Rockdale shines at Regional Science Fair More than 50 advance to state, national, international events

01-27-17 RRSEF ISEF attendees going to Los Angeles, CA May 14-19, 2017, to Madeline Burkey, Nkima Stephenson, Michelle Nguyen
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Nkima Stephenson, who received the Kardinal Award (highest scoring project at RRSEF), is filled with tears and joy.


Rockdale’s STEM prowess was on display as the county’s brightest young scientific minds presented their research findings at the 2017 Rockdale Regional Scientific and Engineering Fair (RRSEF), which was held at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology.


Out of 233 participants (76 boys, 157 girls), 29 high school and 16 middle school students were named Grand Champions and will go on to the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair in Athens, March 30-April 1.


This year’s fair saw 190 projects submitted in 23 scientific categories – about 50 percent more projects than last year. These projects were evaluated by more than 90 STEM professionals. A film crew from the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) also was on hand to document three students who won a chance to advance directly to the ISEF in Los Angeles this May.


This year’s RRSEF winners are:


GRAND CHAMPIONS, SENIOR DIVISION (high school projects advancing to state fair):

Nkima Stephenson; Michelle Nguyen; Jennifer Cruz; Madeline Burkey; Kayla Andrews; Jaqueline Gomez; Bryson Joyce; Laney Norton; Isabelle Kirkwood; Jeebe Diop, Matthew York; Christian Downer; Jade McPike; Rodina Cummings; Sierra Driver; Miranda Murph;, Zaharia Selman; Huang Ho; Angel Brooks; Nadirah Royer; Jaedon Hanchard; Cody Myers; Arish Jarwar[ Sydney Campbell; Aryanna Brown; Yassin Siddiquee; Rebekah Bowers; Faith Buchanan; and Anna LaMontagne.


GRAND CHAMPIONS, JUNIOR DIVISION (middle school projects advancing to state fair):

Caitlyn Hildebran; Michael Kinsey[ Margaret Hwang; Megan Fachisthers; Zak Yassin; Ava Bailey; Caleb Buchanan; Corey Kidd, Grant Owen; Jada Richardson; Nylah Ductan; Gabrielle Wood; Hailey Corarrubias; Emma MacDonald; Sydney Palmer; and Vanessa Ibarra.



Laura Anschutz Memorial Awards: Jada Richardson


Armed Forces Communications Electronics Association (AFCEA) Award: Michelle Nguyen


American Meterological Society: Laney Norton and Rodina Cummings


American Psychological Association: Sydney Turner and Erin Wilson


Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives Award: Anna LaMontagne and Madeline Burkey


ASM Materials Education Foundation: Christian Downer.


Association for Women Geoscientists: Anna LaMontagne


Doubting Thomas Award: Aaron Geanas


Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award: Nkima Stephenson

Mu Alpha Theta Award: Nkima Stephenson


NASA Earth Systems Science Award: Madeline Burkey


NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award: Kayla Andrews


Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS) Recommendation Award (top 11th grade projects): Adrian Robbins; Fallon Barnes; Amber Bowles; Allan Manene; Zaharia Selman; CJ Hardnett; Laney Norton; Mayesha Jefferson; Madline Burkey; Michelle Nguyen; and Anna LaMontagne


Ricoh Sustainable Development Award: Azia Mitchell


Society for In Vitro Biology: Mayesha Jefferson


Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Anna LaMontagne, Madeline Burkey and Kayla Andrews


U.S. Air Force Award: Ava Bailey, Caleb Buchanan, Corey Kidd, Bryson Joyce


U.S. Metric Association SI Metric Award: Madeline Burkey


Office of Naval Research U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Award: Michael Kinsey, Margaret Hwang, Megan Fachisthers, Sierra Driver and Miranda Murphy


Yale Science and Engineering Association, Inc. Award: Anna LaMontagne


Jill Beach and Mary Mansell Awards (teaching award): Caroline Snell and Dr. JoDi Osborn


Siemens Competition Semifinalists: Sierra Driver and Miranda Murphy


Broadcom Masters (top middle school projects): Ava Bailey, Caleb Richardson, Nylah Ductan, Caitlyn Hildebran, Corey Kidd and Jada Richardson


NCSSS Student Conference Award: Kayla Andrews, Jacqueline Gomez, Angel Brooks (and alternates Laney Norton, Isabelle Kirkwood)


International Sustainable World Energy Engineering, and Environment Project (ISWEEP) Olympiad (in Houston, Tex.): Jennifer Cruz (“The Manipulation of PHA Polymers in the Production of PHA Polymers”)


Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (to be held in Los Angeles, May 14-19): Nkima Stephenson (“Data Integration & Analysis of Epigenetics”); Michelle Nguyen (“Topical Antibiotics Consisting of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles”); and Madeline Burkey (“The Effect of EDTA Chelation as a Desorption Mechanism”).

For the full list of winners, go to

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