February 14, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) – SMU sophomore engineering major Micah Thornton credits his seventh grade participation in the 2007 Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair as a life-changing event. He set his sights on a science and engineering career after winning second place in the computer science division of the fair.
Micah Thornton with his science fair entry in 2007.
Nearly 1,000 other students may have their lives changed Saturday, Feb. 15, when they participate in the 2014 Beal Bank Dallas Science and Engineering Fair at Fair Park. Sixth through 12th grade students whose projects won their school or district science fairs will compete for more than 500 awards.
"Many of the students who participate will become scientists, " says Simon Dalley, fair president and physics professor at SMU. "Encouraging their interest is crucial for the development of technology and science in the United States."
SMU faculty members coordinate the fair, recruit judges and help select the grand prize winners. SMU also hosts a March banquet honoring the top 150 fair winners, their parents and science teachers.
Micah Thornton attended that banquet in 2007, and started SMU in 2012. By his third week of Simon Dalley's Introductory Mechanics class last fall, he realized why Dr. Dalley looked familiar.
"My participation and success in the science fair as a 7th grader in 2007 was one of the things that put me on my current path as an engineering student," Thornton wrote to Dalley in an e-mail. "It didn't hit me until about the third week of class that you were the director of the fair. I've always wanted to thank the person in charge. Your work with the science fair affects so many people, and in case you don't hear it enough – thanks."
Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair
When: Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014
- 9 a.m. to noon: Judging, open to media only
- 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Open to public
Where: Embarcadero, Creative Arts, Food and Fiber Buildings at Fair Park
Sponsors: Beal Bank, SMU, Fluor, Maxim Integrated
For more information: drsef.org, 214-768-2495