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TUSD science students win awards at the Southern AZ Research, Science, & Engineering Foundation Fair

Congrats STEM SchoolsExploring questions such as "What Surface Will a Basketball Bounce Higher On?" and "Does the cause of Homelessness affect what services most help the homeless?", students from Tucson Unified schools investigated real-world situations for their projects entered in the Southern AZ Research, Science, and Engineering Foundation Fair of 2016 (SARSEF). Over 1,900 student science projects were featured at the Cox Future Innovator's Night on Friday, March 4.

Through sponsoring a forum for students to share their research and by inviting the community to view the research projects, SARSEF promotes science education.

Tucson Unified's younger students won awards for projects that explored practical questions such as that posed by third-grade researchers at Lineweaver Elementary who investigated "Does Sitting on an Exercise Ball Improve Focus in an Elementary Classroom?" Two of the projects by fifth graders won 1st Place and are moving onto the State Competition; Andrew Students from Tucson HighBridgmon (5th Grade Malkin) "Can I Make a Way to Print Without Permanently Putting an Image on Surfaces That Aren’t Paper?" and Harlow Parkin (5th Grade Chandler) "Speed of Light Bulb."
Students from Tucson High

The force is strong with these Tucson High students!

Sixth-graders from Doolen Middle School were awarded a grand prize for their research into the question, "How Salty Does Water Have to be to Flow on Martian Slopes in Sub-Zero Temperatures?"

One of the more ambitious high school projects was by Leo O'Neill of Tucson High Magnet School. Under the direction of the nationally recognized and award-winning teacher Margaret Wilch, O'Neill conducted a study on "The response of tree growth to mixed severity prescribed fires in Bryce Canyon National Park."

Participation in SARSEF brings educational results. The Science AIMS scores for schools that participated in SARSEF were higher than the average scores of others in the state at all tested levels. Over the years, SARSEF winners have gone on to compete at national and international science and engineering events, and have become expert critical thinkers, talented scholars and world-class scientists.
Congratulations to all of our students and teachers who participated in the SARSEF 2016!

Lily Wood
5th grader Lily Wood from Kellond Elementary is a winner with SARSEF and the Cox Innovator Night. 
Students from Tucson HighGustavo and Roberto, seniors at Tucson High, are
SARSEF winners for their research on antibiotic-producing microbes found in urban and rural soils. 






Award-Winning Projects from Tucson Unified Schools
Award-Winning Projects from Tucson Unified Schools

Student Grade Project Discipline Teacher Award
Bloom Elementary Class K Drop the Dripping Habit Earth and Environmental Studies Werner/Panunzio SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Excellence in Arizona Hydrological Research
Bloom Elementary Roman Dichard 5 The Amazing Steamboat! Engineering and Materials Science Kaye Wingfield SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Southwest Gas Corporation/
Award of Excellence







Booth-Fickett K-8 Kairi Maurer 1 Which Substrate Drains Water the Fastest? Earth and Environmental Studies Kathleen Patterson SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Booth-Fickett K-8 Jose Mora Cruz 1 The Five Senses Behavioral and Social Sciences Kathleen Patterson SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Booth-Fickett K-8 Class 3 Keep It Hot! Energy Debbie Gayheart SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Booth-Fickett K-8 Scott Morgan 7 Cat Feeder 2.0 Engineering and Materials Science Ava Bemer Elegant Use of Geometry
Booth-Fickett K-8 Jasmine Hurtado 8 How to Build a Battery Buggy Engineering and Materials Science Brandon Evans Arizona Science Center Never Stop Wondering® Award







Cragin Magnet Class 2 Germs! Medicine and Health Sciences Elizabeth Horton SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Cragin Magnet Class 2 Crystals and Climate Earth and Environmental Studies Christine Cassell SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Cragin Magnet Class 3 What Surface Will a Basketball Bounce Higher On? Engineering and Materials Science Erica Stott-Blunt SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Cragin Magnet Max Speagle 5 The Scoopanator Robotics and Computer Sciences Kimberly Dessen SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







Davis Bilingual Magnet School Sean Chavez Carrillo,
Sofia MacCullagh
2 Analyzing Germs at Home Medicine and Health Sciences Sonia Castellanos SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Davis Bilingual Magnet School Maya Valencia 3 Blood Pressure Blast Off Behavioral and Social Sciences Eloisa Roman Excellence and Achievement, Girls in STEM, Title I Schools
Davis Bilingual Magnet School Cameron MacCullagh 4 Fingerprint Patterns Medicine and Health Sciences Martha Badilla SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Davis Bilingual Magnet School Henry Roth Gordon 5 Predicting Performance Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Rebecca Mota SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place







Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School Tyler Hayes 7 The Power of Wind Turbines Engineering and Materials Science Ken Ifkovits SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
TEP Award of Excellence
Dodge Traditional Magnet Middle School Addamae Root 8 The Negative Effect of Ocean Acidification on Sea Shells Earth and Environmental Studies Amber Rainey SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
1st Place Excellence in Marine-Related
Best Natural Science Investigation
Best Use of International System of Units Award
Biodiversity Award







Doolen MS Tilquhille Douglas 6 How Salty Does Water Have to be to Flow on Martian Slopes in Sub-Zero Temperatures? Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Astronomy Award/meteorite and Book
Excellence in Arizona Hydrological Research
Doolen MS Aidan Kamm 6 Does the cause of Homelessness effect what services most help the homeless? Behavioral and Social Sciences Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
ASQ Tucson Section Individual Merit Award
Sharon Foltz Spirit of Community Award
Doolen MS Jade Kuan 6 Do-Re-Mi Straws Engineering and Materials Science Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Doolen MS Max Boving,
Andres Oliva-Martinez
6 Food is Fuel: Investigating the Energy Contents of Food Medicine and Health Sciences Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Science Research Award
Doolen MS Iselle Marie Barrios 7 Seashell Dissolution in Acidified Seawater
Earth and Environmental Studies Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Doolen MS Ava Galbraith 7 Shifting Landscapes: soecies die-off in climate change Earth and Environmental Studies Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Excellence in Research Related to the Sonoran Desert
Nature and Environment Award
Outstanding Achievement in Ability and Creativity in an Atmospheric Science
Sky Island Naturalist
Sonoran Desert Ecological Excellence Award
Doolen MS Nicole Huimei Lee 7 Plas-tas-tic Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Doolen MS Noah Meyers-Richter 7 Sugar Shocked Medicine and Health Sciences Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Doolen MS Yonah Temlock 7 Operation Insulation Engineering and Materials Science Janice Schubert SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Excellence in Civil Engineering Award
Doolen MS Sharmila Dey 8 Catch a Moving Star Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Excellence in Research in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Astronomy
Naval Excellence in Science Research Award
Doolen MS Kieran Douglas 8 "Pulse of a City" Behavioral and Social Sciences Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
3rd Place
Community Challenge
Spirit of the Community
Doolen MS Denali Kauffman 8 The Effects of Irrigation Methods of Plant Growth Animal and Plant Sciences Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Doolen MS Sam Roth Gordon 8 By the Heat of Your Seat! Engineering and Materials Science Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
McGuire Young Entrepreneur Award
Southwest Gas Corporation / Award of Excellence
Doolen MS Joshua Schildt 8 To plug or not to plug? That is the question Energy Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Doolen MS Derrick Silva 8 Programming a Scheduler Robotics and Computer Sciences Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Cox Excellence in Communication Award
Excellence in Computer Science
Doolen MS Andrew Stout Marshall 8 Color and Light Pollution Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Ivan Yocum Certificate of Achievement in Astronomy
Second Place Research in Light Pollution
Doolen MS Robert Thomas Leenhouts,
Rachel Mei, Lee Whitaker
8 How Fed Up: Does a no added-sugar diet affect blood glucose? Medicine and Health Sciences Ivan Yocum SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







Fruchthendler ES Anderson Christian K Do Superworms Walk Farther on Different Surfaces? Animal and Plant Sciences Emilee SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Fruchthendler ES Olive Crites K Bridges Engineering and Materials Science Emilee SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Fruchthendler ES Zora Gann K Bacteria Where do They Live? Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Cassie Konrath SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Fruchthendler ES Olin Jones 1 Sponge-rrific (Testing the Absorbency of Sponges) Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Melissa Boldt SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Fruchthendler ES Ava Marenfeld 1 Crystal Garden Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Melissa Boldt SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Fruchthendler ES Sabrina Wexler 1 Got Mold Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Melissa Boldt SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Fruchthendler ES Lauren Snyder 2 Buoyancy-The Archimedes Principal Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Shannon Turnage SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Fruchthendler ES Benjamin Wexler 2 Cu Later Bacteria Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Shannon Turnage SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Fruchthendler ES Brannon Wieters 2 Chick Music Animal and Plant Sciences Shannon Turnage SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
First Place
Fruchthendler ES Preston Stricker 3 The Effects of Inflation Pressure and Court Surface on a Basketball Bounce Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Melissa Landau Youth in Engineering
Fruchthendler ES Charles Root 4 Give Me Some Sugar Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Kimberly Mulligan SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Fruchthendler ES Anabel Turnage,
Samantha Turnage
4 Say Goodbye to Green Hair Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Kim Mulligan and Katie Fouts SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Fruchthendler ES Brody Warwick 5 How Low Can You Go? How High Can you Go? Medicine and Health Sciences Linda Koehler SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







Gale ES Class 5 Can Jumping Rope on a Regular Basis Decrease Your Pulse Rate? Medicine and Health Sciences Jeanmarie Himes SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place







Hollinger ES Class 2 Is the Weather Cold Enough to Freeze Some Liquids? Earth and Environmental Studies Daisy Michel SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Hollinger ES Class 2 The Bubble Experiment Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Lissa Bouwens SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Hollinger ES Class 4 Which popcorn pops more popcorn and tastes better? Behavioral and Social Sciences Irene Escarcega SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







Howell ES Sophia Anne Wilson 5 I Don't Wanna Get Up Engineering and Materials Science Shannon Clowes SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







Kellond ES Naomi Dyer 1 Project Butterfly Animal and Plant Sciences Cinnamon Conrad SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Award for Excellence in Inquiry and Creativity
Kellond ES Avianna Pridgett 1 Candle Powered Steamboat Engineering and Materials Science Cinnamon Conrad SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Kellond ES Pierce Marchand 4 Catfish Project Animal and Plant Sciences Elizabeth Kelley SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Kellond ES Lily Wood 5 Hold, Angle, and Thrust Engineering and Materials Science Karla Ahumada SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place







Lineweaver ES Class 1 Solar Energy Absorption Energy Madhavi Rachakonda SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Classroom Project: Success in Science
TEP Award of Excellence
Lineweaver ES Maia Evans-Black 1 Fly Far Engineering and Materials Science Debbie Teece SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Eric Aamodt Award
Lineweaver ES Trinity Law-Boisvert 2 The Fried Potato Project Animal and Plant Sciences Shalom Rockwell SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Lineweaver ES Leo Williams 2 The Evaporation Project Earth and Environmental Studies Shalom Rockwell SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Lineweaver ES Lauren Anderson 3 Does Sitting on an Exercise Ball Improve Focus in an Elementary Classroom? Behavioral and Social Sciences Liz Benites SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Lineweaver ES Andres Guevara 3 Lollipops in Liquids Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Gary Turner SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Lineweaver ES Yemi Weatherford 3 How Gravity Changes the Force of Objects Earth and Environmental Studies Lisa Stachowiak SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Lineweaver ES Gianna Salcido 4 Polishing It On Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Jessica Boerner SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Lineweaver ES Andrew Bridgmon 5 Can I Make a Way to Print without Permanently Putting an Image on Surfaces That Aren't Paper? Robotics and Computer Sciences Janine Malkin SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Lineweaver ES Harlow Parkin 5 Speed of Light Bulb Energy Shirley Chandler SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Lineweaver ES Helene Saleska 5 Can You Resist It? Energy Janine Malkin

SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
TEP Award of Excellence








Magee MS Rylie Mizer 8 Are Certain Electric Cars Actually Electrically Efficient? Energy Joan Flannery Naval Excellence in Science Research Award







Pistor MS Tyler Stallard 6 Water Clocks Earth and Environmental Studies Rosina Stevenson Community Challenge







Pueblo Magnet HS Ciera Monique Carrillo,
Christian Antonio Castro Arredondo
HS Can Creosote be Developed as a Pre-emergent as Measured by its Effect on Arabidopsis Root Growth? Plant Sciences Andrew Lettes, Ph. D. Community Challenge
Pueblo Magnet HS Shaira Flores Perez,
Shaila Rios
HS The role of the RAD9 gene on the sensitivity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Ultraviolet illumination Earth and Environmental Sciences Andrew Lettes, Ph. D. Community Challenge
Pueblo Magnet HS Ingrid Yaritza, Rojo Olguin,
Alexander Eugene, Ross
Adnan Maitham Taleb
HS The effect of Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid on the antibacterial activities of homemade soap. Translational Medical Science Andrew Lettes, Ph. D. Scientific Research with Market Potential







Robins K-8 Elias Raul El Onache K Impact Art Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Frances Felix SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Robins K-8 Class 1 Which color will fade the most? Earth and Environmental Studies Erica Quintana SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Robins K-8 Class 2 Heads or Tails~ Does it really matter which side you start with Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Melody Myrand SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Robins K-8 Gabriel Antonio-Amado Ballesteros 3 Make the wind work for you. Energy Rita Scott Southwest Gas Corporation / Award of Excellence
TEP Award of Excellence
Robins K-8 Shayne Allen Lindeman 3 Will bacteria Grow In Water in Seven Days? Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Suzanne Radcliffe SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Excellence in Arizona Hydrological Research
Robins K-8 Octavius Peraquarius Thomas 8 Ice Gum Cellular, Molecular, and Microbiological Sciences Pamela Miller SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place







Sam Hughes ES Eleanor Cherkis 1 Water Rocket Experiment Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Catherine Rumney SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Sam Hughes ES Class 3 Milkweed Germination Animal and Plant Sciences Anita Wong SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Award for Excellence in Inquiry and Creativity
Sam Hughes ES Julian Sabalos 4 Balls Away: Fun with Catapults Engineering and Materials Science Karen May Elegant Use of Geometry
Sam Hughes ES Charles Becker 5 The Force Diminished Engineering and Materials Science Jennine Grogan SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Sam Hughes ES Francesco Ferrero 5 Gravity and Growth Animal and Plant Sciences Jennine Grogran SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Sam Hughes ES Dylan Waddell 5 Physics of Fire Tornados Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Theresa Barry SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Fellow Mad Scientist Award







Tucson High Magnet School Elias Yordy Baer HS Using Parallax to Measure Distance Physics and Astronomy Karriaunna Scotti College Mathematics Honor Society Award
Tucson High Magnet School Evelyn Guadalupe Bolanos,
Kimberly Munoz
HS Observing proboscis extension reflex (PER) in Novomessor cockerelli to determine ability to learn Behavioral and Social Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Achievement in Research in Psychological Science
Arizona Psychological Association Behavioral Science Award
Tucson High Magnet School Jaclyn Nicole Campbell HS Paparazzi Physics and Astronomy Karriaunna Scotti Third Place Research in Light Pollution
Tucson High Magnet School Gustavo Pesqueira Armenta,
Roberto Carrillo,
Kyle Spencer
HS Antibiotic producing microbes found in urban and rural desert soils Microbiology Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Animal or Plant In Vitro Biology Award
Tucson High Magnet School Morgan Ann Darby HS Searching for Trends and Susceptibility in Canines Diagnosed Positive for Coccioides spp. in Tucson, Arizona Animal Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Excellence in Bio-Science
The Whitney Award for Best Animal Related Project
Tucson High Magnet School Adalee Martinez HS Creosote Midge Galls and their Symbiotic Fungal Associate Microbiology Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Animal or Plant In Vitro Biology Award
Tucson High Magnet School Zaid Murrieta,
Ben Russakoff
HS Identifying the endangered Huachuca Water Umbel for conservation efforts Plant Sciences Margaret Wilch Excellence in Arizona Hydrological Research
Tucson High Magnet School Ladan Navari HS Examination of the 5-SNPs Eye Color Prediction System for the Purpose of Application in Forensic Research Cellular and Molecular Biology Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place
Tucson High Magnet School Samantha Rae Norton HS How Soon After Sunset Does It Become Dark? Physics and Astronomy Karriaunna Scotti SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Tucson High Magnet School Leo O'Neill HS The response of tree growth to mixed severity prescribed fires in Bryce Canyon National Park Earth and Environmental Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
ASU Rob abd Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative
SARSEF Foundation Scholarship
The International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering, and Environment) Project Award
Tucson High Magnet School Sydney Rashell Lockery HS Where Did All The Stars Go? Physics and Astronomy Karriaunna Scotti Honorable Mention Research in Light Pollution
Tucson High Magnet School Joseph Michael Haber III,
Ripley Tiger, Lily Russum
HS Identifying Microsatellites in the Huachuca Water Umbel Genome Plant Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
SARSEF Foundation Scholarship
Tucson High Magnet School Soraya Orozco Sandoval,
Elijah Sensibar
HS Insect Adaptation To Various Host Plants Animal Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Tucson High Magnet School Tahlia Dolores Segura HS Root-associated endophytic fungi of Sonoran Desert mesquite (Prosopis velutina) affect seed germination and seedling growth of bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and corn (Zea mays) Microbiology Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Tucson High Magnet School Daniel Daniel
Ryan, Jaxon Stagg
HS Tl Contaminated Produce Plant Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Tucson High Magnet School Sierra Ann Stanton HS The Correlation Between Metal Tolerance and Antibiotic Resistance Earth and Environmental Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Tucson High Magnet School Alexander Flurin Utzinger HS The effects of Buffel Grass on nitrogen fixing bacteria and overall soil health as an effect of an interruption in the nitrogen cycle Earth and Environmental Sciences Margaret Wilch SARSEF Grand Award: 2nd Place







University High School Sloan W Kanaski HS Creation of Additional Signal Regions to Increase Signal Sensitivity in the Search for Vector-Like Quarks at the LHC Physics and Astronomy Pamela Tautz SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Intel ISEF Finalist
Naval Excellence in Science Research Award







Wright ES Class K What happens when we put gummy worms into different liquids? Chemical and Biochemical Sciences JoAnn Lee SARSEF Grand Award: 3rd Place
Wright ES Class K Our hearts are Melting Chemical and Biochemical Sciences Caroline Carlson SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place
Wright ES Class 1 Red vs. Green vs. Yellow Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics Susan Platt SARSEF Grand Award: 1st Place