Four students are set to show the state of Georgia the level at which the Paulding County School District is preparing its science students for future work.

The students earned first place for their projects at a recent regional science fair and will compete against students statewide at the state science fair in Athens later this month.

Angelica Santiago-Ortiz, Maeghan McKean, Kylie Semper and Nicole Frey will represent Paulding County in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair fair March 28 to 30 at the University of Georgia.

In addition, Frey won the right at the regional fair to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May in Phoenix, Arizona.

Sarah Graham, the district’s curriculum coordinator for science and health, said the students’ work will benefit both them and the school district.

“Having our students compete at regional, state, and international levels gives them the exposure and level of collaboration that will help build the Paulding County School District’s overall STEM and STEAM initiatives,” Graham said.

“The level of research and development that goes into the high school projects reflects the rigor of the STEM-certified program at Paulding County High School,” she said. “These students and their projects highlight the great work that is happening in our science classrooms across the district.”

Paulding County High School sent 15 students to the Cobb/Paulding Regional Science and Engineering Fair Feb. 9 at Lovinggood Middle School in Powder Springs. PCHS was the only Paulding school whose students competed, Graham said.

In addition to the first place winners, Eli Arbuckle, Brooke Fitzgerald, Ally Whiteis, Michael Wilkinson and Emmanuel Reynoso won second place for their projects.

Third place awards went to projects by Samantha Bogle, Molly Dickerson, Samuel Burger and Marcus Morris.

Because the Cobb/Paulding Regional Fair also affiliated with the Intel fair, Frey was one of two students from both Paulding and Cobb counties to qualify for the May event in Phoenix, Graham said.

Frey will compete in both upcoming science fairs with her project, “Cloning of Serratia Marcescens chiA Gene in Plants Targeted by Pathogenic Fungi.”

Officials of the regional fair also gave special awards to some Paulding projects, Graham said.

Judges gave the Stockholm Junior Water Prize to the best water-related project in the regional fair, said Cobb County schools science supervisor Christian Cali.

Cali worked with Graham to organize the regional event.

Bogle and Dickerson won the Stockholm Prize for their project, “Using Remote Ultrasonic Water Sensors to Determine the Impact of Urbanization on the Raccoon Creek Water System.”

Santiago-Ortiz received the award for Top Regional High School Project, while Whiteis won the event’s Naval Science Award for her project which compared the biodiversity of the region’s Raccoon Creek and Pumpkinvine Creek watersheds.


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