CSD students shine at state science fair

All grade levels represented garner prizes and awards at recent event

Camas students are all smiles after the recent state science fair. Pictured are front center: Dalilah Cunningham; first row from left: Eli Burton, Ben Saunders, Alexis Williams, Jaden Le; second row from left: George Walker, Illaria Cunningham, Mila Smook; back row from left: Madeleine Sheppard, Emily Sheppard, Bilal Manzer, Chemay Shola. Not pictured are Meghal Sheth, Sophie Shoemaker and Reesab Pathak.

Students from Dorothy Fox, Prune Hill, Skyridge, and Camas High School fared well at the recent Washington State Science and Engineering Fair.

The 57th annual fair, held in Bremerton, features students in grades one through 12, competing for more than $1.8 million in trophies, prizes, scholarships, and an opportunity to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

The state fair is sponsored by several colleges and industries including Boeing, NASA, Bonneville Power, Helix, Go Daddy, Johns Hopkins and the City of Bremerton.

This year, it had more than 500 participants, making it one of the largest in fair history.

“I really believe that inquiry and process is the one thing students should learn,” said Lee Ellen Lawrence, Dorothy Fox fifth-grade science teacher and coach. “In an increasingly competitive global job market, hands-on experience and critical thinking in the areas of science and engineering are sought-after skills.”

In 2012, Lawrence encouraged a fifth-grader to be the first elementary student from Camas to compete in the junior division at the state fair, earning a first-place trophy in environmental science.

In 2013, five students from Dorothy Fox, Prune Hill and Skyridge earned trophies and/or awards. This year, eight elementary and two middle school students traveled to Bremerton, bringing home three first-place trophies, two second-place and two third-place, along with several special awards.

“In 2015, I hope we continue the trend of doubling the amount of students competing in the junior division at the state fair,” Lawrence said. “Ron Wright (CHS science teacher) has been instrumental on promoting WSSEF throughout the Camas School District.

“The experience instills a love of science and builds tremendous confidence.”

Lawrence added the first student to participate now has three first-place trophies and wants to become a marine biologist.

Lawrence mentors the teams from Dorothy Fox and Skyridge, while Jillmarie Holscher mentors Prune Hill participants. Wright and Kimberly Newman mentor CHS students.

The students’ awards from the fair include:

Dorothy Fox Elementary

First in category: Ilaria Cunningham, fifth-grade, “Feeling Pressured – The Science Behind Soccer Balls.”

Second in category and special award: Dalilah Cunningham, first-grade, “Flowers Changing Colors.”

Second in category: Mila Smook, fifth-grade, “Does Wi-Fi Fry Your Brain?”

Third in category: Jaden Le, fifth-grade, “Gone With the Wind.”

Third in category and special award: Eli Burton, fifth-grade, plus two special awards, “Fukushima and Radioactive Tuna.”

Prune Hill Elementary

First in category and Boeing special award: Ben Saunders, fifth-grade, “Ben Flying.”

Second in category and Boeing special award: George Walker, fifth-grade, “Airfoil Amazement.”

Second in category: Alexis Williams, fifth-grade, “Monumento Eruption.”

Skyridge Middle School

First in category (environmental sciences): Seventh-graders Emily Sheppard and Madeleine Sheppard, “The Idling Zone.”

Camas High School

First in category (biochemistry) and mathematics award: Meghal Sheth, junior. Invited to compete at ISEF, scholarships from Ohio Wesleyan, WSU and Evergreen State College.

First in category (plant sciences), BPA award and mathematics award: Sophie Shoemaker, junior. Scholarships from Ohio Wesleyan, WSU and Evergreen State College.

First in category (cellular and molecular biology), Best in Grade 11 award and Best in Fair from the Society for In Vitro Biology, Reesab Pathak, junior: Invited to compete at ISEF, scholarship from Olympic College.

Second in category (material science and bioengineering): Chemay Shola, ninth-grade.

Second in category (energy and transportation) and American Meteorological Society Recognition Award: Bilal Manzer, ninth-grade.