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FER 4.0

March 14, 2020

Click here to read about how this year's FER went virtual!


We extend a thank you to all of our amazing students from George L. Catrambone, St. Joseph's Academy, Newark Boys Chorus School, and Long Branch Middle School for submitting their projects electronically this year. 

A very special (and very large) thank you goes out to all of our wonderful middle school teachers and Drew judges who, with their unfaltering commitment and communication, helped make this event happen.

Stay healthy, and most importantly stay curious!


FER 4.0

Fair For Emerging Researchers 4.0

March 14, 2020

Join us in our fourth year of Drew University's Fair for Emerging Researchers!


Who We Are

A bit about Civic Scholars Stefanie and Marina, the organizers of FER 4.0!


Stefanie DeFronzo

FER 4.0 Organizer

A senior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major here at Drew, Stefanie spends a lot of her time in the lab. When she's not studying for an exam or running an experiment, Stefanie can be found crafting emails, eating avocados, or singing showtunes. Having worked with Jordan to organize last year's FER, she is stoked to be able to continue this wonderful event into its 4th year!

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Marina Hahn

FER 4.0 Organizer

In addition to being a Civic Scholar and Baldwin Honors student, Marina is a senior Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major here at Drew. Even as a commuter, Marina makes time in her busy schedule to be on the executive board of both Drew's Chemistry Society and Biology Honors Society, while also being a star on the Fencing team! She is very excited to be a part of the FER 4.0!


About the FER

The Fair for Emerging Researchers is a science fair for middle school students in the NY/NJ area. It was created in 2017 to provide a Project-Based Learning approach to science for students who would not otherwise be able to participate in such an event. Each year, we strive to improve the FER by reaching out to a diverse array of students in varying school districts. We have previously worked with students from schools such as Harlem Educational Activities Fund, George L. Catrambone School, Avenel Middle School, and Roosevelt Public Middle School.

The FER was created to offer students of all backgrounds the opportunity to design their own research project and present their findings. We hope that this process can lead students to discover a passion for science, education, and exploration. The FER also aims to demonstrate that learning can be fun, and applicable to the world at large. 

In the fall, Drew students visit interested middle schools and introduce the idea of the FER as well as the scientific method. 
In the spring, the participating students will present their research projects to Drew faculty and student judges,
as well as judges from the American Chemical Society and local pharmaceutical companies. Students have the opportunity to win prizes.

The FER 4.0 will take place on March 14th, 2020 at Drew University. In addition to presenting their projects, participating middle school students will have the chance to interact with Drew students. Campus clubs such as Drew's Chemistry Society, Physics Club, Math Club, and Pre-Health Society will be in attendance, with exciting demos and details of how to get involved in the sciences.

The goal of the FER is to engage curiosity, spark interest in science, and empower the younger generation to continue to pursue their interests into higher education. We hope that participating students will leave with a heightened curiosity towards, and an excitement for, the sciences. 


Gamma Sigma Epsilon

Drew's Chemistry Honors Society

Meet some Drew Student Scientists!


Maimouna Kante

Drew C'20 Environmental Studies/Sustainability and Biology Major

Maimouna is a senior Environmental Studies/Sustainability and Biology major at Drew with a Public Health minor. She is from Mali, West Africa, and got to participate in her school's very first science fair in 8th grade in which she wiped bread on different surfaces and observed the growth of mold over a 5 day period.

Research at Drew

"I joined Dr. Tammy Windfelder's Drew Summer Science Institute team the summer of 2018 to continue her long term project of monitoring the mammal population (squirrels, chipmunks, and deer) on Drew’s campus."

Thinking toward the future

"During my junior year of high school I enrolled in a capstone course where we were given the opportunity to investigate a question of our choice. I knew then that I enjoyed asking questions and getting close to answers in the way science allows you to."

Before college

"Throughout middle school, high school and college the best experiences have been rooted in meeting the most incredible peers and mentors. They have played roles in showing me opportunities and allowing me to grow in my own space while still challenging me." 

The importance of science

"I think it is so valuable to ask questions. Young generations must ask questions not to necessarily get an answer but rather to eliminate potential answers. Specifically, as a young African woman I want to encourage us to create a scientific world that embraces intersectionality in a way that it never did before for all genders, races, nationalities, and culture. The ability to ask questions must be available to all."


John Rinald

Drew C'20 Neuroscience Major

John is a senior Neuroscience major at Drew. John is from Toms River, NJ, and participated in his high school's science fair where he looked at how well magnets worked at high temperatures. 

Research at Drew

"I am researching a medicine that could be used to treat Alzheimer’s Disease. I got involved by talking to my professor about the work that he does!"

Thinking toward the future

"English was my favorite class. I have always liked writing, especially when I get to teach somebody else about something that I am interested in."

The best of college

"The best part of college is getting to take more classes in the subjects that really excite me."

The importance of science

"Science is how we answer questions about our world. For me, it is the best way to learn new things, because you are learning through your own experiences." 


Abigail Mullen

Drew C'20 Chemistry Major

Abigail is a senior Chemistry major at Drew with minors in Environmental Studies/Sustainability and French. She is from Moorestown, NJ, and remembers participating in her school science fair as a highlight of her time in middle school!

Research at Drew

"Since the summer of my first year, I have been conducting research on the reactivity of osmium clusters. I started out by shadowing a senior who was working with the professor I wanted to work with. At the end of the semester, I was invited to participate in Drew's Summer Science Institute where I worked with my professor to create and conduct my own research project."

Thinking toward the future

"My favorite subject throughout middle and high school was art. I still have passion for art and paint and drawing in my free time. I plan to go on to complete a PhD program in Chemistry and work in industry or academia."

Before college

"My favorite memory from high school is walking to the convenience store after school with my sister to get slushies. Now I’m in college and I get slushies with my friends at school. I guess  some things never change!"

The importance of science

"I’m passionate about science because I love developing new ways to solve problems and testing my hypotheses. It’s important for younger generations to be involved in this, as they are the problem solvers of the future."


Past Co-Sponsors

They help to make the FER happen


Drew University Center for Civic Engagement and the Civic Scholars


Gamma Sigma Epsilon: National Chemistry Honors Society


New Jersey STEM Pathways Network


American Chemical Society


American Society for Cell Biology


Tri-Beta Biological Honors Society


Merck Pharmaceuticals


Submit your Project!

Science starts now.

Thank you for your participation in the Fair for Emerging Researchers! We are very excited to hear about your projects! Initial project proposals are due on January 13, 2020. Only one form is required per project. Please email us at drewscifair@gmail.com if you have any questions!

Click to get started


“The important thing is not to stop questioning.
Curiosity has its own reason for existing."

Albert Einstein


FER 3.0 Organizer

Drew C' 2019


FER 2.0 Organizer

Drew C' 2018


Saif Yasin

FER Founder

Drew C' 2017



For more information about Drew University's Fair for Emerging Researchers, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Drew University
36 Madison Ave
Madison, NJ 07940