Students from Georgia middle and high schools competed for 200 awards presented during Georgia Science & Engineering Fair, hosted by the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel in March.

New this year was an award by the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, honoring one middle and one high school student whose projects showed exceptional insight and creativity in research relating to conservation, environmental protection, or sustainability. Each winning student was awarded a job-shadowing experience, a behind-the-scenes tour, and tickets to the aquarium.

Another new award this year was the Junior Pinnacle Award. Fashioned after the highly coveted Pinnacle Award, which goes to the best overall senior-division project in the fair, the Junior Pinnacle Award trophy was awarded to the student with the best middle-school project.

The Georgia Patent Assistance for STEM Students (PASS) program was piloted during this year’s fair. Developed in conjunction with GSEF, PASS seeks to support young researchers in their pursuit of innovation by raising awareness of intellectual property protection and patenting resources. The highlight of this year’s implementation of PASS was a collaboration with an Atlanta law firm specializing in intellectual property, Meunier Carlin & Curfman. The firm sponsored an award granting 10 hours of legal assistance to a deserving GSEF exhibitor. A team of two girls from General Ray Davis Middle School won the award for their creation of a CPAP mask-mount sensor prototype for individuals with sleep apnea.

Thirty-four outstanding high school students will go on to represent the state of Georgia by competing in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona, May 12-17, 2019.