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2012 Regional Science Fair Competition a success

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2012 Regional Science Fair Competition a success

By Lexi Heninger

Thatcher, AZ—2012 Regional Science Fair Competition a complete success! The 2012 Eastern Arizona Regional Science Fair competition was held January 20-21, 2012, 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. Thirty-eight students from six 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. With the initiation of this regional event, the doors are now open for our local students to compete and succeed at these higher levels.

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.

The first and second place winners in each category received a money prize, as well as 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.

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 combined categories competition, the first place winners were Heather Leamon and Maddy Windsor, from Thatcher High School. The second and third place winners, along with the honorable mention winners were also from Thatcher High School, and included Ethan Bryce, Ryan Hincha, and Luke Ochoa in second place; and Klair Bryce, Kelly McCormies, and McKenna Stevens in third place. The honorable mention winners were Tyler Jenson, Brandon Jorgensen, and Presley Motes.

In the middle school competitions, the Earth Science winners were Taylor Swapp, of Safford Middle School, taking first place, and Elizabeth Skinner, also of Safford, taking second.

The middle school Life Science winners included Johnny Boren, of Pima Jr. High, taking first; Jessica Taylor, also of Pima Jr. High, taking second; and Cal Hargis, of Safford Middle School, taking third. Honorable mentions went to Torrie Beus, of Pima Jr. High; and Kaitlyn McDougal, of Safford Middle School.

The middle school Physical Science competition was swept by Pima Jr. High, with Payton Hawkins taking first place, McKenzie Miller taking second, Sarah Bryce taking third. An honorable mention was awarded to Sergio Aquinaga, of Safford Middle School.

In the elementary school Earth Science competition, the first place winner was Emily Konopnicki, of Ruth Powell Elementary. The second place prize went to Mac Talley, of Pima Elementary. The third place winner was Belisa Rios, of Ruth Powell Elementary.

In the elementary Life Science competition the winners were Joshua Romero, of Ruth Powell Elementary, taking first place; Frankie Arrellin, also of Ruth Powell Elementary, taking second; and third place went to Andrew Taylor, of Pima Elementary. Honorable mention went to Brianna Jones, also of Pima Elementary.

The elementary Physical Science competition winners were Kaden Moore, of Pima Elementary, in first place, Kristin Bilicic, of Ruth Powell Elementary in second, and Kritiauna Bryce, of Pima Elementary in third place. Receiving honorable mentions were Allissa Salyer, of Pima Elementary, Jonathan Merino, of Solomon Elementary, and Sydney Fite, of Ruth Powell Elementary.

“Science Fairs are a great way for students to learn more about the world around them through research, hypothesis, and experimentation, as well as how to display and present their information. These multifaceted activities can influence a student’s future into the sciences, and quite possibly lead to future research and improvements in our health, lives, and the world we live in,” said Paul Anger, Discovery Park Campus director and coordinator for the fair. “Special thanks go to the participating students and their parents, and especially to the great teachers who took this opportunity to demonstrate the importance of applying the principles of science to real-life problems and questions.”

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