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Young scientist to compete for national recognition

September 29, 2008

One of Kyrene School District’s very own is heading to Washington, D.C., in October as one of the thirty young scientists named by the Society for Science & the Public as a finalist of its 2008 SSP Middle School Program—America’s premiere science competition for middle school students.

Rebecca Smouse from Tempe, Ariz., was selected as a finalist with her project, “The Ants Are Marching One by One.” Smouse participated in the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in spring 2008, hosted by Arizona State University’s American Indian Programs Office, qualifying her for this competition. Smouse is currently an 8th grader in Kyrene Prep located on the campus of Kyrene Middle School in Tempe.

The American Indians Program Office has been organizing science fairs for nearly 10 years and works with teachers throughout Arizona to encourage students to get excited about science, technology, engineering and math through participation in science fairs.

The 2008 finalists were selected from over 75,000 students who entered local science fairs nationwide in 2007–2008. From this pool, over 1,900 students submitted written entries and were narrowed down in early September to 300 semifinalists, representing 42 states and Puerto Rico.

Smouse, along with other finalists, will compete for $40,000 in scholarships and awards, with the top winner receiving a $20,000 award from the Society for Science & the Public. Each finalist will receive at least $500 in awards.

As the best and brightest young scientific minds in the nation, each of the 30 finalists and their teachers are honored for their dedication and achievement. Nobel Laureate and Chair of the Board of Trustees of Society for Science & the Public, Dudley Herschbach, said of the 2008 finalists, “It’s a joy to applaud the audacity, verve, and zest of these 30 youngsters in seeking and exploring challenging questions on their own. The exhilaration of discovering and sharing new insights is the driving force of science. That is why undertaking independent projects at an early age augers well for future achievement.”

Finalists receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, DC for a four-day event to be held October 18–22. The top winners, to be named October 21, will be selected based on presentation of their original science fair project and participation in team-based, interactive scientific challenges to be held at the Koshland Science Museum.

Elizabeth Marincola, President of Society for Science & the Public, said, “By rewarding our nation’s most outstanding young scientists, we hope to encourage their future interest in independent research while promoting public engagement in science in the schools and communities that they represent."

Society for Science & the Public, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public engagement in scientific research and education, owns and has administered the national middle school science program since 1999. SSP welcomes Elmer’s as a sponsor of this year’s program and is now working to identify a title sponsor for future years of its national middle school science program and competition.

About Society for Science & the Public
Since 1942, the science education programs of Society for Science & the Public (SSP), including the Intel Science Talent Search (originally the Westinghouse) and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, have produced future winners of the world’s most prestigious scientific and academic honors. Former Finalists of SSP programs have gone on to win the Nobel Prize, the Fields Medal, the National Medal of Science, and MacArthur Foundation Fellowships. Through decades of dedication to excellence, SSP has offered many of the most revered and prestigious science education resources in the world. To learn more about its programs and publications, including the nation’s leading science magazine, Science News, visit

About Elmer’s
Elmer’s® Products, Inc., headquartered in Columbus, OH, has been a trusted brand and industry leader for more than 60 years. Elmer’s produces a variety of well-known adhesives, arts and crafts, educational and office products for use at home, school, or business. Elmer’s branded products are developed to provide project solutions and to inspire people to create, build, and learn for life. For more information, visit

Chris Lambrakis,
(480) 727-1173
Public Affairs at ASU Polytechnic campus