Earlier this month, scores of Socorro Independent School District students placed and won at the SISD High School Science and Engineering Fair and the Sun Country Regional Science and Engineering Fair, both conducted at Pebble Hills High School.
More than 200 students competed at the SISD high school fair. The top winners advanced to the Sun Country regional competition, where they vied for spots to continue to the next level of competition.
Over 70 projects by SISD students also placed at Sun Country, qualifying them to compete in the Texas Science and Engineering Fair.
SISD took home sweepstakes awards in three categories — El Dorado High School won in physical science, Montwood High School for engineering science and Eastlake High School for life science. These awards automatically qualify those students for the International Science and Engineering Fair.
At SISD’s high school science fair, students competed in 21 categories overall, including physical science, life science, environmental science, engineering, and math.
“Projects at the high school level are a little more complicated and a little more in depth because they have more content,” said Frank McDonald, SISD instructional officer for secondary science. “So potentially these projects can lead to scholarships and lead to recognition at the university level.”
Montwood High School senior Wendy Sandoval has been setting her sights on the next level of study with her science fair project. She was inspired by a friend to make a new form of prosthetic arm to turn the wheel of a wheelchair.
Since starting the project three years ago, she has been able to procure a mentor, funding and access to a 3D printer, CNC machine and laser engravers by presenting her project to help her further her research.
“STEM is really what brings us together and, in the scientific community, everybody shares their knowledge because as scientists it’s our job to help humanity evolve and progress,” Sandoval said.
SISD high school projects were judged by University of Texas at El Paso students, EPCC professors and students, and DSC staff.
“I applaud the district for allowing individuals like myself to collect their big ideas to display them, to go to these great competitions to get critical feedback and to have the opportunity to advance to the state level so that what we are trying to showcase will be heard by more people,” said Jeremy Guerra, a junior at Eastlake High School. “You never know what will come of it.”