Local students earn gold medals, advance to state, national science fairs


Eighty students, including 14 students from local districts earned gold medals, including three sweepstakes winners, while dozens of prizes and entries into state, national, and international fairs were awarded at the conclusion of the Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair held at the Riverside Convention Center March 2-3.

San Jacinto Unified School District winners were Michael Serrano from Megan Cope Elementary School, Jillian Tolliver from Jose Antonio Estudillo Elementary School and Serena Uribe from San Jacinto Leadership Academy.

Lake Elsinore Unified School District winners were Jacob Eideh and Edward Hunter from Earl Warren Elementary School; Lucas Lam, Katelynn Klopp and Heidi Bishop from Elsinore Middle School and Hayden Benham of Temescal Canyon High School.

Hemet Unified School District students who took home awards included Kya Bonney, Tenzing Carvalho, Zubin Carvalho and Arnauld Martinez; all attend Western Center Academy.

Ryan Drake of Rancho Christian School was also awarded a trophy and a $50 gift card from the Chemistry and Air Pollution Research Center at University of California Riverside as part of the Community Awards.

More than 450 students from 36 affiliate fairs represented public, charter and private schools and presented their findings in 365 projects spanning 19 subject matter categories from biochemistry and behavioral and environmental sciences to animal sciences and robotics and intelligent machines.

Gold and silver runner-up medals were presented, along with community awards. Within each of the 19 subject matter categories, students competed in the Grade 4/5 division, Junior division for grades 6-8 and Senior division for high school students. Winners in the Junior and Senior division advanced to the California State Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held April 20-21, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

Serrano and Tolliver both won a gold medal in the Grade 4 category.

Grade 5 Gold Medal winners included Eideh and Hunter.

Bishop and Klopp both were gold medal winners in the Junior Division.

Martinez was the only local student to win a gold medal in the Senior Division for grades 9-12.

Bishop, Klopp and Martinez will advance to the California State Science and Engineering Fair. Klopp and Bishop will also advance to National Broadcom MASTERS Competition.

Broadcom Masters nominees for 2020 included Lam, Klopp, Bishop, Bonney and Uribe.

Three local students won International Science and Engineering Fair Affiliated Regional Awards, provided in affiliation with INTELISEF.

Tenzing Carvalho won the U.S. Metric Association Award, and Zubin Carvlho was named the Stockholm Jr. Water Prize winner.

Benham was named the winner of the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award.

Participating districts, charter and private schools included Alvord Unified School District, Beaumont USD Coachella Valley USD, Corona-Norco USD,  Desert Sands USD, Hemet USD, Highland Academy Charter School, Inspire Charter School, Islamic Academy, Riverside, Jurupa USD, Lake Elsinore USD, Moreno Valley USD, Nuview USD, Palm Springs USD, Palo Verde USD, Perris Elementary School, REACH Leadership STEM Academy, Riverside STEAM Consortium, Riverside USD, Romoland SD, Sacred Heart School, San Jacinto USD, Springs Charter School, St. Catherines of Alexandria, St. Edwards School, St. Hyacinth Academy, St. Jeanne de Lestonnac, St. John’s Lutheran School, Sycamore Academy Charter, The Journey School, The Pechanga School, Temecula Preparatory School, Val Verde USD and Woodcrest Christian School.

Valley Staff can be reached by email at valleystaff@reedermedia.com.