Northern S.D. Science Fair

Northern hosts the annual Northern South Dakota Science and Mathematics Fair, showcasing hundreds of projects from young scientists in grades 6-12 from this region.

36th annual Fair

March 28, 2019

The event is affiliated with Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Washington, D.C. Several hundred students are expected to exhibit projects involving biology, botany, chemistry, physics, health and medicine, and more. Top winners will have an opportunity to exhibit at the International Science and Engineering Fair. The fair also features the NSU Science Bowl, with a junior division for grades 7-9 and senior division for grades 9-12. Judges are approximately 70 professionals from the Aberdeen area; Northern faculty; and upper-level Northern students.

2018 Winners

Team Winner

Nathan Rook and Conner Torrence, Aberdeen Central High School: "Low Cost 3-D Printed Robotic Arm"


Individual Grand Winners

Hailey Boekelheide, Northwestern School: "Recreating Ancient Art Mediums"

Danny Orr, Northwestern School: "Feasibility of Supplementation of Oxyhydrogen Gas to Increase Internal Combustion Efficiency"


Student observer

Jacob Kuch, Aberdeen Central High School: "Production of Cellulosic Ethanol via the Breakdown of Cardboard by Acids and Bases"


Quiz Bowl

Senior Division

1st place - Aberdeen Central

2nd place – Langford

3rd place – Frederick


Junior Division

1st place - Frederick

2nd place – Northwestern



Dwayne Rehfeld Award

The Dwayne Rehfeld Award for Excellence in Service and Science is given to a high school junior or senior participating in the fair. Dr. Rehfeld, a professor of chemistry at Northern for 23 years, started the regional fair in 1983. He encouraged the pursuit of excellence in scientific inquiry and associated critical thinking skills, as well as Christian values, respect for others, integrity, volunteerism, participation in extracurricular activities, and providing positive peer role models. The award includes cash for teaching materials for the winner's high school's science classroom; a cash award to the winning student; and a cash donation to the Aberdeen Salvation Army in the student's name.


What makes a good science fair project?

Students: Have you ever wondered how to begin a science fair project - what makes a good project - what sort of project to do? Explore below to learn how to get started!