About 1,000 elementary, middle and high school SISD students competed in the district’s three science fairs and now those in 6th to 12th grade, whose projects ranked 1st or 2nd, will move on to the Sun Country Regional Science & Engineering Fair in February at UTEP.
Team SISD will have about 200 projects at the regional event, said Y. Stephanie Carrasco, the middle and high school science fair coordinator. Elementary winners do not move on to a regional meet.
The district science fair competitions began last November with elementary students. In December, middle school students took their turn. And on Jan. 23, high schoolers participated in the district science fair at Pebble Hills High School.
More than 250 students from grades 9th to 12th and 35 judges were at the annual event. Dressed in their Sunday best, the high school students answered questions from judges and others about their projects.
The quality of science projects this year was outstanding, Carrasco said. Students dealt with many subjects including global warming, robotics, and solutions for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Brianna Romero and Diana Lazare, seniors at El Dorado High School, showed how to best prevent soil erosion. The 16 year olds, who worked on the project for several months, discovered that the worst dirt for averting corrosion was caliche and the best was grass.
“Unfortunately, El Paso has a lot of caliche,” said Romero, who earned a third place for the project. “We have to find a way to add more grass (that doesn’t need a lot of water) to our area.”
Fourteen-year-old Koffi Amegble promised that his homemade portable solar powered generator works so well it can recharge a cellular telephone.
“I have charged two cell phones on this myself,” said the El Dorado High School freshman.
Amegble, who always has been interested in figuring out how electronic gadgets worked, placed first at the district competition and will move on to the Sun Country science fair. From there, the goal is making it to state in San Antonio and eventually he hopes for a career in the engineering field.
The district had the elementary and middle school science fairs on Nov. 14 and Dec. 5, respectively.
Sixty elementary students attended the district’s November science fair at Mission Ridge Elementary. Twenty-six campuses showed up to the event and 32 school projects were named winners.
“This year’s elementary science fair almost doubled in size from last year; it was a great event with so much participation from around the district.” said Jennifer Ellis Martinez, coordinator of the elementary science fair. “I am so happy to see that SISD’s elementary science fair is growing and becoming more popular. It shows that teachers, students, and parents are interested in the sciences and learning about the world we live in.”
The sweepstakes winners at the elementary level were Caroline Garcia, a third grader from John Drugan School, and Ryan Olivas, fourth grader at Dr. Sue Shook Elementary School. The campus sweepstakes winner went to Dr. Sue Shook.
The December middle school contest for 6th to 8th grade students showcased 463 entries in 20 different categories. Every middle school, including K-8th grade schools, were represented. John Drugan, with 38-winning projects, was the campus sweepstakes winner, Carrasco said.
“The participation was great,” she said. “We had so many good projects. I think we will do well at Sun Country. Kids have worked so hard and it is paying off.”