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Dothan City Schools Finishes Strong in Science Fair Competitions

Dothan City Schools Finishes Strong in Science Fair Competitions

DOTHAN, Ala. – After impressive gains in last year’s science fair, students across Dothan City Schools stepped up their game even more this year. Participation in grades 4-12 nearly tripled to over 660 students compared to last year. Approximately 120 students competed at the ACOM District Fair in January and from there nearly 60 students advanced to the regional competition in late February in Montgomery at Auburn University. Student winners from Highlands Elementary, Carver Math, Science and Technology, Selma Street Elementary and Dothan Preparatory Academy advanced to the state competition in April at Auburn University in Auburn. 

“It’s always a great day when we can celebrate the success of our students, and to have this kind of participation is outstanding!” says District Instructional Specialist, Dr. Mark Dunaway. “This is the success you expect when you empower students to challenge their thinking and experience that [productive struggle]. It gives them an extra skill set that prepares them for other things in school and beyond.”

To celebrate their achievement this year, the district presented all 668 student participants from 4-12 schools with a medal to honor their academic success. “This was important,” said Dunaway. “Our students have worked hard and continue to shine. We want them to feel special.” In addition, Science Leads from each school were presented with a plaque acknowledging their leadership and support. 

A special thank you goes out to all teachers, parents and administrators for supporting this endeavor. Additionally, the district would like to thank student mentors and Dr. Audrey Vasauskas and her team from the Alabama College of Osteopathic College (ACOM), who have partnered with Dothan City Schools since 2015. “ACOM has been instrumental in providing a number of resources and encouraging our students to think like scientists. We are grateful for the longevity of their support,” said Dunaway.  

Looking ahead to the new school year, science leads will meet with students and teachers in late August to gauge interest. From there, students will begin researching and planning their experiments until late November. Local school fairs and judging will be held in December 2023 followed by the ACOM District Fair in January 2024. All students are encouraged to participate.