ESFDB names reps for CNMI-wide STEM Fair


Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja’s STEM Fair winners are, from left, Keeff G. Matondo, Kaitlyn I. Balgoa, Michael Jon T. Cantil, Joachim Ramon D. Maratita, and Princess Gin Mahusay. (Contributed Photo)

Children interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM, played a big part in the annual Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja science fair.

This marks the sixth year the school has organized the STEM fair for its Kindergarten through eighth-grade students, an event implemented by school administrator and principal Carmen H. Atalig and organized by school science coordinator Mary Rose S. Lucero.

The students displayed their science experiments and projects, from earth science to math, and were judged by members of the Luta community.

“I’m truly amazed by the experiments,” said Atalig. “They incorporate STEM in everything that is needed to advance them in the CNMI [Public School System] Schoolwide Science fair, and future high school science fair preparation.”

“We must encourage and inspire students to study in the STEM fields and connect them with educational opportunities,” said Atalig. “Our students are the future inventors, scientists, technicians, engineers, and mathematicians of the Luta community [and] the CNMI as a whole.”

“Also, the quality of the student’s science projects this year, I think, is a great reflection on the quality of our teachers in making science fun and I applaud them for an amazing job,” said Atalig.

Lucero, who is also the 3rd to 5th grade science teacher, praised the judges, parents, and teachers who volunteered their services for the event, making it a success.

Lucero shared the same sentiments as Atalig about motivating and inspiring students to think about how their science projects could benefit them and their community.

The sixth- to eighth-grade science teacher, Edward Maratita Jr., said, “We continue to have amazing and talented students.”

“They get to be the scientist, they get to choose, they get to come up with the methods, they get to come up with materials, and draw their own conclusions. This allows them a lot of freedom and it helps them to get some excitement in their projects,” added Maratita.

These year’s judges are PSS Boardof Education member Herman Atalig, Lorenzo Barcinas, Davi Bowen of Rota NMC CREES, Francisco S. Calvo, Geraldine Dela Cruz, Charlene Manglona, Sen. Paul A. Manglona, Rota JROTC instructor Joseph Parenteau, and Orly Soria.

The top five winners will represent the school and the Rota community at the upcoming CNMI PSS Islandwide STEM Fair to be held on March 10, 2018, on Saipan.

PSS allows only five students from each school to participate in the STEM Fair.

The students who will represent their school and the Rota community are Joachim Ramon D. Maratita (Kindergarten), Princess Gin L. Mahusay (1st Grade), Keeff G. Matondo (3rd Grade), Kaitlyn Amber P. Balgoa (7th Grade), Michael Jon T. Cantil (7th Grade).

“We congratulate all the students for their hard work, and look forward to working with them again next year,” said Lucero.

In addition, assisting in the school STEM fair are the school’s science teachers: Monette Ladao, Florinda Chavez, and Maratita. (ESFDB)

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