Discovery Park Campus hosts regional science fair

Contributed Photo: The 2018 Eastern Arizona Science Fair Competiton was held at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus. Payton Damron, left, and Delanie Claridge from Duncan High School took home honors for Best Overall high school display for their project about which cleaner best kills common bacteria.

SAFFORD – The EAC Discovery Park Campus hosted the 2018 Eastern Arizona Regional Science Fair Competition with projects and displays from 46 students from seven Eastern Arizona Schools; Duncan High School, Thatcher High School, Safford Middle School, Pima Jr. High School, Dorothy Stinson Elementary, Discovery Plus Academy, and Thatcher Elementary School.

Contributed Photo: Seth Russell, of Pima, was the middle school first overall winner.

The Science Fair competition provides an opportunity for some of the sharpest student minds in Eastern Arizona to come together and display the results of using the scientific method and creating an experiment to answer a proposed question.  The Competition is a yearly event sponsored by the Eastern Arizona Science Initiative (EASI) through grants from Freeport-McMoRan and the Graham County United Way to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) education in Eastern Arizona.

Contributed Photo: Shade Hargis finished in first place in the middle school division.

The competition was divided by grade levels: fifth and sixth grade, seventh and eighth grade, and high school grades, with three categories in each level; Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science.  The judges for this year’s competition were Freeport-McMoRan employees and members of the professional community.   The first- and second-place winners in each category and grade level received a trophy and a Rosette place ribbon, the third place, and honorable mention recipients received a rosette place ribbon, and all participants received participation ribbons.

Contributed Photo: Xavier Owens took home first place overall in the elementary school division.

As an added incentive, the first place overall winners in each grade level deemed by the judges to be the most original, useful, and well-created projects, received an RCA “Voyager” tablet with a keyboard.   The Best Overall fifth- and sixth-grade display went to Xavier Owens from Dorothy Stinson School with “Battery Life” that explores the effect that temperature has on battery life.

The Best Overall seventh- and eighth-grade display went to Seth Russell from Pima Jr. High School with “Nutty Energy” investigating the potential energy stored in different kinds of nuts. And the Best Overall high school display went to Payton Damron and Delanie Claridge from Duncan High School with “Clean as a Daisy” to determine which type of cleaner will best kill common bacteria.

Contributed Photo: Elisa Verdugo took home first place in the elementary school division.

Additionally, each first-place winner in each category will be awarded a full-tuition scholarship to the annual EASI Summer Science Camp applicable to their grade level; EASI Summer Science Camp for grades sixth-ninth, the Tonto Creek STEM Camp in Payson for grades seventh-tenth or the Anatomy & Physiology Camp for grades ninth-twelfth.  The displays were open for public viewing Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 in the Discovery Park Campus – Ranch House, and an awards ceremony for trophy and award presentations was held on Saturday evening at 5 p.m. with a full house of winners’ families and friends.

Contributed Photo: Jason Vallejos took home first place in the elementary school division.

The EASI is composed of teachers, professionals, and community members throughout Graham and Greenlee counties, cooperating to improve science education in Eastern Arizona and to provide extracurricular opportunities for students who demonstrate an interest or higher aptitude for science and to provide opportunities for teachers to improve their content knowledge in science.   Special thanks to Freeport McMoRan, the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME), the participating students and their parents, and especially the great teachers who took this opportunity to demonstrate the importance of applying the principles of science to real-life problems and questions.

Contributed Photo: Amora Baldwin took home first place in the middle school division.

For more information contact Paul Anger, Director- EAC Discovery Park Campus, at (928) 428 – 6260.

Contributed Photo: The 2018 Eastern Arizona Regional Science Fair Competition first- and second-place winners pose for a photograph.