Regional Science Fair hits record numbers

Many entrants qualify to advance to state science fair

LIBERAL, KAN. (March 8, 2020) — If last weekend’s regional science fair is any indication, Southwest Kansas looks to have no shortage of science professionals in the future. A record number of more than 200 students showed up, displays and details in hand, to present science experiments on the SCCC campus Saturday. Ages ranged from kindergarten to high school juniors.

“Whatever their grade level, we view them all as future Saints, and this is a great opportunity to get them on campus and allow them to show the work they have done,” said SCCC Dean of Instruction Luke Dowell. “These are the kinds of experiences that can transform a student’s relationship to school, and experience science and math in a different way than what they normally see in the classroom.”

For most of the students at the event, however, the focus was on the moment. That included some anxiety, as volunteer fair judges circulated to talk about the projects with their creators. Among the science fair volunteers were several community members with expertise in various fields, SCCC faculty and students, and SCCC athletes from the Saints Baseball and Women’s Basketball team. Dr. William Bryan, event organizer and division chair, handled the logistics. Bryan stated “one of the benefits of our regional fair is being able to secure judges with expertise in the categories they are judging. We have been fortunate to have members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Seaboard Bioenergy; and community experts in counseling, engineering, and agronomy among others to help judge projects within the 22 categories that participants could compete within their respective age groups.”

Bryan, who initiated and has overseen the science fair for the 12 years of its existence, said he was pleased with the “good problem” of having so many entries.

“This is by far the biggest turnout of students from our region,” he said. “It creates the need for more people to work the fair and evaluate the projects, but we welcome that opportunity.” Bryan, who instructs and advises chemistry students in addition to his administrative role in the division and serving on the Board of the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair, sees the fair as a way to mentor, encourage, and recruit  young science students.

“These students might be in intermediate school, or just starting out, or they might be ready to select an institution of higher learning for their college journey,” he said. “One benefit of having this event at SCCC is to inform participants of potential summer research projects available on campus as well as to help prepare them to enter one of our full research programs with transfer benefit options to a university. Many of the judges in the middle school category are students in one of these research classes and they were able to share some of their experiences from their own research.”

Many student projects qualified for the Kansas State Science and Engineering Fair, another “good problem” for Bryan. He will spend the first several days of what the calendar lists as spring break in his SCCC office, completing paperwork for the state fair deadline.

“Several of our winners were repeat performances, which is always a gratifying thing to see,” he said. “What was amazing this year is that both the Senior and Intermediate category overall winners had also won the overall award in prior years. Ethan Duncan, overall Senior Winner, ties the record of having won this honor a total of three times. Duncan won the overall Junior project (2015), overall Intermediate (2018), and as a Sophomore the overall Senior this year. Rylan Williams, overall Intermediate winner, won the overall Junior division in 2017. We congratulate all our winners on excellent scholarship and presentation.”

Winners at the regional science fair, by category, are:

37. junior winner

Alex Fierro, overall junior winner, and Dr. William Bryan

36. intermediate winner

Rylan Williams, overall intermediate winner, and Dr. William Bryan

35. senior winner

Ethan Duncan, overall Senior winner, and Dr. William Bryan

Lower Elementary Grade Project Winners – not pictured

Third grade class : “Bounce! Bounce! Bounce!” – Ms. McLachlan’s Class (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) – Gold, Overall Young Scientist Division Winner

Second grade team : “Glowing Colors” – Kambelle Colvin and Maddy Vermillion (MacArthur Elementary, Seward County) – Gold

Second grade class : “Exploding Diet Coke” – Ms. Faurot’s Class (Fowler Grade School, Meade County ) – Gold

First grade class : “Melting Candy Canes” – Ms. Dizmang’s Class (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) – Gold 

Kindergarten class : “How Much Salt to Make An Egg Float” – Ms. Carrillo’s Class (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) Gold

Junior Plant Science  – not pictured

“Raise the Root!” – Jalynn Hockett (Moscow Elementary, Stevens County) – Gold, state qualifier

1. group. JPG

Junior Physics and Astronomy 

“May The Force Be With You” – Brad Wright (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – State qualifier

“A Fling in the Air” – Landry Fitzgerald (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County)- Gold, state qualifier

“Where We Dropping” – Daniel Saenz (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver, state qualifier

“The Fast and the Magnetous” – Bobby Littlewood (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) – Bronze, state qualifier

Jr. Microbiology – not pictured

“Five Second Rule Challenge: True or False” – Daniel DeVellen, and partners (MacArthur Elementary, Seward County) – Gold

3. individual

Junior Mathematics 

“How I Wonder” – Angel Chavarria (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) -Gold

4. pair

Junior Materials Science 

“Sticker Magnet” – LeAnn Teeter (Moscow Elementary, Stevens County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Expanding Metal” – Mason Weseloh (Haviland Elementary, Kiowa County) – Silver

5. group

Junior Engineering Mechanics 

“Oiled Fidget Spinner” – Colt Dizmang and Jacob McNeiner (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) – Gold

“Is the Bridge Strong Enough?” – Manny Mendoza (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Bronze

“Ready…Shoot” – Eriberto Moreno (Rolla Elementary, Morton County) – Silver

6. individual

Junior Energy Physical  

“Solar Powered Bristlebot” – Ellian Baeza (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Gold

7. group

Junior Earth and Environmental Science 

“Is What You…What You Get?” – Isabell DeVellen, Yurida Rayas, and Brooklyn Short (MacArthur Elementary, Seward County) – Bronze

“Speedy Tsunamis” – Rylin Roehr (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Wonderful Water” – Olivia Reza (Rolla Elementary, Morton County) – Silver, state qualifier

8. group

Junior Chemistry 

“Cold Colossal Crystals” – Natalie Villegas (Rolla Elementary, Morton County) – state qualifier

“Let’s Heat Things Up” – Alex Fierro (Rolla Elementary, Morton County) – Gold (tie), state qualifier, Overall Junior Winner

“Secret Identity” – Landree Forester (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) –  Gold (tie), state qualifier

“Mentos vs Soda” – Ethan Olmstead and Bren Kappelmann (MacArthur Elementary, Seward County) – Silver, state qualifier

“Fast Wax” – Melanie Cox (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Bronze, state qualifier

9. individual

Junior Cellular and Molecular Biology 

“Alien Bears” Porter Snook (Stanton County Elementary, Stanton County) – Gold

10. pair11. group

Junior Biochemistry 

“Chop It” – Kaiden Wiebe and Braycin Hoffman (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver

“Too Hot to Handle” – Bryce McDowell and Jordan Padgett (Fowler Grade School, Meade County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Toothpaste vs Germs” – Mariah Mendoza (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Bronze

“Guess What?”  – Cara Leonard (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver

“It’s In Your Genes” – Isaac McVey (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Gold

12. trio

Junior Behavioral Science 

“Soda Surprise” – Levi Penner (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Gold

“Smile!” – Rebekah Hall (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver

“Can They Get Away With It?” – Lindanis Puentes (Plains Elementary, Meade County) – Bronze

13. trio

Junior Animal Science 

“Paw Power” – Dayami Gonzalez and Aniramy Espinoza (Moscow Grade School, Stevens County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Toy Story” – Cy Greeson (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver, state qualifier

14. group of 7

Intermediate Plant Science

“Manure Test Plots” – Jaydon Edgar and Blaine Martin (Stanton County Elementary, Stanton County) – state qualifier

“Antioxidant Germination” – Emma Stanfield and Johanna Schupman (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Bronze, state qualifier

“How Are Plants Affected by too Much CO2?” – Rodrigo Sanchez and Julian Juarez (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – state qualifier

“Aquaponics vs Soil” – Zane Poulson (Hugoton Middle School, Stevens County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Heavy Metal Effects on Plant Growth” – Gabrielle Bolin (Rolla Junior High, Morton County) Silver, state qualifier

15. group

Intermediate Physics and Astronomy 

“Pennies in a Boat” Lacie Banman (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Apollo 19” – Matthew Rice and Toby Headrick (Eisenhower Middle School, Seward County) – Silver

“How Much Speed to Loop the Loop” – German Garcia (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Bronze

16. group

Intermediate Microbiology 

“Germs in School” – Wolfe Self, Lilly Hankins, and Stephanie Walkins (Fowler Junior High, Meade County) – Gold

17. pair

Intermediate Mathematics 

“Which Side of a Penny Holds More Water?” Yasmin Martinez and Layla Wright (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Gold, state qualifier

18. group

Intermediate Materials Science 

“Hot Potato” – Micah McDowell and Brenna Faurot (Fowler Junior High, Meade County) – Silver, state qualifier

“The Science Behind Plates” – Jose Alvarado (Rolla Junior High, Morton County) – Gold, state qualifier

“What is the Strongest Glue?” – Holling Sorter (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Bronze

19. group

Intermediate Environmental Engineering

“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” Chance Hafen and Caleb Friesen (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver

“Green Technology” – CT Vaughn and Danial Banman (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Gold, state qualifier

20. group

Intermediate Engineering Mechanics 

“Aerodynamics of Toy Cars” Nathan Ward (Seymour Rogers Middle School, Seward County)- Gold, state qualifier

“Frisbee Aerodynamics” – Mason Unruh and MKeegan Hoeffner (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Silver

“Curtain Call” – Abigail Foreman (Eisenhower Middle School, Seward County) – Bronze

21. group of 5

Intermediate Energy Chemical 

“Battle of the Batteries” – Andru Montemayor and Cason Leonard (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – State qualifier

“Plop Plop Fizz Fast” – Noah Garetson (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Bronze, state qualifier

“Lights Out” – Braxon Blackwood (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Silver, state qualifier

“Who Needs Poo We Doo” – Rylan Williams (Rolla Junior High, Morton County) – Gold, state qualifier, Overall Intermediate Winner

22. pair

Intermediate Energy Physical 

“Just Keep Cool” – Gage Lee and Noah Friesen (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Gold

23. group

Intermediate Earth and Environmental Science 

“Colorful Convection Currents” – Anessa Polzin and Aurora Walker (Stanton County Elementary, Stanton County) – Silver, state qualifier

“Recyclable Water Orbs” – Avery Scott and Karlee Nairn (Stanon County Elementary, Stanton County) – Bronze

“Seasons Seasoning” – Emma Phoenix (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Gold, state qualifier

24. group of 6

Intermediate Chemistry 

“It’s Raining Bath Bombs” – Maddie Sherwood (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Bronze, state qualifier

“Suds or Duds” – Tregan Parr and Leo Martinez (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Silver, state qualifier

“Crime Scene Chemistry” – Destiny Russom and Jasee McVey (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – Gold, state qualifier

“What Makes Ice Melt the Fastest?” – Jeyden Hernandez (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) state qualifier

25. individual

Intermediate Cellular and Molecular Biology 

“How Much DNA Can Pack a Cell” – Martin Garcia (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Gold

26. actual group

Intermediate Biomedical and Health Science

“Music Can Change You (Literally)!” – Kendra Hermreck and Makynzie Esarey (Hugoton Middle School, Stevens County) – Gold, state qualifier

“Fashion Statement or Practical Tool” – Jayden Burrows and Tobias Grubbs (Hugoton Middle School, Stevens County) – Silver

“Fatty Foods” – Kaylee Nix (Hugoton Middle School, Stevens County) – Bronze

27. trio

Intermediate Biochemistry 

“Surviving Flowers” – Crystal Saucedo (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Bronze

“Sweet, Salty, or Sour?” – Lexi Wright (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County) – Silver, state qualifier

“Gas … From Wheat?” – Adeline Woods (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County) – Gold, state qualifier (conditional)

28. group

Intermediate Behavioral/Social Science 

“Memory with Mnemonics” – Hailey Saucedo (Southwestern Heights Junior High, Seward County)- Silver, state qualifier

“How Much Music Affects Heart Rate” – Abby Zortman, Lexus Shelby, and Alex Zortman (Fowler Junior High, Meade County)- state qualifier (conditional)

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”—Kortney Hudgens (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – state qualifier

“Music Matters” – Bentley Fitzgerald (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) – state qualifier (conditional)

“Do You See What I Read?” – Kadence Hudgens (Sublette Middle School, Haskell County) -Bronze, state qualifier

“Will You Follow the Crowd?” – Elene Reza (Rolla Junior High, Morton County)- Gold, state qualifier

29. duo

Intermediate Animal Science 

“May the Rabies Be With You” – Rylee McAllister and Lyana Rovelo (Sublette Elementary, Haskell County)- Gold

30. duo

Senior Plant Science 

“Effect of Energy Drinks on Plants” – Victoria Bryan and Karina Rodriguez (Hugoton High School, Stevens County)- Gold, state qualifier

31. individual

Senior Energy Chemical 

“Bioluminescence: The Effect of Movement on Bioluminescent Algae Pyrocystislunula” – Ethan Duncan (Garden City High School, Finney County) – Gold, state qualifier, Overall Senior Division Winner

32. duo

Senior Energy Physical  

“Charged With Battery” – Ethan Boese and Charlie Littlewood (Fowler High School, Meade County)- Gold

33. duo

Senior Earth and Environmental Science 

“Making the Most of Moisture: Till vs No Till” – Jaxon Schwindt and Seungwoo Yeon (Rolla High School, Morton County) – Gold, state qualifier

34. trio

Senior Chemistry 

“Bubble Magic” – Shaylin Garcia and Damian Teran (Fowler High School, Meade County) – Silver

“Feel The Burn” – Joselyn Romesburg (Fowler High School, Meade County ) – Bronze

“Tummy Trouble” – Jessie Chen (Fowler High School, Meade County) – Gold

Categories: Awards & Honors, Math, Science & HPERD Division

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