MCS reinvents traditional science fair with new categories

At its recent Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics Fair, Mount Carmel School introduced two new categories, Mathematics and Invention, giving the fair a new name: the annual STEMi fair.

While the school’s annual science fair is often a big hit, generating hundreds of new ideas and projects, the school’s science and math department wanted to improve the fair in two ways. First, the department wanted to be true to the “M” in the acronym “STEM” by having a mathematics category. The new category allows high school students to engage in analytical projects that apply math toward understanding a wide range of issues. In an era of big data, the new Mathematics category is preparing students to be better compilers and consumers of quantitative data.

Second, the school’s science and math department wanted to tap into students’ creativity by launching a new Invention category. While traditional science fair projects require students to actually conduct experiments, the new Invention category invited students to develop concepts and ideas for inventions that did not necessarily have to be created for the fair. In particular, it challenged students to develop abstract solutions to real-world problems.

School principal Frances Taimanao was very happy with the addition of the new categories. “These new categories are good ways to get students more excited about science and math,” Taimanao said. “I look forward to even more projects and inventions next year.”

Gary Camacho, whose group project, “This Idea is Tubig,” took first place in the Invention category, was especially excited about the Invention category. “I think that the whole Invention category is one of the best things the school came up with,” Camacho said. “A lot of these kids are smart, but they don’t have the opportunity to show what they can do.”

Camacho’s group project proposed an affordable, easy, and environmentally safe way to make water for places that lack access to potable water. When asked about where he and his team came up with the idea for their project, Camacho said, “We thought about what would help people the most, and we realized that people without water would need an affordable way to access clean water.”

This year’s STEMi winners are as follows:

1st, Kennani Villagomez “Gummy Bear,”
2nd, Jadine Pangelinan “Rust  Chemistry”
3rd, Isabella Demapan “Pendulum Art”

1st, Tomamitsu Aldan “Brine to Beverage”, Maui Silva “Test Your Honey”, and Leah Lansangan and Naomi Matsumoto “Penny Drops”

1st, Brent Ortizo “Black Sheep”
2nd, Yuri Sasamoto “Paper from Plants”
3rd, Brissa Hunter “Burning Calories”

9th-12th grade division:
1st, Tommy Cayetano “Video Games & Blood Pressure”
2nd, Brandee Hunter and Mikee Mendoza “Is Your Bottled Water Really Alkaline?”
3rd, Kalea Borja “Installation of Water Tank”

1st, Aldwin Batusin, Ivy Leong, Joanie Paraiso, and Reica Ramirez “CaisNO or Yes”
2nd, Amy Cabanting and Mild Sripraset “Working Hard or Hardly Working?”
3rd, Louisa Han, Hoo Lim Cho, and Seoyone Lee “Population Registered”

1st, Gary Camacho, Jan Bobadilla, and Matt Moran “This Idea is Tubig”
2nd, Alvin Palacios “Smart Road”
3rd, William Blake Deleon Guerrero and Steven Li “Reflex Suit”

Of the students that placed, the following qualified to compete in the CNMI-wide STEM Fair:  Kenanni Villagomez, Tomamitsu Aldan, Brent Ortizo, Tommy Cayetano, and Aldwin Batusin.

Mount Carmel School also expressed its appreciation to the following professionals for taking time out of their busy schedules to judge the school’s STEMi Fair: Jaclyn Michelle Atalig from Department of Public Lands, Charito Bautista from the Bureau of Environmental and Coastal Quality, Samantha Birmingham-Babauta from the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Larry Delon Guerrero from Hofschneider Engineering, Carly Eakin from the Division of Land & Natural Resources, Matthew Kintol from BECQ, Keena Leon Guerrero from DLNR, Marybeth Manibusan from CHCC, Billie O’Campo from CHCC, Richard Salas from BECQ, Hannah Shai from CHCC, and Keanna Villagomez from CHCC. (PR)

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