Sonoma County Office of Education

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2016 Synopsys-Sonoma County Science Fair draws big crowd

03/07/2016 - Metha Web Robin Mehta, a Santa Rosa High School sophomore, has lived in the United States for less than a year after moving here from India. But that hasn't stopped him from committing himself to a time-consuming research project seeking to discover if a plant —wheatgrass, specifically — can grow without sunlight and water.

Brimming with excitement, he was one of a record number of students who showed up at the annual Synopsys-Sonoma County Science Fair on March 4 to showcase their scientific inquiries inquiries into some big questions. Standing by his well-detailed display board, Mehta revealed to interested judges and community members that the plant can, miraculously, grow in such deprived conditions. Other students tackled topics ranging from saving energy to fireproofing homes to isolating DNA for scientific research. In all, more than 125 projects were showcased by more than 175 students grades 6-12.

The event took place at the Rohnert Park Community Center this year and drew participation from 21 public and private schools. The students worked independently or in teams to investigate questions in various fields of science, then present their findings in displays and discussions with judges during the event. Read on for pictures of the participants and science fair results.

Science Fair Results

Six Projects Qualified to Advance to the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles in May (top five percent of projects):

  1. Sofia Fausone, The Healdsburg School
  2. Dante Cavaz, St. Francis Solano School
  3. Musaiel Gebremariam and Ryan Le, Piner High School
  4. Matthew Baumann, St. Francis Solano School
  5. Lily Amaturo and Abi Forgue, The Healdsburg School
  6. Christopher Raney, The Presentation School

Five Projects Qualified as Alternates (top 10% of projects):

  1. Nathaniel Simonson, St. Francis Solano School
  2. Lily Raaka, St. Francis Solano School
  3. Kelly Needleman, St. Francis Solano School
  4. Adriana Kornfein, Hillcrest Middle School
  5. Kayla Alcorcha, Adele Harrison Middle School

Science Fair, by the numbers:

  • 24 Blue Ribbons (90+% of points possible)
  • 38 Red Ribbons (80-89% of points possible)
  • 22 White Ribbons (70-79% of points possible)