Science Expo 2020

Rio Rancho High Science Researchers Earn Regional Honors
Posted on 03/30/2020

Nastassja Martin with science projectLike so many other high school rites of passage, this year's Central New Mexico Science and Engineering Research Challenge fell victim to the coronavirus pandemic.  But that didn't stop three talented Rio Rancho High School students from earning regional honors. 

Although the Science and Engineering Challenge -- the regional science fair -- was cancelled, students were given the option to compete by sending in photos of their project display boards, along with abstracts and other documentation.  The projects were reviewed by category judges, who then interviewed the students presenting the top dozen projects.  Based on this modified form of judging, students earned placement awards and cash prizes.

Kenji Helms and Maya Barrientos with projectNastassja Martin (top photo) received a $350 second place award for her project, Study of Antimony Alkoxy Carboxylates as Dopants for Zinc Oxide Varistors.  Maya Barrientos and Kenji Helms (bottom photo), competing as a team, earned a third place award and $250 for their project, Flute Angles Part 2.

Normally, the top regional projects would move on to the New Mexico State Science Fair, with additional opportunities to qualify for national/international competition.  Like all statewide competitions, the State Science Fair will not be held this year due to the restrictions imposed in response to the pandemic.   

Top Exhibitors Named at 2020 Senior Science EXPO
Posted on 01/23/2020

Mimi Lam and Leslie Perez present their projectFor months, 272 of Rio Rancho’s brightest young scientists formulated scientific hypotheses and tested their theories, preparing to defend their results to a tough group of volunteer judges dedicated to poking holes in the most carefully-drawn conclusions. 

On January 23 it was judgement day: RRPS’s annual Senior Science EXPO.  When the results were tallied, two projects – one from Cleveland High and one from Rio Rancho High – topped the results, and five students earned the title “Outstanding Young Researcher.” 

Outstanding Young Researchers 2020 EXPOSeniors Marguerite Kibodeaux and Tess Kirkpatrick from Cleveland High (at right in the photo) won top honors for their project, Relationship betwan Oxalic Acid and Iron.  Three Rio Rancho High seniors – Kang Phan, Aiden Myerscough, and Caleb Weir (at left in the photo), are Outstanding Researchers for their work on their project, Biosphere 2.1: Replicating Climate Change. 

Biosphere 2.1 science projectThe Science EXPO teaches more than just science.  The program helps students develop critical thinking skills by researching topics in a variety of academic disciplines.  Many students apply the principles and protocols of scientific inquiry to solving real-world problems in art and music, sports, business, the humanities, and other academic areas as well as science, engineering, and mathematics. 

Students compete for prizes and the opportunity to participate in the Central New Mexico Science and Engineering Challenge, the regional-level science and engineering competition.  Students earning first, second, or third awards – roughly the top 40 projects, 20 each from CHS and RRHS – qualify for regionals.  

Wide shot student exhibitors at EXPO

If they do well at the regional level, students can move on to state and international competitions.  Through this process in the past, several Rio Rancho Public Schools students have qualified to compete at prestigious international competitions including the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). 

The Science EXPO is open to students in a public, private or home school setting in Rio Rancho and surrounding community schools.  Students may exhibit individually, or two or three students can work together and present a project as a team.  This year, 272 students prepared 202 projects for the Senior Science EXPO.