Aspiring chemists, botanists and astronomers will have the opportunity to showcase their research and science projects Feb. 19-21 when Northern Arizona University hosts the Northern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

Close to 200 students in grades 5-12 attending schools in Apache, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai and Gila counties will participate. More than 70 judges, most of them NAU affiliated, all will take part.

“This is an opportunity for NAU to foster new scientists and showcase NAU,” said Barry Lutz, professor of physics and astronomy. “We are pleased that both our current and emeritus faculty are supporting this exciting endeavor by contributing their time as judges.”

The competition is divided into two age groups: the Junior Division (grades 5-8), and the Senior Division (grades 9-12). Grand prize winners from the Senior Division will go on to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque in May.

Project topics include Behavioral and Social Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Analysis and Management, Medicine, and Animal Sciences (for Senior Division contestants only).

Both the judging and viewing portions of the fair will be held in the NAU Fieldhouse. The judging will take place Feb. 20, with Senior Division students being interviewed, and the public may view the projects Feb. 21. The awards ceremony will also be held at 5 p.m. Feb. 21 in Cline Library Assembly Hall.

Lee Drickamer, Regents Professor of biology, is serving as one of the judges and believes the fair is an important opportunity to demonstrate NAU’s undergraduate education and research opportunities to would-be scientists. “This is an ideal chance for all of us to meet with talented young scientists from our region and to share with them our thoughts on their projects.”