2018 Rio Rancho Senior Science EXPO

Experience Pays Off At Science EXPO
Posted on 01/23/2018

Two Science EXPO veterans, both of whom have previously represented Rio Rancho in national and international competitions, took top honors as "Outstanding Young Researchers" in the 2018 Rio Rancho Public Schools Senior Science EXPO.

Paris Reuel and "Caffeine: The Real Killer" project

Cleveland High senior Paris Reuel, who represented Rio Rancho last spring at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), researched the effects of caffeine. Reuel’s science success is a family tradition: some 15 years ago, Paris' brother Nigel was one of the first RRPS students to be invited to exhibit at Intel ISEF, and his sister Mercedes also was a top exhibitor.

Matuke Fomukong being interviewed by a judgeRio Rancho High’s Matuke Fomukong is also no stranger to international competition. A couple of years ago, she represented Rio Rancho at I-SWEEEP, a leading international science competition focused on environmental issues. Her project this year, “Helios Aqua System Phase 4: Artificially Dropping Pressure to Maximize Volumes of Purified Water,” is a continuation of her first three years of research on a system to purify salt water into drinking water. In addition to being a top young scientist, Fomukong is a very competitive track athlete who already has state championships to her credit.

Wide view of Science Expo in Cleveland GymSome 260 students from Cleveland and Rio Rancho High prepared 201 projects for this year's Science EXPO. Students choose a topic of interest to them, develop a testable question about that topic, gather and analyze data, and prepare materials reporting their results. They then must explain and defend their project and results to the judges.

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. Projects are judged in categories including Behavioral and Social Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Energy and Transportation, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Health, and Physics.

Science Expo competitors wide shotStudents 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 who earn first, second, or third placements qualify. From there, students can move on to state and international competition.