Mandan News

Mandan High scientists to attend International Science Fair

Southwest Central Regional Science Fair winners from Mandan (l-r) Dale Spilman, Juilann Spilman and Eileen Spilman. (Submitted photo)

Southwest Central Regional Science Fair winners from Mandan (l-r) Dale Spilman, Juilann Spilman and Eileen Spilman. (Submitted photo)

The 64th annual North Dakota Science and Engineering Fair was hosted at the University of North Dakota on April 3 and 4. One Hundred and ninety five students advanced to the State Fair from six state regional fairs. Mandan advanced three students to the state fair from the Southwest Central Regional Fair held on March 12 at Bismarck State College. All three students from Mandan won awards and were recognized at the state level. This is the third consecutive year every Mandan student scientist received an award at the State level and the second straight year of advancing a MHS student to International Science and Engineering Fair competition.

Dale Spilman, a Mandan High School freshman, was awarded first place qualifier in the senior division of his region. This awards allows him to advance as a finalist to complete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, Calif., from May 11-16. Eileen Spilman, a MHS junior, was selected as an alternate and will also attend ISEF.

The ISEF is a premier global science competition for students in grades nine through 12 to participate along with 1,600 other students from 70 countries around the world. High School students that participate are top winners of regional, state and national science fairs from the United States and the world. The finalists compete for more than four million dollars in awards, scholarships, internships and prizes. These student finalists will compete in 17 scientific disciplines.

Dale’s project, titled “Fungus Amongus,” experimented with eight different solutions to determine which was best at eliminating black mold. Dale was awarded in the Senior Division the “Best Project in the Microbiology Category” at the regional fair and was also awarded the “Outstanding Project related to Human Nutrition and Nursing” at the state fair with a $200 cash award. With the first place qualifier award, Dale received a plaque and is to receive an $18,000 scholarship to Jamestown College.

Eileen project, titled “Equation of State Solver,” involved authoring a virtual basic program that used four equations of state to predict the physical property of a chemical using inputs of temperature and molar volume and then solved for pressure. Eileen was awarded in the Senior Division the “Best Project in the Computer Science Category” at the regional fair and was also awarded the “Outstanding Project in the Computer Science Category” at the state fair with a $50 cash award. She was selected as a finalist to compete at ISEF last year in Phoenix, Ariz.

Juliann Spilman, a Mandan Middle School eighth grader, competed in the Junior Division at the regional and state science fairs. Her project, titled “Effects of Freezing on Cells,” developed testing procedures and determined the effects of freezing life cells for green onions, a Canadian night crawler toxocara egg, and a human cheek. She was award best project in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category and a Broadcom MASTERS Program Best Award at the regional fair. Juliann was awarded “Outstanding Project in the Area of Life Sciences” at the state fair competition with a $50 cash award.

All three students are the children of Kelly and Timothy Spilman.

Julie Fleck, Mandan Science Fair advisor, chaperoned and advised the student at the State Fair. Fleck will also be the Mandan advisor at the International Science and Engineering Fair.