Two Beehive Academy students were among the top honorees at the Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair awards ceremony, March 27.
Ninth grader Pheonix Jones designed a computer program to identify students’ strengths and weaknesses in their learning styles based on math and language arts tests. From there, she is further writing individual tests so students can learn a subject and progress as they show mastery of the subject.
“I was finding out if ‘practice makes perfect,’ and I tested myself several times over three months to make sure the tests worked if I answered questions correctly or not,” she said. “I got the idea because in elementary school, I was friends with students who have special needs and felt they weren’t getting enough attention, so I wanted to choose a way they could learn and get the help they need.”
Pheonix, who used some computer skills from class and taught herself some programming on her own, hopes to expand her design and put it online so teachers and parents can use the tool to help children learn.
For her work, she received the senior division’s first prize from the National Center for Women and Information Technology and will have an opportunity to attend their summer camp.
Seventh grader Aryan Zodge created “RescueBot,” which is a miniature robot that has a camera, sensors and computer that can enter into natural disaster zones to help identify life. The current cost of the project is about $40, but Aryan would like to improve the design by adding a thermosensor.
“I had heard of natural disasters and saw the current rescue missions and thought that is something that could be improved upon instead of digging up, looking for people in random spots,” Aryan said. “I enjoy computer science and engineering and would love to work in robotics and technology.”
Aryan won first prize in the Utah 4H junior division special awards and has been invited to a 4H summer camp.
The Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair, which was held March 24-26 at the University of Utah, invited students attending public schools in grades five through 12 in the Salt Lake, Granite, Park City, Murray, Canyons and Tooele school districts who won their school or district science fairs. Charter and private school students also were welcomed to compete.
Peruvian Park Elementary fifth grader Breighton Papac won The Association of Women Geoscientists award for her experiment, “Causes of Rising Sea Level — The Thermal Expansion of Water.”
Other local special award-winners include National Center for Women and Information Technology honorable mention winners: Eliana Groves, Silver Mesa Elementary, Paige Anderson and Brinley Warren, Eastmont Middle; and Utah 4-H honorable mention winners Autumn Campbell and Cooper Despain, Park Lane Elementary.
Category winners include Chase Nagy and Brielle El Bakri, Brookwood Elementary, honorable mention in behavioral and social sciences; James Sybrowsky, Lone Peak Elementary, honorable mention in behavioral and social sciences; Jonah Knubel, Park Lane Elementary, honorable mention in biology and biochemistry; Keegan Hayes, Silver Mesa Elementary, honorable mention in chemistry; Nathan Hunter, Albion Middle, honorable mention in energy and transportation; Saige Plowman, Altara Elementary, honorable mention in energy and transportation; Erika Jensen and Autumn Campbell, Park Lane Elementary, honorable mention in environmental sciences; Isabelle Hunsaker, Crescent Elementary, honorable mention in environmental sciences; Sarah Graham, Blessed Sacrament, honorable mention in environmental sciences; Ainsley Warren, Eastmont Middle, honorable mention in medicine and health sciences; Attalie Lunt, Albion Middle, honorable mention in medicine and health sciences; Kate Thayne and Sarah Coon, Crescent Elementary, honorable mention in physics, astronomy and math; Matt Merkley, Willow Canyon, honorable mention in plant and Earth sciences; Mary Parker, Butler Middle, honorable mention in plant and Earth sciences; Paige Blair, honorable mention in plant and Earth sciences.