Oxford and Lafayette Students Win Top Prizes in Regional Science Fair

University hosts MSEF Region VII Lower Fair for area first-sixth graders to display projects

Students from 13 north Mississippi counties competed virtually in April in the Region VII Mississippi Science Fair hosted by the University of Mississippi’s Office of Pre-College Programs. Oxford and Lafayette County first- through sixth-graders took home various prizes including (from left) Sebastian ‘Teag’ Pfrenger, of Lafayette, second place in Animal Sciences; Lex Gray, of Oxford, second place in Earth and Environmental Science; and Rahma Ibrahim, of Oxford, first place in Inorganic Chemistry. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Students from Oxford and Lafayette elementary and middle schools competed among fellow budding scientists from 13 north Mississippi counties in April during the Region VII Mississippi Science and Engineering Fair hosted by the University of Mississippi‘s Office of Pre-College Programs.

Students submitted videos of themselves with their projects and explained each part of their scientific process as part of this year’s judging. Awards were announced on April 21 via a video posted online and sent out to all participating schools.

Judges for the lower fair consisted of Ole Miss faculty members and research scientists.

Jason Ritchie, UM associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry who also serves as the scientific review committee chairman for the MSEF, said that it was good to see how many students were able to complete their science fair projects this year despite this year’s challenges.

“I loved seeing how hard they worked and the grit that they showed in completing their projects amidst all the upheaval during the pandemic,” he said. “It’s reassuring to see that all of these students are interested in scientific topics and discovery. I very much enjoyed seeing the products of their research.”

Area scientists in first through sixth grades who placed in this year’s competition included the following students from the Lafayette School District: first place winners Jovie Loprinzi in Behavioral and Social Science and Briley Wright in Earth and Environmental Science.

Second-place winners were Elizabeth Carwile in Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Bailey Morrow in Biomedical and Health Sciences, Sebastian “Teag” Pfrenger in Animal Sciences and Parker Stepp in Engineering Mechanics.

Students who earned third-place prizes include Anna Kate Easley in Inorganic Chemistry and Jett Pollard in Microbiology.

Oxford School District students who placed in the competition included first place winners Emerson Bondurant in Biomedical and Health Sciences, Aisha Gul in Biochemistry, Hamahdan Hassan in Animal Science, Rahma Ibrahim in Inorganic Chemistry, Sagan Karthikeyan in Microbiology, Latham Laws in Engineering Mechanics, Max Milinovich in Mathematics and Systems Software, Cody Ritchie in Plant Science and Donald Stock in Physics and Astronomy.

Second-place finishers included Srihan Bandari in Microbiology, Lex Gray in Earth and Environmental Science and Reem Radwan in Inorganic Chemistry.

The Office of Pre-College Programs offers a variety of programs throughout the year for elementary, middle and high school students, including academic competitions and summer programs.