Santa Maria Sun / School Scene
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 2
Pioneer Valley science students head to state fair
For the first time in Pioneer Valley High School’s eight-year history, students are heading to the state science fair after taking home wins at the Santa Barbara County Science Fair.
Six of the eight Pioneer Valley students who went to the Santa Barbara County Science Fair on March 8 placed in the top three for the life science and physical science categories. Of those six, five students placed first and second. Those five are moving onto the California State Fair set for April 15 to 16 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
“The kids did phenomenal; they were unbelievable,” Pioneer Valley science teacher Riccardo Magni said. “No one from the other schools were selected.”
And that means that no other high school in Santa Barbara County has students going to the state science fair. County science fair judges awarded the remaining 19 spots in the county to junior high school students.
“They pick the ones that they feel will do best at the state fair,” Magni said.
So for the county’s high school students, the projects with the best chance belong to sophomores Cynthia Rodriguez and Vanessa Sierra, who tied for first place in the life science category, and junior Xavier Aguilar, who took first place in the physical science competition.
Juniors Stephany Rubio and Katie Randolph grabbed the life science category’s second and third place spots, respectively.
Sierra also won the “Best Life Science Project” and Rubio received the “Best Independent Scientist Award.” Pioneer’s team collected a total of $600 in individual awards.
Magni said it’s his first time taking students to the state science fair, so he’s not 100 percent sure what to expect from the judges and other contestants. But he does know the students are heading for something that offers up a great educational opportunity.
“It’s huge,” Magni said.
School Scene is compiled by Staff Writer Camillia Lanham. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.