Copper Ridge students named state winners in STEM Competition

Marina Rodriguez, on left, with her students. (submitted photo)

For the second year in a row, Copper Ridge School students dominated Arizona’s annual statewide E-Cybermission competition with sixth graders sweeping the top three spots, seventh graders taking both first and third place, and eighth graders earning a second place win in their respective divisions.

These impressive achievements are a testament to Copper Ridge middle school’s commitment to a rigorous STEM curriculum, according to a press release.

Science teachers Marina Rodriguez, Tyler Kozimor, and Clinton Hughes continuously work to offer their students new opportunities to learn, experiment, and grow, the press release stated, noting the school’s STEM successes would not be possible without their inspired teaching.

Notably, Ms. Rodriguez has coached her sixth grade students to victory for two straight years, sweeping all three top spots in the sixth grade division, in both 2017 and 2018. Seventh and eighth grade science teachers Mr. Kozimor and Mr. Hughes are eager and able to continue the winning Trailblazer tradition.

Copper Ridge’s 7th Grade first place team. (submitted photo)

E-Cybermission is a web-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) competition for students in grades six through nine that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM.

Teams of three or four students are instructed to ask questions (for science) or define problems (for engineering), and then construct explanations (for science) or design solutions (for engineering) based on identified problems in their community.

Students compete for state, regional, and national awards.

The U.S. Army Educational Outreach Program is committed to answering the nation’s need for increased national STEM literacy and to expanding STEM education opportunities across the country to open doors to new career paths for American students that lead to a brighter tomorrow, the press release stated.

The winning sixth grade team, The Blonde Bandits, investigated food allergies. Lauren Weintraub, Abigail Sash, Meghan Mahoney and Madison Smit applied their research by creating an allergy-free cookie with all the hallmark qualities of a traditional cookie.

The winning seventh grade team, the 2 + 1 Musketeers, explored the pervasive issue of cracked and chipped windshields. Katherine Sciarotta, Riley Stiller, and Maya Marchese earned the top spot by creating a windshield protector.

Copper Ridge 6th Grade first place team. (submitted photo)

Members of the first-place teams earned $1,000 savings bonds. Winning teams will enter a second round of competition in June as virtual judges evaluate the top three scores from each region in each grade level.

Copper Ridge teams earned additional accolades.

  • Sixth grade second place team: Do You Brownie Sis? (Savannah Melton, Sofia Dickes, Juliet Parker, and Rian Henderson) investigated vitamin deficiency and created a brownie that provides a daily dose of vitamin D.
  • Eighth grade second place team: The Brunettes (Rachel Zimmerman, Katie Baptiste, Kaya Sethi, and Katherine Malloy) tested the effect of various musical genres on the ability of students to successfully complete a test.
  • Sixth grade third place Honorable Mention team: Team 10 (Jack Barrow, Thomas Wetzler, Dylan Wolfe, and Tyler Morrison) researched bacteria on foods and created a chemical-free antibacterial spray for fruits and vegetable.
  • Seventh grade third place Honorable Mention team: The Program (Nathaniel Leahy, Noah Moyer, and Hudson Whitney) tested water within the community to see how contamination levels compared with local data.

Copper Ridge School is a part of the Scottsdale Unified School District at 10101 E. Thompson Peak Parkway.

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