Local News

Tuesday, Mar 18 2014 08:15 PM

Discovery is the key find at Kern County Science Fair

  1. 1 of 7

    By Felix Adamo/The Californian

    Following the judging, visitors view the projects at the 26th annual Kern County Science Fair.

    click to expand click to collapse
  2. 2 of 7

    By Felix Adamo

    Felix Adamo\The Californian St. John's Lutheran student Tyler Avery, 11, checks out some of the competition at the Kern County Science Fair.

    click to expand click to collapse
  3. 3 of 7

    By Felix Adamo

    Felix Adamo\ The Californian Illuminated by his iPad, 10-year-old Lucas Bolanos waits for his family at the Kern County Science Fair inside the Rabobank Convention Center. Bolanos' sister had a project entered in the competition.

    click to expand click to collapse
  4. 4 of 7

    By Felix Adamo / The Californian

    Eleven-year-old Zeneve Jacotin of Ridgecrest Charter School enjoys a drink that matches her shirt, fingernails and chair at the Kern County Science Fair. Jacotin's project centered on what angle will launch a pneumatic rocket the farthest.

    click to expand click to collapse
  5. 5 of 7

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Visitors take in some of the projects at the 26th annual Kern County Science Fair.

    click to expand click to collapse
  6. 6 of 7

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    A sprained ankle didn't prevent 13-year-old Jason Abbas from presenting his project "Are We Smarter After Exercise?" at the Kern County Science Fair. Abbas injured his ankle playing basketball after completing his science project involving exercise.

    click to expand click to collapse
  7. 7 of 7

    By Felix Adamo/ The Californian

    Some of the science projects at the 26th annual Kern County Science Fair had an artistic flair to them at times.

    click to expand click to collapse
By LAUREN FOREMAN, Californian staff writer lforeman@bakersfield.com

Michelle Davis, mom of a Miller Elementary School student, watched her son walk down the steps of a Rabobank Convention Center stage Tuesday. Tears welled in her eyes as a science fair organizer awarded 10-year-old Ian Davis a first-place ribbon for his project to test which hand-cleaning mechanism most effectively eliminated germs.

“I didn’t think I was going to get anything,” Ian said afterward.

Related Info



Environmental Science

First Place — Nathaniel Tweed/Bakersfield Christian

Second Place — Judith Martinez, Vanessa Ibarra/ Ridgeview High

Third Place — David Porter/Bakersfield Christian and Nicole Matthias, Rhiannon Russell/Ridgeview High

Applied Mechanics

First Place — Alyssa Pronovost/Stockdale High

Second Place — Viking Mann/Ridgeview High

Third Place — Charles Dobbin/Desert Jr/Sr

Honorable Mention — Jake Egana/Valley Oaks Charter

Behavioral and Social Sciences

First Place — Shreya Banerjee/Stockdale High

Second Place — Wei Zhou, Zhaohong Jin/Bakersfield Christian

Third Place — Daniel Fernandez, Anthony Quinnert/Desert Jr/Sr and Kian Talaei, Devashish Madeka, Mudit Buch/Stockdale High


First Place — Ryan Kmet/California City High School

Second Place — Andrew Ostrom/Burroughs High School

Third Place — Ishani Desai/Centennial High School

Earth Science

First Place — Larson LeDuc/Desert Jr/Sr

Second Place — Ken Ross/Desert Jr/Sr

Mammalian Biology, Physiology and Zoology

First Place — Samuel Lang/Valley Oaks Charter School

Second Place — Aaron Levins, Austin Moss-Ennis, Nelson Chandler/Bakersfield Christian High

Third Place — Claryce Lazerson/Bakersfield Christian High and Roshini Ravi/Stockdale High

Pharmacology, Molecular Biology, and Microbiology

First Place — Alap Sahoo/Stockdale High

Second Place — Jasmeet Dhaliwal/Stockdale High

Third Place — Autumn Jackson/California City High School

Physics, Astronomy and Computer Science

First Place — Kishan Ghadiya/Stockdale High

Second Place — Allison Epperly, Jacob Riggs/Bakersfield Christian

Third Place — Amber Graham/Bakersfield Christian

Honorable Mention — Garron Ireton/Desert Jr/Sr and Sean Cooper/Desert Jr/Sr

Plant Biology

First Place — Manooshree Patel/Stockdale High

Second Place — Shivani Gupta/Stockdale High

Third Place — Garrett Gwinn/Bakersfield Christian High School

Honorable Mention — Donald Carling/Desert Jr/Sr



First Place — Isaiah Hessler/Stockdale Christian

Second Place — David Magaina/St. Ann School and Victoria Lennon/ Pioneer School

Third Place — Jagr Alindajao

Honorable Mention — Anusha Mubin/Earl Warren Jr. High, Zeneva Jacotin/Ridgecrest Charter School, Victoria Lennon/ Pioneer School, Sarita Reyes/ Ridgecrest Charter School, Tristin Csulak/El Tejon Middle School, Mary Hanel/Earl Warren Jr. High, Joshua Garcia/New Life School, Sara Herron/Discovery Elementary, Eunice Martinez/Richland Jr. High and Emma Shaw/Stockdale Christian

Agricultural Science

First Place — Suchitra Dara/Buena Vista Elementary

Second Place — Anna Rinaldi/OLPH

Third Place — Isaac Kim/Earl Warren Jr. High

Behavioral and Social Sciences

First Place — Pooja Desai/Earl Warren Jr. High

Second Place — Vivek Gupta/Ronald Reagan Elementary

Third Place — Alex Penner/El Tejon School

Honorable Mention — Kelsie Jett/Beardsley Jr. High and Mason Partain/Standard Middle School

Cognitive Sciences

First Place — Georgia Johnsen/St. John’s Lutheran

Second Place — Reena Somani/Earl Warren Jr. High

Third Place — Autumn Maguregui/Standard Middle Scool

Honorable Mention — Isabel Iturriria/Downtown Elementary and Krish Gopalan/Norris Middle School


First Place — John Beshara/Sing Lum Elementary

Second Place — Anissa Vasquez, Esperanza Garza/Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Third Place — Tiffany Aung/Owens Intermediate

Honorable Mention — Anastasia Ostrom/St. Ann School

Special Recognition — Elize Chavez/Old River Elementary

Earth and Environmental Science

First Place — Hayden Pisano, Matt Perry/John L. Prueitt Elementary

Second Place — Samantha Noe/American Elementary

Third Place — Aayushi Kapadia/Ronald Reagan Elementary

Hornorable Mention — Rebecca Sharrer/Endeavour Elementary

Electricity and Electromagnetism

First Place — Rishi Shah/Ronald Reagan Elementary

Second Place — Emma Schulz/Rio Bravo Greeley Elementary

Third Place — Aley Castro/Fruitvale Jr. High

Honorable Mention — Sedona Vivirito/El Tejon Middle School

Animal Biology

First Place — Madeline Hutson/Downtown Elementary

Second Place — MacKenzie Bozarth/Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Third Place — Marko Zaninovich/St. Francis Parish

Honorable Mention — Abigail French/Stockdale Christian

Materials Science

First Place — Michael Hair III/St. John’s Lutehran

Second Place — Joshua Brooks, Sean Beardsley/Juliet Thorner

Third Place — Claire Hettinger/Stockdale Christian

Honorable Mention — Dylan Whitaker/Valley Oaks Charter School, Matthew Schweikart/Sing Lum Elementary and Macee Stowers/Rio Bravo Greeley

Environmental Science Pollution

First Place — Alana Tessman/Woodrow Wallace Middle School

Second Place — Tate Reynen/Stockdale Christian School

Third Place — Sydney Marler/Murray Middle School

Molecular Biology and Microbiology

First Place — Lianna Daug/Stockdale Christian School

Second Place — Katya Marchetti/Rio Bravo Elementary

Third Place — Sean Crowley/St. Francis Parish

Animal Physiology

First Place — Trevor Frisbee/Murray Middle School

Second Place — Sheyenne Mitchell/California City Middle School

Third place — Christopher Gereke/Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Honorable Mention — Kowan Miller/Valley Schools

Physics and Astronomy

First Place — Kassandra Cornejo/California City Middle School

Second Place — Stephanie Gallegos/Richland Jr. High

Third Place — Courtney Thompson/Laurelglen Elementary

Honorable Mention — Michael Gayita/Miller Elementary, Logan Eldridge/Thorner Elementary and Payton Cagle/Stockdale Christian

Special Recognition — Tina Evans/St. John’s Lutheran

Plant Biology

First Place — Connor Harden/Rio Bravo Greeley

Second Place — Eliza Lyday/Stockdale Christian

Third Place — Aurora Murphy/Beardsley Jr. High and Quintin Arretche/OLPH

Honorable Mention — Renz Cabrera/Cecil Ave. Math and Science Academy and Elliott Bryniarski/McAuliffe Elementary

Structural Mechanics

First Place — Callie McCaffery/Laurelglen Elementary

Second Place — Cheyenne Szeflin/St. John’s Lutheran

Third Place — Cedric Kim/Ollivier Middle School and Nathan Hodel/Legacy Christian Academy

Honorable Mention — Brayden Ochipinti/OLPH

Thermodynamics and Kinetics

First Place — William Edwards/ El Tejon School

Second Place — Xochitl Morales/Paramount Academy

Third Place — Mayley Nord/Stockdale Christian

Alternative Energy

First Place — Jaquelin Kelly, Kelly Stegeman/El Tejon School

Second Place — Tanner Tito/Woodrow Wallace Middle School

Third Place — Muskaan Singh/Earl Warren Jr. High

Honorable Mention —Chance Bogie, Vanessa Madrigal/Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Darby Mullins/Rio Bravo Greeley

Product and Science – Housekeeping and Housewares

First Place — Paige Fontes/Stockdale Christian

Second Place — Alhassan Alhassan/La Vina Middle School

Third Place — Valerie Fabbri/St. Francis Parish

Honorable Mention — Madelyn Porterfield/Norris Middle School

Food Chemistry – Protein, Minerals and Vitamins

First Place — Joeyta Banerjee/Earl Warren Jr. High

Second Place — Sagar Gupta/Stockdale Elementary

Third Place — Blake Bryant/Standard Middle School

Honorable Mention — Nathan Jones/Beardsley Jr. High and Katherine Hall/Murray Middle School

Food Chemistry - Carbohydrates

First Place — Kaylee Hopkins/Wayne Van Horne Elementary

Second Place — MacKenzie Huckeba/Stockdale Christian School

Third Place — Andie Kaess, Cassidy Porter/Frutivale Jr. High

Honorable Mention — Rebecca Strasser/OLPH AND

 Tanya Leon/Stonecreek Jr. High

Batteries and Static Electricity

First Place — Michael Stegeman/El Tejon Middle School

Second Place — Rafael Martinez/Almondale Elementary

Third Place — Naomi Jennings/Tevis Jr. High

Honorable Mention — Kaytlin Troxler, Trinity Taylor/Freedom Middle School

Chemical Reactions

First Place — McKenna Holzworth/Beardsley Jr. High

Second Place — Luke Champness/OLPH

Honorable Mention — Daniel keefe, Nathan Guenther/ Norris Middle School and David Louden/OLPH

Applied Mechanics and Computer Science Machines

First Place —Anthony Fells/St. John’s Lutheran

Second Place — Elizabeth Malone/McAuliffe Elementary

Third Place — Ian Kelsey/Stockdale Elementary

 Honorable Mention — Dennis Posey/Lincoln Jr. High

Special Recognition — Noah Ramirez/Downtown Elementary and Isabella Khuu/St. John’s Lutheran School

GRADE 5 (Not Eligible for State Science Fair)

Astronomy, Earth and Environmental Science

First Place — Jake Nahama/Laurelglen Elementary

Second Place — Ian Kim/Ronald Reagan Elementary

Third Place — Caleb Westerhout/Ramon Garza Elementary

Honorable Mention — Alison Poon/Kendrick Elementary

Behavioral, Animal and Field Studies

First Place — Madeline Kibler/Ridgecrest Charter School

Second Place — Emma Wilson/St. John’s Lutheran

Third Place — Jesus Nuno/Fremont Elementary

Honorable Mention — Aubrey Olsen/Laurelglen Elementary and Carson Alten/Wallace Elementary


First Place — Hyrum Hansen/Valley Oaks Charter School

Second Place — Mattaniah Matte/El Tejon Elemenetary

Third Place — Anden Spicer/Rosedale North Elementary

Honorable Mention — Angelique Ancheta/Buena Vista Elementary and Priscila Tijerina/Myrtle Ave. Elementary

Engineering, Computer Science

First Place — Luke Merickel/Stockdale Elementary

Second Place — Ryan Elcano/Rio Bravo Greeley Elementary

Third Place —Brett Crosby/Rio Bravo Greeley Elementary

Honorable Mention — Marcus Level/Seibert Elementary

Heat Chemistry and Heat Physics

First Place — Robin Warner/Golden Hills Elementary

Second Place — Kate Conolly/Almondale Elementary

Third Place — Addison Jester/Legacy Christian Academy and Enrique Carrillo/Teresa Burke Elementary

Honorable Mention — Katelyn Yacoub/St. John’s Lutheran

Food and Health Science

First Place — Nolan Stoner/Del Rio Elementary

Second Place — Makenna Pollema/St. John’s Lutheran

Third Place — Korinne Burkhart/Hacienda Elementary

Honorable Mention — Dalaney Meeks/Independence Elementary

Materials and Consumer Science

First Place — Boston Whitaker/Valley Oaks Charter School

Second Place — Hannah Hudson/Van Horne Elementary

Third Place — Olivia Burns-Walker/Palla Elementary

Honorable Mention — Amere Wofford/Loudon Elementary and Bianca Brown/Sing Lum Elementary

Physics (Laws of Matter, Motion and Energy)

First Place — Elyse Wong/St. John’s Lutheran

Second Place — Nvkiran Khehra/Buena Vista Elementary

Third Place — Thomas Guerrera Hastings/Golden Hills Elementary

Honorable Mention — Aidan Schultz/Woodrow Wallace Elementary and Special Recognition — Mallory Webster/Thorner Elementary and Michael Baker/Cesar Chavez Magnet

Matthew Castanares/American Elementary

Plant Biology

First Place — Cassidy Gereke/Teresa Burke Elementary

Second Place — Nayeli Puente/Redwood Elementary

Third Place — Eli Haushalter/McAuliffe Elementary

Chemical Reactions

First Place — Nherlyn Capalac/Fremont Elementary (Delano)

Second Place — Berenise Mendez/Fremont Elementary (Delano)

Third Place — Alexis Aguirre/Granite Point Elementary

Honorable Mention — Jackie Bugarin/Panama Elementary

Special Recognition — Christian Gutierrez/Fremont Elementary (Delano)

 Philippe Marinas/Stockdale Elementary

GRADE 4 (Not Eligible for State Science Fair)

Astronomy, Earth and Environmental Science

First Place — Alor Sahoo/St. John’s Lutheran School

Second Place — Alyssa Crosby/Rio Bravo Elementary

Third Place — Braeden Burrow/Discovery Elementary

Honorable Mention — Jeffrey Stambook/Sing Lum Elementary and Isaiah Wright/ Woodrow Wallace

Chemical Reactions

First Place — Yessica Diaz/Pioneer Elementary

Second Place — Dejion Swisher/Munsey Elementary

Third Place — Henry Acosta/John L. Prueitt Elemetary

Honorable Mention — Armando Carrera III/Hacienda Elementary


First Place — Siena Carruth/Mountain Charter

Second Place — Harshini Ravi/Ronald Reagan Elementary

Third Place — Michael Rivera/Thorner Elementary

Honorable Mention — Colton VanHook/Woodrow Wallace

Engineering and Applied Mathematics

First Place — Ryan Pitter/Rio Bravo Elementary

Second Place — Andrew Hollman/Del Rio Elementary

Third Place — Carissa York/Palla Elementary

Honorable Mention — Annika Houck/Saint Ann School

Heat and Electricity

First Place — Joseph Campbell/Columbia Elementary

Second Place — Cany Gonzalez/Ramon Garza Elementary

Third Place — Bryant Hutchinson/Old River Elementary

Food and Health Science

First Place — Ian Davis/Miller Elementary

Second Place — Shannon Powers/American Elementary

Third Place — Holly Morrison/Fairview Elementary

Honorable Mention — Krina Ghadia/Owens Intermediate

Materials and Consumer Science

First Place — Landon Smith/Independence Elementary

Second Place — Lindsay Guyton/Discovery Elementary

Third Place — Alexander Fan/Bessie Owens Intermediate

Honorable Mention — Kristen Rowles/Downtown Elementary and Nalanni Tellez/Myrtle Ave School


First Place — Christopher Gage/Highland Elementary

Second Place — Chase Clayton/Centennial Elementary

Third Place — Morrison Dobere/ Morningside Elementary

Honorable Mention — May’C Rogers/Palla Elementary and Tyler Trang/McAuliffe Elementary

Plant Biology

First Place — Cohen Sullivan/Old River Elementary

Second Place — Gus Waterhouse/Rio Bravo Elementary

Third Place — Hannah Irving/Wayne Van Horne Elementary

Honorable Mention — Christy Lopez/Cesar Chavez Elementary

Behavioral Animal and Field Studies

First Place — Clara Doll/Downtown Elementary

Second Place — Ella Parks/Stockdale Elementary

Third Place — Conner Smith/Centennial Elementary

Honorable Mention — April Aguilar/Frazier Park Elementary and Griffith Knight/Peak to Peak Mountain Charter

He was one of about 700 students who participated Tuesday in the 26th annual Kern County Science Fair.

Only 53 participants earned first-place distinctions, and Eldred Marshall, coordinator of the fair, said many of those winners would fill the 48 slots held for Kern County in the California State Science Fair April 28 and 29.

But, Marshall said before Tuesday’s awards ceremony, “All of our students are winners.”

Rows of three-fold presentation boards — 650 projects total since some students worked in teams — filled a convention center stage behind him.

Students tested inquiries varying from ability of a homemade windmill to generate high levels of electricity to the type of salt needed to generate the most effective crystalization process.

Colton Van Hook, a fourth-grader in the Kernville Union Elementary School District, tested 17 different liquids to determine that fresh and processed lemon juice worked best as invisible inks.

And Alison Poon, a fifth-grader in the Greenfield Union School District, experimented with sandstone, limestone and shale sedimentary rocks to conclude that sandstone absorbs the most oil.

Students relied on memories of interesting projects they encountered in the past and research on science websites to pick from a range of ideas, but the fair also featured projects in which authentic inquiries drove student hypotheses and processes.

Muskaan Singh, a seventh-grader in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District, said her mother inspired her to test if renewable and nonrenewable energy sources produced the same amount of heat energy.

”My mom always complained about gas prices,” she said.

As a result, Singh explored the subject area more and found that nonrenewable sources produced more heat energy.

It was one of at least two projects highlighted Tuesday that started with a mother’s grievance.

Elizabeth Tellez, mom of fourth-grader Nalanni Tellez in the Lamont School District, said her complaint about the cost of batteries inspired her daughter’s project.

She said she was not going to purchase any more batteries for Nalanni’s three Furbies, electronic toys requiring four AA batteries each.

Nalanni suggested her mother buy cheaper off-brand batteries, which then prompted the question that drove Nalanni’s scientific process: Does cost reflect battery life?

The answer is no, Nalanni found.

She tested four brands: Rayovac, Energizer, Duracell and Eveready.

Rayovac, one of two 99-cent brands, had the longest battery life of four hours and 25 minutes, according to Nalanni’s research.

Energizer, Duracell and Eveready (the second 99-cent brand) came in second, third and fourth places.

Nalanni earned an honorable mention ribbon at the fair Tuesday.

Students earned ribbons Tuesday in 53 categories of scientific projects ranging from the honorable mention like Nalanni’s to first-place winners like Ian Davis, the Miller Elementary School student whose project found that washing hands with soap and hot water was the best way to eliminate germs.

Educators at the event said the fair is a valuable learning opportunity as the state prepares to implement new Next Generation Science Standards.
The State Board of Education adopted the standards last year to replace current benchmarks that have been in place since 1998.

Scott Frank, a teacher and science fair coach in the Delano Union School District, said the standards, grounded in process-driven discovery and building models, will emphasize student ability to prove knowledge of scientific processes with performance and implementation of real-life models.

He added that the new model aligns with requirements outlined as part of the science fair.

“If they can do this, they’re light-years ahead of the Next Generation standards,” Frank said.


Have something to share? Comment on this story
Today's Daily Deal
Daily Deal Image
Tutti Frutti Yogurt Shop
$20 of Yogurt for $10
  • Value
  • Savings
  • Bought
Buy Now