Scottsdale students sweep Arizona-division STEM competition

The “Brain Busters” pictured from left are Katie Marsh, Lars Nordhagen, Chris Alexander, and Paul Kadavy. The team took first place with a project called H2gr0w. (submitted photo)

Three sixth grade teams from Scottsdale’s Copper Ridge School swept the state’s E-Cybermission competition for their grade, taking first and second place, and honorable mention.

E-Cybermission is a web-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics — also known as STEM — competition for students in sixth through ninth grade, that promotes self-discovery and enables all students to recognize the real-life applications of STEM, according to a press release.

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

The Copper Ridge teams were:

  • First Place: Team Brain Busters:  (Paul Kadavy, Lars Nordhagen, Katie Marsh, Chris Alexander) Created a self-watering pot called H2grOw. The machine will make it easier to take care of house plants and hopefully will increase the amount of plant life.
  • Second Place: Team The Master Minds: (Sami Fisher, Maya Miller, Jessica Knapp, Brienne Hade) They investigated dental health. In their research they discovered that children are not allowed to use whiting strips  because they are toxic if consumed. Therefore, they created a mouthwash for children with natural ingredients that would hopefully white their teeth and at the same time clean their mouths.
  • Third Place: Honorable mention: Team e-Lemon-aters: (Ryann McIntosh, Sawyer Furio, Nancy Mellon)  They investigated the problem of food cravings. From their research they learned which components can help lower food cravings, such as gum, mints, and exercise. They conducted several experiments on each component with volunteered subjects.

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 expand STEM education opportunities across the country, to open new career paths for American students that lead to a brighter tomorrow, the press release stated.

Copper Ridge’s sixth grade students have been led by teacher Marina Rodriguez, who has been nicknamed M-Rod by her students.

“The kids worked hard, but the students’ success is a testament to their teacher’s impressive abilities,” SUSD parent, Casey Kadavy. “Marina Rodriguez is magical! She finds such innovative ways to encourage her students to think deeply and solve complex problems.”

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