We held our first city-wide science
fair in the spring of
1958 and continued them on an annual basis until 1968
when the regional science fair in Amarillo was canceled.
According to the rules of the national
science fair, only the
top two students from each region are allowed to advance
to the national fair. In all, Pampa sent ten students to a
national fair. In four different years both of the students
advancing to the national fair from our region were Pampa
I attribute our success to the fact
that our teachers coop-
erated. The elementary teachers who were science oriented
helped those who were not and as a result the youngsters
had excellent training and good science project experience
prior to reaching high school. In fact, many from our el-
ementary schools won prizes at the regional fairs.
The science faculty at high school
was also capable and
interested. Wendell Watson, biology teacher, accompanied
students to national fairs as did Ferry Sikes, math teacher.
From 1961 through 1970 I served
on the International
Science Fair Advisory Council.
This chart summarizes the Pampa
High School participa-
tion In the national science fairs from 1957 - 1968.
1957 Malcolm Brown, Jr. Finalist Los Angeles, CA
1959 Robert Jernigan Fourth Hartford, CT
1960 Joe Bourland Second Indianapolis, IN
Gene Shelhamer Finalist
1961 Gene Shelhamer Finalist Kansas City, MO
1962 Harold Burgess Finalist Seattle, WA
1963 Cynthia Plaster Finalist Albuquerque, NM
1964 Cynthia Plaster Finalist Baltimore, MD
Avril Doucette Fourth
1965 Avril Doucette Finalist St. Louis, MO
Kent Clark Finalist
1967 Jim Brown Finalist San Francisco, CA
William Schumacher Finalist
Most of the above went on to outstanding careers in the
field of science. Their status as of 1990 is as follows.
DR. MALCOLM BROWN, JR.
Dr. Brown is at the University of Texas at Austin where he
occupies the Johnson & Johnson Centennial Chair in Plant
Cell Biology. He has established an International reputa-
tion for his cellulose research, He holds several patents, is
the author of three books and more than 100 articles.
A few of his honors include: the Darbaker prize in Phycol-
ogy for meritorious study of fresh water algae; the Lamb
Award, presented annually by the University of Nebraska
to an outstanding American botanist; and the Anselme
Payen Award, presented by the Cellulose, Paper and Tex-
tile division of the American Chemical Society.
DR. ROBERT L, JERNIGAN
Dr. Jernigan is the deputy chief of the Laboratory of Math-
ematical Biology in the National Cancer Institute of the
National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Man-
aging a laboratory such as this is a multi-million dollar
per year operation,
His basic research is in the field of molecular biology and
his laboratory has one of the only super computers in the
world dedicated to biomedical research.
Dr, Jernigan's work has attracted international attention,
He was invited to China in 1989 where he was given hon-
orary membership in the Chinese Biophysical Society -
the first one ever granted.
DR. JOE D. BOURLAND
Dr. Bourland and three of his colleagues founded the
Hildenbrand Biomedical Center at Purdue University in
West Lafayette, Indiana, in 1974. He is the coordinator of
biomedical engineering at the Center.
In the mid 70's Bourland's research group developed a
defibrillator to investigate cardiac defibrillation. This led
to the production of the world's smallest deflbrillator which
can be implanted in the human body.
Bourland has the responsibility for managing the patents
for the Center and in 1986 they sold one patent for a sum
which exceeded the cumulative income received by the
University for all royalties on books published and for pat-
ents and technology they lease.
CYNTHLA PLASTER BRANCH
After receiving her master of business administration de-
gree from the University of California at Berkeley, Ms,
Branch accepted a position with the Bank of America in
San Francisco, California. She eventually became project
manager for the $3.7 million project for a float system.
There she discovered and corrected a huge imbalance in
funds which saved the bank some $2 million annually, As
a result she received the Bank of America Award for "Ideas
in Action" and a check for $5,000.
Later, she and Pamela Clayton established the C+B Inte-
rior Construction Company. This company was so suc-
cessful that their first year's contract volume landed them
a spot on the San Francisco Business Times list of top
Bay Area Contractors.
DR. GENE SHELHAMER
Dr, Shelhamer has been a practicing dentist in Stamford,
Texas, since 1969, He is past president of the 17th Dis-
trict Dental Society and has served on the Board of Direc-
tors of the Texas Dental Association. His family was hon-
ored as "Family of the Year" in 1987 and he is active in
Mr. Burgess is employed by Koch Oil Company as systems
manager of the data acquisition computer program. Prior
to being promoted to this position, he had the responsibil-
ity for the justification, design and start-up of a refinery
sulfur plant that became capable of removing some 15-20
tons of sulfur from the atmosphere annually.
Despite heavy company duties, Burgess has been
presented with community service awards on three occa-
Clark is the only one of the national science fair winners
to have remained in Pampa. He received a B. S. degree
from what was then West Texas State University, He taught
math and science in several high schools for a time before
turning his talents to the computer business,
He has worked with local firms to install computer pro-
grams to fit their individual needs and is quite successful
in this business.
DR. AVRIL DOUCEETE RUSH
Dr. Rush entered the medical field and has been a practic-
ing family doctor in the Dallas area for a number of years.
After earning a master's degree in electrical engineering
from Texas Tech University, Brown worked for Texas · In-
struments in Dallas for a time. He was a design automa-
tion specialist. For the past several years he has been with
Johnson Controls in Carrollton, Texas.
Currently, he is the chief design engineer in Johnson's
product development department.
Unfortunately, I have lost contact
with Bill, but I do know
that he completed a college degree at West Texas.
PEOPLE WHO WERE GREAT CONTRIBUTORS
TROY MILLER - the head custodian
of the Pampa Inde-
pendent School District. District. He always did much
extra work to see that the fair site was exactly as I
WILLIE MAE MANGOLD - as chairman
of the jun-
ior high science department she encouraged students to
do projects and supported the fairs in every way.
PEGGY·DANIEL - a creativejunior
high teacher who
contributed time and suggestions.
MARY KEIM - a part of the junior high crew.
MRS. A. W. SKEWES - one of our most
ementary science teachers who contributed much to all
Without the work and interest of
these dedicated and co-
operative individuals we could not have produced the qual-
Ity students and projects that brought such great honor
to the Pampa schools, As the science fair coordinator for
ten years I will always be deeply appreciative of this group
and to so many whom I have not been able to name indi-
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