Students compete at state science fair

Patrick Ngo, an eighth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, is one of six students from Scripps Ranch who was selected to participate in the California Science and Engineering Fair. His project involves involved renewable energy sources.

Students compete at state science fair

Six students from Scripps Ranch were selected to participate in the California Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF), which has been hosting future scientists and engineers since 1952. They are joining about 900 other students from 400 schools throughout the State of California from grades 6 through 12 on April 23-24 at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, south of downtown Los Angeles.

The local students participating include Patrick Ngo, Blake Scurry, Waleed Randhawa and Jessica McWilliams from Marshall Middle School; and Saeyeon Ju and Joonhyuk Lee from Scripps Ranch High School.

“The hardest part was actually looking for a science experiment,” an excited Patrick Ngo said.

He is an eighth-grader at Thurgood Marshall Middle School whose project involved renewable energy sources.

“After realizing how much energy I use every day and how inefficient single renewable energy sources are, I wanted to create a more reliable structure,” he explained.

The students who qualified for CGSEF did not get there without breaking a sweat. Their journey to the CSEF started at the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair (GSDSEF). This fair, according to the GSDSEF website, provides an inspiring experience in science and engineering for tens of thousands of San Diego and Imperial County students, motivating them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This regional competition challenges students to go beyond classroom studies to do independent research – to ask compelling questions, to design and implement innovative solutions, and to present and defend results to judges.

One of the pillars for inspiring these students to participate in the Science Fair is Elaine Gillum, a recently retired, dedicated and encouraging science teacher who makes sure students prepare diligently and do their absolute best.

“I’ve been doing this for 23 years,” Gillum said. “I’ve learned so much. Doing a science fair project is lifelong learning. I have students come back from high school and college and say that doing the science fair prepared them for life, and they have used what they learned many, many times. I’ve been blessed to be a part of their lives, and that is really special.”

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