Contributed Photo: Paul Anger, left, and winners of the 2019 Regional Science Fair gather for a picture.
By Paul Anger
DISCOVERY PARK CAMPUS – The EAC Discovery Park Campus hosted the 2019 Eastern Arizona Regional Science Fair Competition with the top winning projects and displays from 35 students from six Eastern Arizona Schools; Duncan High School, Thatcher High School, Safford Middle School, Dorothy Stinson Elementary, Discovery Plus Academy, and Bonita Schools.
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 the Graham and Greenlee County United Way to support Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) education in Eastern Arizona.
The competition was divided by grade levels: 5th and 6th grades, 7th and 8th grades, 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 members of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) and members of the professional community. The 1st- and 2nd-place winners in each category and grade level received a trophy and a rosette place ribbon, the 3rd-place and Honorable Mention recipients received a rosette place ribbon, and all participants received participation ribbons.
As an added incentive, the 1st-place overall winners in each grade level deemed by the judges to be the most original, useful, and well-created projects, received a 10” digital tablet with a keyboard. The best overall 5th- and 6th-grade display went to Madison Bennett from Bonita Schools with “Methane Madness” that explores the effect of different types of feed/digestion and the production of greenhouse gasses in animals. The best overall 7th- and 8th-grade display went to Bradoc Waite from Safford Middle School with “Under Pressure”, which investigated the effect of underinflated tires and fuel consumption. And the best overall high school display went to Brooklyn Kempton and Delanie Claridge from Duncan High School with “Red as a Lobster”, which determined the most effective way to apply sunscreen to prevent UV damage from the Sun. Additionally, each 1st-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 6 – 9, the Tonto Creek STEM Camp in Payson for grades 7 – 10, or the high school STEM/Astronomy camp for grades 9 -12.
The displays were open for public viewing Friday and Saturday, March 7 -9 in the Discovery Park Campus – Ranch House, and an awards ceremony for trophy and award presentations was held Saturday evening at 5 p.m. with a full house of the winning students’ families and friends.
The Eastern Arizona Science Initiative, or “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.
For more information contact Paul Anger, Director- EAC Discovery Park Campus, at (928) 428 – 6260.