Discover Science.


  • Increase enrollment in the science fair.
  • Provide students with the opportunity to develop positive relationships with adults in the community.
  • Expose students to science in a new way.
  • Provide a meaningful civic engagement opportunity to the Austin community.

Our Impact

  • Assisted a total of 365 students in participating in the science fair.

  • Volunteers have provided over 7,000 hours to this program since 2014.

  • Programs currently offered at Neveln, Banfield, and Southgate Elementary Schools.


Number of students who have participated in the science fair kick-off activity.


Number of students who have participated in the science fair with the help of this project.


Number of students who have attended the regional science fair in Mankato with the help of this program.

Our Project

This project started in 2014 in an effort to remove language, educational, and socioeconomic barriers that prevent students from participating in the science fair. The Science Fair Mentoring Project was born out of a desire to support these students. Now in its fifth year, the Science Fair Mentoring Project has assisted 365 students participate in the local science fair, and 93 students to attend the Regional Science Fair in Mankato.

This project is led by a Board of Directors and steering committee comprised of the following community members and educators:

  • Catherine Haslag, Project Founder and C.E.O.

  • Carolyn Bogott, retired early childhood educator

  • Fred Bogott, retired doctor with Mayo Hospital

  • Rick Herreid, retired researcher from Hormel Research and Development

  • Gema Alvarado, Director of the Parenting Resource Center

  • Jake Vela, Success Coach, Banfield Elementary School

  • Shelly Weinmann, Teacher, Neveln Elementary School

Science Fair Mentoring Project

Why is the science fair important?

The science fair encourages students to be curious, ask their own questions, and seek the answers themselves. It allows students to engage in science in a hands-on manner, which leads to an increased level of self-confidence in our participants. Further, participating in the fair helps students develop their written and oral communication skills. Lastly, it teaches students valuable problem-solving skills by applying the scientific method.



Does your student need assistance with getting ready for the science fair? We would love to help!


Are you interested in participating in the science fair but don't know where to start?


Would you like to help a young student prepare for the fair and help them discover the amazing world of science?