Hurshel Antwine Middle students earn top prizes in Nuclear Science Week contest

Six Hurshel Antwine Middle School students in the Socorro Independent School District were the top winners in the Nuclear Power Institute (NPI) at Texas A&M University first-ever student competition in honor of Nuclear Science Week.

Carson Dunlop won first place in the 6th-8th grade individual video category and a $1,000 MasterCard gift certificate. Sofia Ceniceros, Jasmin Chacon, Leah Arambula won first place in the 6th-8th grade team video category and shared a $1,000 MasterCard gift certificate. Alizai Hinton and Daniela Mendez won second place in the 6th-8th grade team video category and shared a $500 MasterCard gift certificate.

The students created videos in the 2020 NSW student competition for Texas K-12 students on current or future impacts and applications of nuclear science and technology on modern life. Their projects were designed to promote discussion and increase awareness around nuclear science and technology in their local communities.

CTE Gateway and Technology instructor at Hurshel Antwine Middle School Ryan Trujillo is constantly searching for learning opportunities for his students to compete in and possibly earn awards like this one.

“I was very impressed with what the kids turned in,” Trujillo said. “They educated me on nuclear science. All I did was guide them with

Hurshel Antwine Middle students earn top prizes | Photo courtesy SISD

project management and research, and they took the rest from there.”

Hurshel Antwine seventh-grader Dunlop focused on comparing nuclear science with other fossil fuels in today’s world because he thinks it is an important topic for modern society.

“I enjoyed this project so much because it was open to any kind of research,” Dunlop said. “I didn’t have to get so technical with it and that gave me a sense of freewill.”

The students said they are inspired to enter the contest again and are hopeful to win even bigger prizes.

“We worked really hard as a team and I hope we can compete again next year,” Mendez said. “I owe lots of gratitude to Mr. Trujillo because he challenges us and pushes us to take a step further.”

The Hurshel Antwine winners gained recognition from Team SISD and NPI educators for their outstanding achievement in the contest.

“On behalf of Team SISD, I’d like to extend our deepest gratitude to Mr. Colson, and the TEES Nuclear Engineering & Science Center for providing our students with this great opportunity, said SISD Superintendent José Espinoza, Ed.D.

“A huge congratulations to Mr. Trujillo who is the reason why our students shined like superstars. Thank you for educating and treating our students as if they are our very own children.”

Hurshel Antwine Middle School principal Patricia Fernandez was thrilled about her students’ success, especially considering the unique instructional situations brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was so excited to see that our students made it all the way in this competition,” Fernandez said. “During these dark times, there is always light, and this is definitely one of those times with light.”