26th Annual DSUSD Science and Engineering Fair 2021 held via Zoom
With the national pandemic continuing to restrict gatherings, Desert Sands Unified School District Science Fair coordinators took on the challenge of hosting their first virtual science fair. The DSUSD 26th Annual District Science and Engineering Fair award ceremony was held as a Zoom conference meeting on Feb. 3.
Students from across the district created virtual projects including digital journals and display boards. Middle and high school students also submitted short videos that led judges through the boards with details of their processes. Judging of the virtual projects took place on Jan. 22.
Senior Director of Elementary Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment Michael Wilhite and his team of coordinators, Kari Penny, Jocy McManus, and Carrie Isbell (also known as the “Mad Scientists”), presented a fun and engaging virtual awards ceremony on February 3. With music and sound effects, each participant was celebrated with the announcement of their name, project, and highlights of their presentation. The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem and reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance by Aspen Flatt, a 7th grade student from Colonel Mitchell Paige Middle School, and Nathan Park, a 5th grade student from Abraham Lincoln Elementary School.
Even with the constraints that a virtual fair brings, there were over 60 projects celebrated, from kindergarten through the 8th grade from nine schools (Carrillo Ranch, James Carter, Lyndon B. Johnson, John Kennedy, Abraham Lincoln, James Madison, and James Monroe elementary schools and John Glenn, Thomas Jefferson, and Colonel Mitchell Paige middle schools). Classroom teachers assisted and encouraged students every step of the way.
A physical awards presentation was held on Friday, February 5 as a drive-through event. Students, parents, and DSUSD staff members cheered on their young innovators and scientists as Superintendent Scott Bailey and Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services Kelly May-Vollmer, Ed.D., assisted in the presentation of certificates and medals as well as donated individual sweet treats for every participant from Nothing Bundt Cakes. There were also 27 Sweepstake Projects recognized with blue ribbons. These projects move forward into the county’s divisional virtual science and engineering fair scheduled at the end of this month.
Community Partner Awards recipients:
- Khloe Holster, 5th grader at James Monroe Elementary School, received an award from the Coachella Valley Water District for “What Will Happen When You Water a Plant with Different Liquids.”
- Christianne Alvarez, 5th grader at James Monroe Elementary School, received an award from the Coachella Valley Water District for “Decontaminating Polluted Water.”
- Tori Sawa, 5th grader at James Carter Elementary School, received an award from the Coachella Valley Water District for “Operation Defrost.”
This year’s School Participation Award was given to James Monroe Elementary School for the highest percentage of student projects.
A big thank you to their coordinators, Brian Gilroy and Amelia Hadley, for a successful site and district competition. Abraham Lincoln Elementary School teachers were also highlighted as they received the School Participation Award for the highest percentage of classroom projects submitted.
A new way of teaching and learning presented students with a unique opportunity to discover science in an unexpected way.
Just in, six DSUSD fifth-grade pupils were notified that their projects are moving on to the county level. They are: Christianne Alvarez, James Monroe Elementary School, Decontaminating Polluted Water; Carson Gonsalves, James Monroe, The Eggsperiment, No Yolk; Bryce Hill, James Monroe, Custom Zoom Lighting; Khloe Holster, James Monroe, What will happen when you water a plant with different liquids?; Christian Huerta, James Monroe, I Don’t Remember!; and Jasper Reba, Carrillo Ranch Elementary School, Breaking Glass With Sound.
Desert Sands has two students moving forward from John Glenn with their project to the final round competition. They are: Arely Arce and Vianae Barrios, grade 8, John Glenn, Volcanic Viscosity.
- A physical awards presentation was held on Friday, February 5 as a drive-through event: DSUSD
- Tori, a Sweepstakes Winner: DSUSD