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YUHSD schools win 12 awards at SARSEF competition

Student taking part in interview for SARSEF Students from Cibola, Yuma, and San Luis took part in the Southern Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (SARSEF) from March 11-14, 2020 in an online-only version of the annual competition.

Projects from the three Yuma Union High School District schools won a dozen awards, including a top prize for Cibola’s Zarrin Askari, who took first place in the SARSEF Grand Award category. Askari’s project reflected research of a homemade snail repellent.

Due to the on-going global pandemic surrounding COVID-19, the 2020 iteration of the SARSEF competition looked different than previous years. Students participated via online interview after the projects were submitted in advance and numerous YUHSD staff members helped make things work logistically, helping set up and coordinate with SARSEF organizers.

“Our community should see the flexibility and resilience our students demonstrated,” Cibola Science Instructional Leader Patty Garcia said. “They take pride in their work and were genuinely grateful for the opportunity to share it. This took a lot of work from many people, but the outcome was priceless! It was inspiring to see so many people come together for the good of our students.”

According to the organization’s website, this culminating event of all SARSEF programs provides 95,000 students an opportunity to win more than $100,000 in scholarships, trips, and prizes to reward them for their high-quality research.

Here are all of the winners:

Yuma High School

Emelinda Perez and Maya San Ramon; Bacteria Attainment in the School Environment; Animal or Plant In Vitro Biology Award and SARSEF Board of Directors Award

San Luis High School

Carla Mosqueda and Alfani Quintero; The Most Powerful Combination—Thermoelectricity; TEP Award of Excellence

Vanessa Munguia and Jazmin Torres; The Impacts that Decomposed Matter Has on the Growth of Spinach; Alex and Winn Lindsay Award

Daniel Olais; Are Consumers Being Misled by Sugar Substitutes?; Life Science Award

Cibola High School

Zarrin Askari; Grandma's Homemade Snail Repellent; SARSEF Grand Award (First Place), Best use of a spread sheet and graphs to present data, and Ricoh Sustainable Development Award   

Hailey Chulamorkodt; THE SMART TOILET - An Automated Urine Screening Device for Kidney Failure, Bladder Cancer, and Prostate Enlargement; SARSEF Grand Award (Second Place), Second Place High School Award, Most Entrepreneurial Biotech Project (Second Place), Science Champion Award for Excellence in Using Science Innovatively, and Simon Strauss Engineering Award

Emma Amon and Hannah Fountain; Ikkos Neuroplasticity; Air Force Future Leaders of Science and Engineering

Amar Hassan; The Potential of Thermoelectric Devices; SARSEF Grand Award (Third Place)

Kylie Gwynn and Montserrat Renteria; You Are What You Eat; SARSEF Grand Award (Third Place)

Mauricio Rodriguez; Parallel Circuit; TEP Award of Excellence

Yesenia Siemens and Julia Whitson; Degrading Imidacloprid with Pleurotus Ostreatus and Vanillin; SARSEF Grand Award (Second Place)

Alexus Nichole Wuertemburg; My Homemade Telescope; Air Force Future Leaders of Science and Engineering, Astrophysicist for a Day, and Live Long and Prosper Award

CHS student during SARSEF interview


Eric Patten