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Regional science fair features 91 student projects

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Lamar Community College’s Wellness Center was packed with area students and their projects last week for the annual Southeast Colorado Science Fair.  The science fair featured 91 projects from the elementary through high school levels and included students from Alta Vista, COVA (Colorado Virtual Academy), Eads, Holly, Lamar, Plainview, Springfield, Walsh, and Wiley. 

Projects vary in their scientific interest but are all judged based on the depth of scientific method presented. A monetary prize is awarded to first, second, and third places within each category and an overall Grand and Reserve Champion are chosen from each of the elementary, junior high, and high school levels. 

At the Elementary level, Ava Alley (Walsh) earned the Grand Champion designation for her project “Treat Your Horse Right,” and Brooklyn Miller (Alta Vista) was Reserve Champion with her project “Germs, Germs, Go Away.”

Elementary Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences

  • First Place: Ava Alley (Walsh)
  • Second Place: Lela Hefley (Walsh)
  • Third Place: Marley Jones (Walsh)
  • Honorable Mention: Carson Lubbers (Alta Vista)

Elementary Behavioral and Medical Sciences

  • First Place: Brooklyn Miller (Alta Vista)
  • Second Place: Wyatt Cohoon (Springfield)
  • Third Place: Gunner Mackey (Springfield)
  • Honorable Mention: Reece Mundell (Walsh)

Elementary Chemistry

  • First Place: Samuel Mortimeyer (Wiley)
  • Second Place: Jocelyn Tedder (Walsh)
  • Third Place: Braxen Shelton (Alta Vista)
  • Honorable Mention: Cole Bellomy (Alta Vista)

Elementary Physics and Engineering

  • First Place: Maddox Gourley (Walsh)
  • Second Place: Braelinn Penaflor (Alta Vista)
  • Third Place: Brennan Brodecky (Alta Vista)
  • Honorable Mention: Toryn Neugebauer (Holly)

At the Junior High level, Abigail Ross (Lamar Middle School) was named Grand Champion for her project “Detecting Flares,” and Brakelle Westphal (Springfield) was Reserve Champion with “How Distracted Do You Drive.”

Junior High Animal and Plant Sciences

  • First Place: Jaycee De La Rosa (Springfield)
  • Second Place: Maddison Hefley (Walsh)
  • Third Place: Tie between Kyler Crane (Springfield) and Jamie Hume (Walsh)
  • Honorable Mention: Payson Coen (Alta Vista)

Junior High Behavioral and Medical Sciences

  • First Place: Brakelle Westphal (Springfield)
  • Second Place: Mason Mireles (Lamar Middle School)
  • Third Place: Ella Swanson (Springfield)
  • Honorable Mention: Brooke McDonald (Walsh)

Junior High Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences

  • First Place: Abigail Ross (Lamar Middle School)
  • Second Place: Jensen Renquist (Walsh)
  • Third Place: Armaan Gill (Lamar Middle School)
  • Honorable Mention: Emily Recio (Alta Vista) and Emily Hume (Walsh)

Junior High Engineering

  • First Place: David Crane (Springfield)
  • Second Place: Tyler Penick (Walsh)
  • Third Place: Cole Tedder (Walsh)
  • Honorable Mention: Lily Viney (Springfield)

Junior High Physical Sciences and Computers

  • First Place: Kaije Mosier (Lamar Middle School)
  • Second Place: Josie Kissell (Holly)
  • Third Place: Graci Morlan (Holly)
  • Honorable Mention: Nick Ybarra (Alta Vista)

Chase Cromwell (Lamar High School) earned the top spot in the High School division, being named Grand Champion for his project “Stampede Arm III.”  Peyton Oswald (Springfield) was named Reserve Champion for “Does Second Hand Smoke Affect Blood Pressure and Heart Rate in Children.”

High School Combined Sciences

  • First Place: Chase Cromwell (Lamar High School)
  • Second Place: Peyton Oswald (Springfield)
  • Third Place: Darian Schaller (Springfield)

In addition to the Grand and Reserve Champion overall and top three placements in each category, several outside organizations presentment additional awards.  

Emmalie Byrne (COVA) earned the Inez Hickey Crill Award and a $100 cash prize from Frontier Bank for her project “Something Fishy in Turks Pond (A Study of Black Bullhead Catfish as an Invasive Species).”

The Colorado Chapter of Soil and Water Conservation presented awards to the top two projects in junior high and high school: 

High School Colorado Soil and Water Conservation

  • First Place: Amber Gilmore (Lamar High School)
  • Second Place: Emmalie Byrne (COVA)

Junior High School Colorado Soil and Water Conservation

  • First Place: Annabelle Mortimeyer (Wiley)
  • Second Place: Jamie Hume (Walsh)

Nineteen junior high and high school students were chosen to continue on to the state science fair in April held at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, including Darian Schaller, Chase Cromwell, Peyton Oswald, Jaycee De La Rosa, Cole Tedder, Abigail Ross, Mason Mireles, Kyler Crane, Armaan Gill, Maddison Hefley, Jamie Hume, Jensen Renquist, Brakelle Westphal, Ella Swanson, Graci Morlan, Tyler Penick, David Crane, Kaije Mosier, and Josie Kissell.