WCCUSD announces student STEM Fair winners

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WCCUSD announces student STEM Fair winners
“Survival of the Fittest: A Comparison of Fitness Trackers,” by Zola Grondahl, 7th grade, earned the Bob Fabrini Award.

By Kathy Chouteau

The West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) has announced the 6th through 12th grade student winners of its annual “STEM Fair,” which was held on Zoom Thurs., Feb. 17. The students shared their research in an array of areas, including Physical Science, Biological Science, Behavioral Science and Engineering/Tech/Innovation, per the district.

According to the district, the STEM Fair’s first and second place winners can advance to the virtual regional Golden Gate STEM Fair the week of March 7, and may earn the chance to move on to the virtual California Science & Engineering Fair in April.

First, second and third place winners will have medals delivered to their site/classroom, every student will receive a certificate for their participation and first place winners will receive a check delivered to them at home in the coming weeks, added the district.

More than 30 representatives from organizations and universities throughout the Bay Area—including Rebecca Lin of Chevron and others from the USDA, Bio-Rad, UC Berkeley and other places—helped judge the 49 student entries originating from nine district schools. 

“Thank you to the many teachers and site leaders who supported the fair along the way,” stated the district within Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst’s weekly newsletter.

Check out a slide deck from the STEM Fair with photos of the winning projects here and the list of winners below:

6th Grade Biological Sciences: 3rd Place: “Studying Root Growth Experiment,” by Elsa Graff and Eva Acosta Martinez; also 3rd Place: “How Do Plants Grow in Different Environments,” by Kalista Quinlan; and 4th Place: “What Are the Odds of a Person Getting an Autoimmune Disease,” by Sinjin Bishop.

3rd Place: “Studying Root Growth Experiment,” by Elsa Graff and Eva Acosta Martinez

6th Grade Engineering, Innovation & Technology: 3rd Place: “Bike Cleanup Project,” by Natalia Montoya, Maddie Cooper and Amelie Wolfer.

6th Grade Physical Sciences: 2nd Place: “Salty Eggs,” by Kaelyn Saechin; 3rd Place: “Which Detergent is the Most Effective,” by Ny’Ari Davis; also 3rd Place, “Chemicals in Motion,” by Merist Phillips; and 4th Place: “Swimming Rocks,” by Daniel Navarro.

6th Grade Social & Behavioral Sciences: 1st Place: “How Does Different Music Affect Animal Behavior?” by Nahal Vosoughi and Kaila Ratner; 2nd Place: “Does Music Affect People’s Mood?” by Lauren Ochong; 3rd Place: “Taste of Colors,” by Bethany Mark; 4th Place: “To See if Color Affects the Taste of Water,” (name unlisted); and also 4th Place: “Science with Cats: Studying How Age Might Affect Cat’s Sleeping Schedules,” by Olive Ziegler and Kiri Marsh.

2nd Place: “To Drink or Not to Drink, a Test of How Long Milk Really Lasts,” by Vivien Mossman

7th Grade Biological Sciences: 1st Place: “The Effects of Ash on Plant Growth,” by Azha Elsaesser; 2nd Place: “To Drink or Not to Drink, a Test of How Long Milk Really Lasts,” by Vivien Mossman; and 3rd Place: “Musical Plants,” by Piper Gomez-Zahnley.

7th Grade Engineering, Innovation & Technology: 1st Place: “Survival of the Fittest—a Comparison of Fitness Trackers,” by Zola Grondahl; 2nd Place: “How Does the Number of Fins Affect the Altitude Reached by a Rocket?” by Tristan Dos Santos; 3rd Place: “Cotton Candy Cart—a Therapeutic Toy for Cerebral Palsy (name unlisted); 4th Place: “Traffic Tamer,” (name unlisted); and also 4th Place: “Which Kind of High Quality Mask Gives the Most Oxygen to the Blood,” by Ben Nadel.

4th Place: “Which Kind of High Quality Mask Gives the Most Oxygen to the Blood,” by Ben Nadel.

7th Grade Physical Sciences: 2nd Place: “The Effect of Different Liquids on Infrared Radiation,” by Claire Connallon; 3rd Place: “Stargazing in the City,” by Owen Miller; also 3rd Place: “Water Evaporation from Jars of Different Soils,” (name unlisted); 4th Place: “How Do Different Colors Affect the Rate at Which Ice Melts?” (name unlisted); also 4th Place: “EMF Levels at Different Cell Towers,” by August Broaddus; also 4th Place: “How Does the Angle of Metal, Relative to the Heat Source, Affect the Metals Ability to Conduct Heat?” by Corwin Gauna; and also 4th Place: “What Common Inanimate Objects Found in Nature Melts Ice the Fastest?” by Alexander Becker.

8th Grade Engineering, Innovation & Technology: 4th Place: “Catchy Claw,” (name unlisted); and also 4th Place: “Disaster Delivery (version 1.0),” (name unlisted).

10th Grade Engineering, Innovation & Technology: 2nd Place: “Piano Playing Machine Prototype,” by Hugo Bale.

11th Grade Biological Sciences: 1st Place: “Scientific Study on Compost (2021-2022)—The Science, the Significance, the Solution,” by Haley Solis; 2nd Place: “Food Waste to Energy—Optimization of Methane Production through the Process of Anaerobic Digestion,” (name unlisted); 4th Place: “Genetics and Medicine—Why Do Some People Respond to Drugs Differently Than Others?” (name unlisted); and also 4th Place: “Performance vs. Sleep,” by Danny Moore.

11th Grade Physical Sciences: 3rd Place: “How Does the Room Size/Area Affect the Sound of an Instrument?” by Elana Ignacio.

11th Grade Social & Behavioral Sciences: 1st Place: “How Does Color Have an Impact on Memory and/or Academic Performance?” by Nicole Hong; 2nd Place: “The Sexualization of  Teenagers’ Clothing,” by Alexandria Jenkins; 3rd Place: “Are Mental Health Games Effective on HS Students?” by Czerhea Mariano; also 3rd Place: “Social Media and Parenting,” by Hailee Cid; Also 3rd Place: “How Does Emotional Connection Affect an Individual’s Judgment over a Close Person’s Unethical Behavior?” by Nadine Tendean; 4th Place: “Why is it Easier to Remember Song Lyrics Than Lectures?” by Simran Gurung; and also 4th Place: “Do Mental Health Services Help Out Teenagers?” by Sydney G.

12th Grade Biological Sciences: 1st Place: “What is the Effect of Different Types of Carbohydrates upon the Anaerobic Respiration in Bread Yeast, etc…” by Zihan Xu; 2nd Place: “What is the Effect of High Nitrate Concentration upon the Density of the Invasive Species of the Himalayan Blackberry?”  (name unlisted); also 2nd Place: “What is the Effect of Different Wavelengths on the Photosynthesis Rates of Aquatic Plants as Measured by Oxygen Produced by Elodea Plants?” by Vincent Ramos; and 4th Place: “What is the Effect of Varying PH Levels upon the Sugar Level of Apple,” by Dongfeng Yu.

12th Grade Physical Sciences: 1st Place: “Testing the Biodegradability of Plastic,” by Deki Samdrup.

Bob Fabrini Award (Top Score in Judging): “Survival of the Fittest: A Comparison of Fitness Trackers,” by Zola Grondahl, 7th grade.