The 12 finalists and volunteers from CCPS and the Immokalee community. (Submitted photo)
This past week, Immokalee Middle School (IMS) was pleased to host judges from many community organizations at the annual IMS Science Fair. Volunteers from Guadalupe Center, Robert’s Ranch, Boys & Girls’ Club, Arthrex, Collier County Public Schools and Florida State University spent their morning judging sixty-five student projects. Helen Midney, a volunteer from Guadalupe Center, said, “The students’ projects were creative and thoughtful. In asking them how they came up with the ideas for their projects, nearly every student had a story behind their idea. It was great talking to the students and getting to hear their thoughts and ideas on how to solve common problems and make a difference in the world, one science project at a time.” One such student was Stephanie Mendoza, the only sixth grader to earn her place as a finalist. When asked about her topic of solar energy, Stephanie explained, “After the hurricane, we did not have access to any form of energy. The lines were very long to buy fuel for generators. I decided to study solar energy because people in emergencies need to have access to an alternative source of power.” Stephanie said she was very excited to move on to the Collier County Regional Science fair as one of the 12 finalists.
Science Fair Winner and Student Choice Award Winner Joel Guerrero. (Submitted photo)
Eighth grade student Joel Guerrero earned the top over-all score as well as the Student Choice Award. Joel investigated how incorporating various materials into plaster bridges would affect the strength of the bridges, in order to help engineers build more durable and cost-effective bridges. Joel said he was excited to be rewarded for all of his hard work. Joel commented he “will apply best effort into competing in the CCPS Regional Science Fair so he can win a scholarship for college.” Each student was interviewed by four judges, who scored each project using a rubric. The students’ scores were then averaged together. It was a very close call to determine the twelve finalists. Overall, visitors were highly impressed by the students’ projects. Jodi Truel, a volunteer from the FSU SSTRIDE Program stated she “was impressed by the amount of thought and time spent on the projects. They were unique, creative, and very well prepared to discuss their topics with judges. There were a lot of real-world experiments that related to engineering, aerospace, agriculture and medicine.” Joel, Stephanie, and the other finalists will move on to the Collier County Regional Science Fair, held January 19, at the North Collier Regional Park. Additional finalists include Tomas Alcantar, Concepcion Alonso, Enrique Bucio, Brianna Gallegos, Huguette Herrera, Miguel Lopez, Rodrigo Nava, Derek Parra, Stephanie Robert and Jonathan Zapata-Martinez. Until then, students will continue to work hard on their projects, running additional experimental trials and statistical analysis reports on their data.