Missouri Tri-County Regional Science Fair: Changing Lives One Project At A Time


Logan Gee, Editor in Chief

The Missouri Tri-County Regional Science and Engineering Fair took place on April 1, allowing students from kindergarten to high school to show off their projects and earn awards from certified board judges.

There were projects from all of the districts in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties, as well as private schools and homeschooled students. Altogether,  there are projects from 38 different schools involved. Science department chair head and science research sponsor Jennifer Hess sponsored the event. Holt’s science research team had the opportunity to earn non-honors and honors awards as well as special awards that offered them cash prizes and opportunities to take their research to the next level. 

Science research judges assessed projects based on their merits overall, but also offered two special awards for projects specializing in natural preservation and biomedical science. These awards were the ‘That’s Geography!’ award from National Geographic for $100 and the ‘Regeneron Biomedical Science’ award for $375. These two special awards went to two Holt students, Lila Sverdrup (‘23) for her two-year project on the effect of anthropogenic noise on bumblebee foraging, and Andrew Bufalo (‘23) for his project on gene expression and its effects on a rare muscular disease.

“I feel accomplished when I am able to spread awareness of the decline of our native pollinators,” Sverdrup said. 

Bufalo also won the first place award overall for the category of Cellular and Molecular Biology and Sverdrup won the first place award for Environmental Science. 

“I’m incredibly grateful that my research is getting this much attention,” Bufalo said. “It feels amazing to be recognised for the thing that I’m most proud of.” 

Sverdrup and Bufalo also won second and first place respectively overall and will be advancing to the International Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest pre-college STEM convention in May. Regeneron’s ISEF will take place in Texas with more than 1,800 students competing for nearly six million dollars in awards overall.

Other Holt students also won awards for their inventive and innovative projects at the fair. In high school    non-honors, Vyapti Tyagi (‘25) and Parker Cross (‘25) won second and third place for their projects. For honors projects, Callie Logsdon (‘23) and Braden Burndhart (‘23) won second and third place in Engineering and Computer Science and Catie Gard (‘23) and Raegan Stinson (‘23) won second and third place in Behavioral Science. 

Holt’s science research team has

been making waves in their respective fields. Because of the class and their hard work, they will be able to change the lives of people, the environment and much more.

“It is super exciting for me to see kids of all ages get excited about science and about sharing their work,” Hess said. “It is especially gratifying to see my own students do well, qualify for ISEF, and see their hard work in research pay off.”

Because of the funding and support of corporations around the

United States, not just Holt students, but Missouri students are given the opportunity to be able to make a real difference in the world before they are even out of high school.