Rota students dominate CNMI STEM Fair

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ROTA students ruled the 34th annual CNMI-wide STEM Fair, winning seven medals in various categories on Saturday at Marianas High School.

Paper airplane  competition winners, from left, Jared Saures, 2nd place, Koblerville Elementary School; Christopher Tagabuel, 3rd place, Kagman Elementary School, and Carl Hocog, 1st place, Garapan Elementary School. Also in photo are Koblerville Elementary School teacher Francis Mendiola, STEM Fair chair for private schools Tony Flores, and Public School System science program director Asap Ogumoro.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio
The 3rd to 5th Grade cluster winners, from left, Piper Christian, 2nd place, Tinian Elementary School; George Vinuya, 3rd place, Koblerville Elementary School; and Keeff Matondo, 1st place, Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja. Also in photo are STEM chair for private schools Tony Flores and Public School System science program director Asap Ogumoro.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

For this year’s event, 179 students from 20 public schools and 14 private schools participated, Public School System science program director Asap Ogumoro said.

Students from Dr. Rita Inos Jr./Sr. High School, Sinapalo Elementary School, and Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja won medals in five of the eight categories in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

In the high school sciences category, Shaniyah Cabrera, RHI, won first place for investigating “fats in the snacks and which household snack is healthiest.”

For high school research (11th to 12th grades), RHI student Hannah Nerizon won third prize for her project, “The effect of simulated acid rain.”

In the middle school (sixth to eighth grades) category, Sinapalo Elementary School student Rianna Barcinas won first place for “Animal Manure”; Tammy Fernandez of RHI placed second for “Coral Bleaching”; and Éclair Marj M. Ladao of RHI received third prize for her project, “How Sweet Is It?”

Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja student Keeff Matondo’s “Therapeutic Chessboard” topped the third to fifth grade category. His project aims to apply the concept of electromagnetism to a muscular therapy device.

For the kindergarten to second grade category, Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja student Julia Samantha Atalig’s project, “Mini Generator” won third prize.

Ogumoro said 66 teachers and community leaders volunteered to judge the students’ projects.

Rep. Sheila Babauta, one of the volunteer judges, said the students’ ability to experiment and analyze data involving various concepts “is a great reflection of our education system in private and public schools.”

She added, “I was so impressed by the level of creativity and the variety of the topics: soil erosion, energy, glucose levels, magnetic forces, and aquaponics…. I am so proud of them.”

Babauta said the students “all had amazing projects, but the one that stood out for me was the project on ‘Aquaponics vs. Soil Farming Systems.’ I was really impressed by the student’s nine-week dedication to this project and his level of understanding. He said he’d recommend local farmers to look into aquaponics because his findings proved that plants grow much faster this way.”

Three judges from Mount Carmel School — teachers Evangeline Villar, Luz Baldazo, and Eleonor Alejo — were likewise impressed by the students’ presentation of their projects.

“They were very knowledgeable, and they know what they are talking about,” Villar said, adding that “whatever question that we asked them, they were able to answer it.”

Baldazo noted that many projects were related to the environment. “Some got their idea from the internet, but they also modified the concepts.”

Paper airplane competition

For launching a paper airplane that flew the farthest, Garapan Elementary School student Carl Hocog won the first paper airplane competition.

Hocog’s paper plane covered a distance of 96 feet and three inches.

Jared Saures of Koblerville Elementary School placed second after his paper airplane flew 68 feet and four inches.

Third place was Kagman Elementary School student Christopher Tagabuel whose paper airplane flew 65 feet and 10 inches.

In an interview, Hocog said making and flying a paper airplane is his hobby, adding that it was his older sister who taught him how to make a paper airplane.


High School sciences

1) Shaniyah Cabrera, RHI – Refuse Plastic, Papayas are Fantastic

2) Jun You, Grace Christian Academy Saipan – A liquid pH and the rate of filtration

3) Kyla Monique Cabrera, Mount Carmel School – Fats in your snacks; which household snack is healthiest

High School Research

1) Iris Lee, Saipan Southern High School – Stroll in Tinian

2) Shoyu Du, Agape Christian School – Plants and Magnets

3) Hannah Nerizon, RHI – The effect of simulated acid rain

High School Green Dream competition

1) Marianas High School

2) Saipan Southern High School

3) Agape Christian School

Middle School

1) Rianna Barcinas, Sinapalo Elementary School – Animal Manure

2) Tammy Fernandez, RHI – Coral Bleaching

3) Éclair Marj M. Ladao, RHI – How Sweet is It?

3rd to 5th Grades

1) Keeff Matondo, Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja – Therapeutic Chessboard

2) Piper Christian, Tinian Elementary School – From Ocean Water to Drinking Water

3) George Vinuya, Koblerville Elementary School – Conductivity

Kindergarten to 2nd Grade

1) Sophia Smith, Brilliant Star Montessori – Hydroponics

2) En Mei Huwang, GCA-Saipan – How can you prevent a building from collapsing during an earthquake?

3) Julia Samantha Atalig, Eskuelan San Francisco De Borja – Mini Generator

Paper airplane competition

1) Carl Hocog, Garapan Elementary School

2) Jared Saures, Koblerville Elementary School

3) Christopher Tagabuel, Kagman Elementary School

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