Father and son both win spot at International Science Fair 37 years apart

Tom Rancour and his son Louis earned a spot at the international science fair in their sophomore year of high school, 37 years apart.
Published: Apr. 2, 2023 at 12:21 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - Most parents will feel overwhelming pride seeing their kid accomplish anything, but this pride goes so much further for a Wasta man whose son just earned a place at the International Science Fair.

Tom Rancour and his son Louis have a unique experience in common. They earned a spot at the international science fair in their sophomore year of high school, only they won 37 years apart. Tom says he can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu watching his son do the same things he did. They both placed through the High Plains Regional Science and Engineering fair adding to that feeling. Tom says of course he’s proud of his son but also wishes this opportunity could be afforded to all students.

“Going is the whole … that’s what your reward is. If I was wealthy, I would take every student that was at the High Plains Regional Science fair and take them there. Not to compete but to see the experience, see the presentations, the showmanship the projects that are done, all the different ideas,” said Tom Rancour.

Louis, whose presentation tested the amount of light reflected off of different shapes, says he is just happy to be a part of everything. He plans to take his father’s advice and try to make the most out of the event. He says he can’t point out one thing he’s most excited about, the whole picture is what makes this special for him.

“Just the overall experience of participating in the International Science Fair is of course amazing. You get to see different people from obviously different states and then all the high, top tier projects will be there,” said Louis Rancour.

Louis also wants to become an engineer like his father, but he wants to pursue mechanical engineering instead. The fair takes place from May 14-19 in Dallas, Texas, so the Rancours have a little time to pack their bags.