Waco Student Wins Trip to Washington D.C. As Science Fair Finalist

Sept. 30, 1999

by LoAna Lopez

Megan Jackson, an eighth-grader at St. Louis School in Waco, will travel to Washington D.C. in October as one of 40 finalists in the nationwide 1999 Discovery Young Scientist Challenge. She will compete for one of three scholarships and other prizes.

Jackson's project ("To boldly go where no ant has gone before!") focused on the use of natural repellents against harvest ants and fire ants. She is the daughter of James and Janis Jackson of Waco, and will travel with her parents to Washington D.C. Oct. 13-17.

"Megan is an outstanding student," said Jerry Whipple, junior high science teacher and assistant principal at St. Louis. "She is very strong in science and does a good job of formulating ideas and constructing experiments. Her work on this project will continue in the future to study whether or not she can accept or reject her hypothesis."

Jackson participated in and was nominated by the Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair at Baylor University. She was one of six students from that fair to qualify as semifinalists from a pool of more than 150 fairs and 2,900 students nationwide.

Other semifinalists from the Central Texas SEF were: Robert Hingtgen, William Johnson and Michael Pierce, Midway Middle School; Amanda Hartman, St. Louis School; and Lauren Green, Mexia Junior High School.

Jackson's all-expense-paid trip will include a week of science competition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. She and other participants will be judged on individual communication, leadership and problem-solving skills.

The next Central Texas Science and Engineering Fair is March 23-24, 2000, at Baylor University. Interested students at both the middle school and high school levels can get information about the science fairs from their schools.

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