The Texas Science and Engineering Fair is set for March 31-April 1 in San Antonio.
[dropcap color=”#888″ type=”square”]T[/dropcap]he science fair season isn’t over for a few Aldine ISD students. A total of five students earned honors at the regional event. Four of those projects will compete at the [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]state contest this weekend.
Students first competed in district-level contests. The top three winners in each category advanced to regionals. Winners of the regional competition advance to the state contest.
At each level of the competition, students kept enhancing their projects. They also polished their presentation skills. Students had to be ready to present a three- to five-minute presentation to the judges. The presentation gives a description of their projects. Students also prepared to answer questions any time a judge stopped by their exhibit.
Xandra Williams-Earlie says the entire process is a learning experience for students. The science fair program also gives students a chance to explore STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields. Williams-Earlie serves as program director of secondary science.
“Science is an active, live process,” said Williams-Earlie. “Students can begin the process by thinking that a project or experiment will result in one thing. As they get the data, it may turn out to be something quite unexpected. They have to figure out what do they do or go from that point. What will they discover? That is real science.
“The science fairs are fun experiences. Students share their excitement about their projects. And it’s great to see the judges’ own interest in the students’ work. They will take time to share their expertise with students. That kind of rapport can impact a student’s decision to pursue a STEM field.”
[icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Creativity in science education is essential.
The regional science fair offers many ways to compete and earn recognition. Aside from science projects, there are quiz bowls and a poster design contest. The latter encourages students to think about STEM in an artistic way. They can create imaginative interpretations of the substance of science and engineering. Poster winners don’t advance to state contest. But they do receive recognition at the Science and Engineering Fair of Houston (SEFH) Award Ceremony.
The SEFH also held a mascot design competition. Students had to design a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck or that is used to symbolize a particular event or organization.
The SEFH mascot serves as branded representation of Houston’s only citywide science fair. It captures the attention attention of the students, school faculty and staff along with the greater Houston community at large. The mascot will be used on all SEFH correspondence, marketing and media items.
This year’s winner is Sherall García from Carver High School. Sherall created Oliver the Otter. As the winner, Sherall received a $100 cash award and recognition.
Aldine ISD had a total of 36 students take part in the 58th Annual 2017 [icons icon_name=”icon-external-link” icon_size=”14px”]Science and Engineering Fair of Houston. The contest took place at the University of Houston-Main Campus in late February. They competed with 117 schools from 18 surrounding school districts.
Regional Winners Advancing to State Contest
1st Place — Hannah Omoruyi
Project — Vegetarian Alternatives To Gelatin in Human Digestion
Category — Medicine and Health
Division — Junior
Campus — Lewis MS
2nd Place — Keilah South
Project — Evaporation and Condensation 2.0
Category — Chemistry
Division — Senior
Campus — Carver HS
1st Place — Irineo Sánchez
Project — Ultrasonic Map Creator
Category — Robotics and Intelligent Machines
Division — Senior
Campus — Davis HS
1st Place — Hamna Badat
Project — Biochar Miracles
Category — Plant Science
Division — Senior
Campus — Eisenhower HS
[ul class=”list list-search”] [li]Irineo Sánchez earned special awards from the John M. & Donna S. Dilorio Foundation, the University of Houston STEM Center, the Sam Houston Area Council and the Geographical Society of Houston.[/li] [li]Kalvry Cooper from Victory Early College HS received a special award from the Engineering, Science and Technology Council of Houston. The Council named him a finalist for a summer internship at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. [/li][/ul]
Mascot Design Winner
1st Place — Sherrall García @ Carver HS
(Information about winners and special awards provided by science program directors.)
Williams-Earlie could not be more proud of the students’ accomplishments. She hopes to see more students take part in the 2018 competition.
“The students did outstanding work in the science fair contests,” said Williams-Earlie. “I hope the science fair competition motivated and inspired them. Science should be fun and in the end, what is most important is for students to grow from the experience.
“The rigorous program helps develop students into confident individuals. By the end, they will develop the discipline and drive to reach their goals. The science fair program gives them a little taste of a possible future. As a result, they may find their passion to pursue STEM careers. That would be great.”