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Trio joins forces to advance to international science fair

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Trio joins forces to advance to international science fair

By Ariana Arredondo, Aztec Gold Editor-In-Chief

 

On Feb. 17 at the Sun County regional science fair at Pebble Hills High School, five projects qualified to advance to larger competitions.

 

The names of the students who advanced are freshman Riley Miner with second place in materials science, Trinity Erales and Iliana Sapien with second place in biochemistry, Dina Orozco and Mariana Ortega with second place in environmental engineering, Madison Poppe and Vanessa Pacheco with second place in mathematics, and Annai Cuvelier, Jenny Cha and Alexa Hernandez with first place in robotics and intelligent machines.

 

Typically, science fair participants are inclined to enter because of curiosity, desire to place and motivational teachers. However, the first-place winning team had another motivation. A bet.

 

Cuvelier, Cha and Hernandez’s IB Chemistry teacher, Antonio Castruita, has a policy stating that students can only work in pairs for their science fair projects. The trio could not stand for this seeing as they work together for most of their school assignments. So, the three girls decided to strike up a deal.

 

“We made a bet with our teacher that we would make it to internationals if he let us have a team of three,” Cuvelier said.

 

They succeeded in fulfilling their end of the agreement, earning first place in engineering sweepstakes and representing El Dorado High school at the INTEL International Science Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their project simulated the Mars rover and the several different terrains the rover may have had to travel over.

 

All three of the girls are in the robotics team at El Dorado and Hernandez and Cuvelier actually were not able to attend the city held science fair due to the fact that the FTC robotics competition was held that same weekend in Lubbock, Texas, leaving all the pressure on Cha to represent them well.

 

“I was confident in our project, however I saw a lot of other projects that were good,” Cha said. “But I had a lot of knowledge about the topic both from robotics and from doing research so that helped me present it very well.”

 

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