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For the first time since the beginning of COVID, Utah held CUSF (Central Utah STEM Fair), our state regional STEM competition. The fair is open to 5-12 grade students from Alpine, Jordan, Nebo, Provo, and Wasatch districts. All students must attend two pre-qualifying fairs to advance to compete at CUSF, including a school and district fair. Students compete in the Junior Division (grades 7-8) or Senior Division (grades 9-12) in their chosen categories to earn Category Awards, Special Awards, and Grand Awards. Judges select winners according to criteria involving a niche, testable research question, complete and well-designed methodologies, research execution, creativity, and presentation. As you can tell, CUSF is a challenging yet rewarding venture for our students.
This year, CUSF hosted 718 students. This number is more than a 200-person increase from last year’s event, and despite the influx of students and the rigor of the Fair, Provo students executed well, achieving exceptional results.
Of the CUSF student population this year, Provo had eleven elementary schools, two middle schools, and two high schools participate. Provo sent fifty-nine 5-6 grade students, twenty-three 7-8 grade students, and two high-school students.
Provo had three Elementary Grand Champions: Pedro Souza from Edgemont Elementary, Ryan Cannegieter of Sunset View Elementary, and Jonathan Lyu of Provo Peaks Elementary.
Provo also had three Junior Division Grand Champions: Ethan Burgin and Brian Stone in a joint competition and Cali Bundy, all three hailing from Centennial Middle School.
Lastly, Provo had two Senior Division Grand Champions and Intel ISEF Finalists: Sara Lee from Timpview High School and Sky Teeples from Provo High School.
Provo obtained 39 awards, netting $2,185 in Cash Awards and $3,800 in Travel Awards.
Additionally, students in grades 6-8 competed to become semi-finalists in the national level competition, the 2022 Broadcom MASTERS. Only students with unique and top-performing projects receive an invitation to this competition. To quote Society for Science’s press release, the Broadcom MASTERS competition is, “The nation’s premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.”
From a pool of 300 semi-finalists, Broadcom selected 30 finalists. Six CUSF student applicants attained a finalist spot. Four of the six students came from Provo: Ethan Burgin (8th grade at Centennial ), Brian Stone (8th grade at Centennial), Alex Guthrie (7th grade at Centennial), and Tate Baum (6th grade at Edgemont Elementary).
After placing first in the Physics, Astronomy, & Mathematics CUSF category, Tate Baum traveled to compete in Washington, D.C., at the end of October. Tate’s project, Throwing a Curve like Kershaw, earned him the Rising Star Award, guaranteeing an opportunity to observe and attend the Regeneron ISEF, the world’s largest international high school fair competition.
Provo is proud of all our students who gave their best this CUSF and for their perseverance. Your creativity and heart impressed us, judges, and families, and we want to thank you for making Provo a place of burgeoning progress and hope.
Thank you to our staff and students for working so hard this year, and we urge you and our district families to join their school’s local STEM fairs in the following years.
Learn more about the Central Utah Stem Fair here.