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St. Mary’s School science fair winners to compete for new prize

February 13, 2015
Christina Gray

A science fair at Old St. Mary’s Cathedral in Chinatown on Jan. 23-25 showcased the result of its school’s new science, technology, engineering and mathematics program and produced seven middle school winners who will compete again this month at the Randall Museum’s annual science fair.

The nationwide program known as STEM emphasizes critical, creative and independent thinking and utilizes technology to help prepare students to compete in an increasingly global economy. It was launched at St. Mary’s School in 2013, making it the first school in the archdiocese to adopt the educational model.

At the St. Mary’s science fair, judges from some of the city’s most prestigious scientific institutions including the Academy of Sciences, the Exploratorium, Golden Gate Recreational Area, the National Park Service and the California Department of Consumer Affairs evaluated more than 45 student projects based on critical thinking, research, design and testing.

Ryan Cheung’s exhibit presented a case for his theory that San Francisco fog can be turned into a water source. Project team Kyle Pruden and Oscar Luo shared their “oxidation station” for preventing metals from rusting, while Ryan Quock tried to convince judges that robots can climb stairs.

Younger grades also competed in the fair, with kindergarteners presenting projects that created and captured gingerbread men, first and second graders exploring the principles of buoyancy, and fifth graders explaining the relationship between music and stress relief.

“Judges and students became collaborators on the exhibits during the competition,” said STEM director Beverly Dobrus.

Winners from that fair will go on to compete in the San Francisco Bay Area Science Fair.

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