By John Hernandez
Students from Mammoth Elementary STEM School brought home seven awards for their science projects at the Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF). The fair was held Mar. 11 to 16 at the Tucson Convention Center.
The Mammoth students competed with other students from schools all over southern Arizona. There were approximately 1300 projects entered ranging from kindergarten classes to high school.
SARSEF is one step towards the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) for high school students, which is in Phoenix this year. In previous years, students who participate in SARSEF have won 60 percent of the prizes at Intel ISEF. Intel ISEF gives more than four million dollars worth of scholarships and cash prizes.
“SARSEF directors told us that they think the reason why so many of SARSEF students win at Intel is because SARSEF is one of the only ones that start the kids out at kindergarten,” said Julie Formo, teacher at Mammoth Elementary STEM School. “We had eighteen students from our school who have now won awards for two years in a row and they are going into second grade next year.”
The Mammoth Elementary STEM School classes that worked hard on their projects and won at this year’s SARSEF are:
Investigating Germs – Teacher: Julie Formo, SciEnTek-12 Foundation, 3rd Place.
Soil Matters – Teacher: Julie Formo, SciEnTek-12 Foundation 2nd Place.
Larvapalooza – Teacher: Laura Faulkenberry, Cox Communications 1st Place.
Seed Germination – Teacher Laura Faulkenberry, SciEnTek-12 Foundation 2nd Place.
Awesome Hydroponics – Teacher: Jessica Sleeper, SciEnTek-12 Foundation 1st Place.
Making Compost – Teacher: Rosalie Sanchez, SciEnTek-12 Foundation 2nd Place.
Decomposers – Teacher: Laura Faulkenberry, Maren Wilson Award 1st Place.
SARSEF is sponsored by the SciEnTek–12 Foundation. Their mission is to excite young people about science and engineering. They support other programs and contests involving science, math, engineering and technology. Some students who have participated in SARSEF have gone on to become scientists or engineers.