Third Annual Dare County Science Fair

The 3rd Annual Science Fair winners, Maili McManus and Anna Figueroa, receive the news of their victory.

The 3rd Annual Science Fair winners, Maili McManus and Anna Figueroa, receive the news of their victory.

On December 13, 2018, Dare County Youth Council and the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) hosted the Third Annual Dare County Science Fair at the Coastal Studies Institute. Students from elementary, middle, high schools and homeschools across Dare County were encouraged to compete for a chance to win cash prizes, a tablet, and qualification for the upcoming Regional Science Fair competition hosted at ECU.  Prizes were provided through donations from Dare County Youth Council, the NC Farm Bureau, and CSI. Science Fair projects were judged on the proper use of the scientific method, background research, presentation and ability of participants to answer questions on their research.

First Flight Middle School student Joseph Roberts presents to the judges his work on “Forge it! How Heat Affects Metal.”

The competition included team and individual projects in the categories of engineering, math, biology, physics, and environmental science.  The first place winner in the elementary school division was Kingston Haynes from Nags Head Elementary School with the project “Mousetrap Car Experiment.”  The high school winner was Ethan Avery from Manteo High School with the project “Gamer’s Immunity.”  And the middle school winners and overall champions of this year’s Dare County Science Fair were Anna Figueroa and Maili McManus from First Flight Middle School. The duo was awarded the grand prize for their project called “The Study of Renewable Energy,” in which they designed, built, and tested their own wind turbine and evaluated its capacity to power the street lights in Dare County.

Plans are already being made for next year’s competition, and all winners form this year are eligible to compete at the regional level in February. The next STEM competition CSI will host is the NC Renewable Energy Challenge coming up in April where student teams from all over NC will compete to build the most efficient wind turbine, solar circuit or ocean energy device.

For more information on the 2019 Renewable Energy Challenge click here.


Many of the 2018 Dare County Science Fair winners pose with their prizes. Prize divisions included Elementary (grades 1-5), Junior (grades 6-8), and Senior (grades 9-12), plus special recognition for the project judges determined “Best Overall.”


The following information specifically applied to the 2018 Science Fair, however, may be helpful in planning to participate next year’s event. This page will be updated when 2019 Science Fair registration begins.


  • Elementary (3-5)
  • Junior (6-8)
  • Senior (9-12)


  • Biological Science
  • Chemistry
  • Earth/Environmental Science,
  • Physics and Mathematics
  • Technology
  • Engineering


  • Bring experiment to fair for presentation
  • Journal that contains your work. It can be drawings or background information on your project.
  • Research Paper – Abstract at a minimum
  • Project display board. Should include your title/name/question/results(summary)/how you solved question/materials you used/answer/what you learned/graphics(pictures or charts).

Research Paper

  • Title
  • Abstract (250 words max summarizing the experiment)
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Experimental Methods
  • Results (may include graphs and tables)
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography – five (5) major references

Steps for Participating in the Dare County Science Fair

For questions contact

  1. Forming a Question “Planning and Conducting the Investigation. If you need assistance in selecting a topic for your question visit“Topic Selection Wizard” is an online service to help generate science project topics. “Selecting a Science Project” is another helpful link with what to consider during your selection.
  2. Read about your Topic Gain background information about your topic. This will aid you during the judging portion of the Science Fair.
  3. Begin your Science Journal Your journal includes all research done on your topic. This will be part of your presentation of research. It will also help you answer questions judges may ask.
  4. Develop Decide how you plan to solve your problem using the knowledge you have acquired.
  5. Get your plan approved by your adult sponsor and your parents/guardians.
  6. Complete the Google Form located on at the bottom of this page.
  7. Start/Finish your Experiment The Science Fair begins on December 13, 2018 at  5:00 pm, at the Coastal Studies Institute at 850 Highway 345, Wanchese, NC 27981. Participants are encouraged to arrive early to set up their projects.

Helpful Links

Register for the Third Annual Dare County Science Fair using the form below.