EPISD students competed against more than 1,000 middle- and high-school students at the Texas Science and Engineering state competition in San Antonio, Texas earlier this month.
Twenty students from the El Paso Independent School District competed after placing at the Sun Country Science Fair in February. The annual event matches up the best of the best in Texas, relying on professionals in the science and engineering fields to judge each category.
Hornedo Middle School student Moinak Joddar placed second in the Translational Medical Sciences category and was selected to compete in the national Broadcom Masters competition.
“I was anxious to compete at the state fair, but was relieved to have placed well and qualify to apply to compete at the national level,” Joddar said.
Joddar’s project focused on Type 2 diabetes management and was inspired by his grandmother’s diagnosis.
“I conducted translational research into the effects of employing restorative health modifications – in the form of diet and exercise,” Joddar said.
To test his research Joddar had to collect blood sugar level data – nearly 295 readings – from several diabetic participants over the span of a week. He used programs like MATLAB and IBM SPSS to compute the data and model the correlation between heart rate, glycemic index and blood sugar.
Joddar is not the only EPISD student to shine at the competition.
Teammates Mariah Matos-Nuñez and Vanessa Rico from Transmountain Early College High School earned a first place special award for the Texas Academy of Audiology.
Their project was about identifying and testing for infectious bacteria found on in-ear headphones
The team decided to do a project about the kind of bacteria found on in-ear headphones after noticing a lot of students around campus wearing headphones.
“We started thinking if there was any bacteria on them that could be causing ear infections,” Rico said.
The students were able to not only show off their projects, but also meet with other young scientific minded students and STEM-career professionals at the three-day event.
“I got to see other students that worked really hard on their research and were proud of their work,” Rico said. “I felt like I was around future scientists that will make the world a better place and I felt that I could be like them too.”
EPISD Program Coordinator Lisa Rodriguez witnessed first hand how these students represented the District at the prestigious event.
“It truly was an honor meeting these young scientists. They are all full of such innovative ideas,” Rodriguez said. I was extremely impressed by not only the way they conducted themselves with the group but all those they met during this trip as well. I look forward to seeing how their ideas impact our future.”