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RCPS Soars at State Science Fair with 60 Awards
2017 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair participants from Rockdale County Public SchoolsAthens, Ga. -  Rockdale County Public Schools students brought home 60 awards and recognitions from the 69th annual Georgia Science and Engineering Fair (GSEF) held March 30 - April 1, 2017 at The Classic Center in Athens, Georgia.   

Forty-five RCPS students competed at the state level in Athens. All were Grand Champions at Rockdale Regional Science and Engineering Fair (RRSEF). Scott Bolen, Rockdale's regional fair director, said, "I am excited about the variety of projects and the number of categories in which our students were competitive."

"It is difficult to design a good research question, much less complete, present and defend a project that makes it all the way to the state fair," said Bolen. "The success of Rockdale's representatives says a great deal about the effort that our students and their Research teachers put into their work" he added.

Davis Middle School students Emma MacDonald and Sydney Palmer received eight awards for their research, entered in the Junior Division's Cellular and Molecular Biology category. Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology (RMSST) students represented Rockdale County in 10 of the Senior Division's 20 categories and were awarded nine times for their effort. 

In all, RRSEF representatives were recognized in 17 Specialty Awards categories for their work. These specialty awards are in addition to the first, second, and third honors ribbons that many members of the delegation received. 

RMSST junior Jaedon Hanchard called his experience at the state fair "enlightening", while sophomore Aryanna Brown said, "Many of the fair's judges suggested pathways for my work that I had not considered before." 

RMSST senior Nkima Stephenson, one of three students who will represent RRSEF at the International Science Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May said, "I learned a lot from the different projects around me, and a lot about the possibilities of bioinformatics."

Stephenson will be joined by Madeline Burkey and Michelle Nguyen in Los Angeles, California, May 14-19, 2017 to compete at Intel ISEF. 


RCPS WINNERS AT 2017 GSEF

SENIOR DIVISION (HIGH SCHOOL) 

FIRST HONORS: 
Khaylie Boothe (RMSST),  
Michelle Nguyen (RMSST). 

SECOND HONORS: 
Madeline Burkey (RMSST),  
Jennifer Cruz (RMSST),  
Zaharia Selman (RMSST),  
Nkima Stephenson (RMSST), 
Matthew York (RMSST). 

THIRD HONORS: 
Kayla Andrews (RMSST),  
Faith Buchanan (RMSST),  
Isabelle Kirkwood (RMSST). 

FOURTH HONORS: 
Aryanna Brown (RMSST),  
Christian Downer (RMSST), 
Jacqueline Gomez (RMSST),  
Jaedon Hanchard (RMSST),  
Huong Ho (RMSST),  
Cody Myers (RMSST),  
Nadirah Royer (RMSST). 


JUNIOR DIVISION (MIDDLE SCHOOL) 


FIRST HONORS: 
Ava Bailey (DMS), 
Caleb Buchanan (DMS), 
Corey Kidd (DMS),  
Emma MacDonald (DMS), 
Sydney Palmer (DMS). 

SECOND HONORS:
Michael Kinsey (DMS),  
Zak Yassin (MMS).  

THIRD HONORS:
Megan Fachisthers (DMS),  
Margaret Hwang (DMS),  
Grant Owen (DMS),  
Gabrielle Wood (MMS).  

FOURTH HONORS: 
Hailey Covarrubias (DMS).   


SPECIALTY AWARDS 

American Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics Award (Senior Division) - Matthew York (1st place). 
American Psychological Association Award (Senior Division)- Zaharia Selman (1st place). 
Broadcom MASTERS Nominees - Ava Bailey, Caleb Buchanan, Nylah Ductan, Corey Kidd, Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
Georgia Association of Water Professionals Award (Senior Division) - Laney Norton (2nd place). 
Inspiring Excellence Award (Junior Division) - Michael Kinsey, Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
Inspiring Excellence Award (Senior Division)- Isabelle Kirkwood. 
Inspiring Excellence Teaching Award - Dr. JoDi Osborn. 
National Association of Biology Teachers Life Science Award (Junior Division) - Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
National Association of Biology Teachers Life Science Award (Senior Division) - Khalie Boothe.
Sigma Xi (CDC Chapter) Public Health Science Award (Junior Division) - Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
Tellus Science Museum Award (Junior Division) - Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
UGA Cellular Biology Award (Junior Division) - Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
UGA Department of Microbiology Award (Senior Division) - Michelle Nguyen. 
U.S. Air Force Achievement Award (Senior Division) - Matthew York. 
Wesleyan College Math and Science Award (Senior Division) - Jennifer Cruz, Madeline Burkey. 
UGA Women in Science Award (Junior Division)  -  Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 
Best in Category Cellular and Molecular Biology (Junior Division) - Emma MacDonald, Sydney Palmer. 



Pictured below: RCPS students at the 2017 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.  

RCPS students at the 2017 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.


Pictured below: Nkima Stephenson, a senior at Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology, presents her work titled "Data Analysis of Epigenetics of Drug and Alcohol Dependence" at the 2017 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.

RMSST senior Nkima Stephenson presents "Data Analysis of Epigenetics of Drug and Alcohol Dependence" at Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.


Pictured below: Aryanna Brown, Jacqueline Gomez, and Angel Brooks recently represented RRSEF at the 2017 Georgia State Science and Engineering Fair. 

RMSST students Aryanna Brown, Jacqueline Gomez, Angel Brooks at the 2017 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.