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2011 Regional Science Fair Competition a complete success!

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2011 Regional Science Fair Competition a complete success!

By Lori Dugan

Thatcher, AZ—The first-ever Eastern Arizona Regional Science Fair Competition was held earlier this month at Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park Campus. The competition provided an opportunity for some of the sharpest student minds in eastern Arizona to come together and display the results of their experiments using the scientific method to answer a proposed question. Forty-three students from seven schools throughout Eastern Arizona were invited to participate in this regional event.

In order to be invited, students’ projects had to place either first or second in the Earth, Life, or Physical Science categories at their own school science fair competition and had to include all of the components necessary to compete at a regional level. Without the opportunity for local students to place at a regional science fair, they cannot continue to a State or National level of competition.

The competition was sponsored by the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI), and hosted by EAC’s Discovery Park Campus at the Circle “D” Ranch House. The competition was divided by grade levels: 5th and 6th grade, 7th and 8th grade, and open high school grades, with three categories in each level: Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.

All of the projects were judged by EAC science and mathematics instructors including Dr. Phil McBride, chemistry; Dave Henson, biology; Tammy Gillespie, anatomy; and Dr. Mark Madsen, mathematics. The first and second place winners in each category received a trophy and ribbon while third place and honorable mention winners received a ribbon. All participants received participation ribbons and certificates. As an added incentive, the first place winners in each category were also awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the annual EASI Summer Science Camp in June.

The displays were open for public viewing Friday and Saturday at the Circle “D” Ranch House, with an awards ceremony and trophy presentation Saturday evening.

In the open high school competition, the first place winner was Levi Webster from Willcox High School with Ever Clean Filters. The second and third place winners, along with the honorable mention winners were team entries from Thatcher High School and included McKenzie DeSpain, Rachel Wilhelm, and Rikki Woods in second place with Green Insulation; and Devin Hatch, Tyler Russell, and Josh Woods in third place with Corn Starch Fiesta. The honorable mention winners were Heather Broadhead and Michelle Robinson with The Physics of Fire.

In the middle school competitions the Earth Science winners were Fernando Gutierrez of Elfrida Middle School with Speed of Light taking first place and Braulio Sierra, also of Elfrida, with South vs. North taking second.

The middle school Life Science competition was also swept by students from Elfrida and included Brittany Noble in first place with Yummy in a Bird’s Tummy, and Brad Nichols taking second with Green and Hot.

The middle school Physical Science competition winners were Audri Webster of Bonita School in first place with The Wheel Deal, John Minter of Elfrida Middle School in second place with Sugar, You’re on Fire, and honorable mention went to Devin Perez, also of Elfrida Middle School with Sun Bathing Beads.

In the elementary school Earth Science competition the first place winner was Kristi Webster of Bonita Elementary School with Dirty to Drinkable. The second place finish resulted in a tie between Austin Skinner of Discovery Plus Academy with Plop, Plop, Fizz Fast and Tara Wilhelm of Bonita Elementary School with Iron Cereal. The third place winner was Mac Talley of Pima Elementary School, and honorable mention went to Joshua Crosby of Discovery Plus Academy with Which Toothpaste Cleans Best?

In the elementary Life Science competition the winners were Torrie Beus of Pima Elementary taking first place with Here We Grow Again, Elizabeth Skinner of Ruth Powell Elementary taking second with Operation Hatch, and third place going to Madison Michelles of Bonita Elementary with Lawn Mowing Cattle. Honorable mention designations went to Jolissa Langley of Pima Elementary with Are Horses Picky? , and Christopher Miller of Elfrida Elementary with Garden Savers.

The elementary Physical Science competition winners were Taylor Saline of Pima Elementary in first place with Temperature Pop, Mackenzie Davis of Discovery Plus Academy in second place with How Much Pop, Mattie James of Pima Elementary in third place with The Great Bake, and Inostroza Romero of Ruth Powell receiving an honorable mention designation for Ouch, You Shocked Me!

“The educators and professionals involved with the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative and the EAC Discovery Park Campus are pleased to cooperate in bringing this important event together in order to assist the outstanding teachers in Eastern Arizona in promoting science education in all grade levels and to influence our youth in seeking science oriented careers,” said Paul Anger, Discovery Park Campus director and coordinator for the fair. “Special thanks go to the EAC Science and Math Department instructors for their time and dedication in judging the displays, to the great teachers who took this opportunity to demonstrate the importance of applying the principles of science to real-life problems and questions, and especially to the participating students and their parents.”

For more information on the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative’s programs or the EAC Discovery Park Campus contact Anger at (928) 428-6260.