naval Research Award
Junior Division:

  • Klee Sill, Homeschool
  • Abigail Burkhart, Eastern Greene JH School
  • Kenan Gorby, White River Valley

Senior Division:

  • Maxwell Christmas, Loogootee High School
  • Garrett Huff, North Daviess High School
  • Jude Hastings, North Daviess High School

Overall Winners
Junior Division:

  • First: Klee Sill, Homeschool
  • Second: Allison Schnarr & Abby Buschkoetter, Jasper Middle School

Senior Division:

  • First: Maxwell Christmas, Loogootee High School
  • Second: Lizzy Busch, The Academy of Science & Entrepreneurship
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