Inaugural Finger Lakes Science Fair – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Inaugural Finger Lakes Science Fair

The Finger Lakes Institute has received generous support from the Dorr Foundation that will help provide stipends to school districts to cover field trip expenses when they participate in the institute’s EPA Award-winning Science on Seneca (SOS) program, or the first Finger Lakes Science Fair, slated to take place April 28, 2011.  

The Finger Lakes Science Fair will allow students to showcase, and potentially receive an award for, their research on a topic of interest related to the Finger Lakes environment. Three students will be considered for a $15,000 annual scholarship to Hobart and William Smith Colleges. 

Science on Seneca

For participation in the SOS program, a high school teacher must have been previously trained on the HWS research vessel, the The William Scandling. There will be another training session in the fall at a soon-to-be announced date.  In order to receive a stipend for travel for the SOS program, the student class attending must be in high school, grades 9 through 12. Award amounts range between $250 and $500 per school, and are awarded based on school district needs. For an application contact: Sheila Myers, education outreach coordinator for the Finger Lakes Institute

The SOS program will include a tour on the The William Scandling, as well as an extended HWS campus tour emphasizing the science research labs and interaction with HWS students studying in the sciences. It is expected that high schools will allow their students to participate in this extended visit and plan accordingly to stay on campus for at least an hour either before or after the boat tour. To book a SOS field trip, teachers must request a date with Barb Halfman, geosciences technician, and verify with Myers to coordinate the campus portion of the tour. 

Science Fair

The inaugural Finger Lakes Science Fair will be held on April 28, 2011, in the Vandervort Room of the Scandling Campus Center. Any high school student in the region is allowed to compete in the science fair. Faculty and science alums from HWS will judge the fair. Students are expected to showcase, in a poster presentation, original research on a topic related to the Finger Lakes environment and watershed. They may want to integrate their findings from the SOS program. The Finger Lakes Institute will provide the instructions and funding to print the posters in a 2′ x 3′ format and will establish a wiki page to assist students in finding research, access to data, and to answer other questions. 

Students will compete for a number of awards at the science fair. Among them will be the chance to receive a college scholarship. Three sophomores or juniors will gain consideration for a Faculty Scholarship from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. If these students apply to Hobart and William Smith as seniors, have a GPA of 90.0 or above, and are admitted to and enroll at HWS, they will be awarded a Faculty Scholarship worth $15,000 per year for four years of study at the Colleges.

Further information about the science fair will become available in the fall. To obtain an application for a stipend for travel (between $250 and $500 per district) and admission/judging criteria for the science fair, contact Myers at

These opportunities are offered through the generous support of the Dorr Foundation and the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Office of Admissions.