Eagles earn Grand Prize, four First Places at ABSS Science Fair

Eastern Alamance’s students had a big day at the recent ABSS Science Fair, taking home the Grand Prize and four additional first place projects. The winning students came together for a photo at Eastern High the morning of Monday, December 16 (Top left to right): Jordan Beavis, Liam Weiss, Lilian Fitzgerald, Riley Dixon, Miranda Richmond, Kyler Gonzalez, Paarth Tara. (Bottom left to right): Faryn Deal, Kallie Elam, Josie Gonzalez.

Eastern Alamance’s students had a very strong showing at the ABSS District Science Fair, which was held earlier this month. The Eagles took home the overall Grand Prize, first place in four other events, as well as second place in an event. Eastern’s students will now move on to the Regional Science Fair, which will be held on the campus of UNC-Greensboro on February 1, 2020. 

“I’m very proud of all of them. We did really well. Eastern usually does well, but this year we did really, really well,” said Eastern High science teacher Shelley Casey, who works with all the winning Eagles students in various classes.

Paarth Tara won the overall Grand Prize with his project on Clandestine Network Growth Dynamics. Tara, a sophomore at EAHS, made it twice during his days at Woodlawn Middle School to the Scripps Howard National Spelling Bee. 

“Our overall Grand Prize winner did a technology project,” Casey explained. “It’s a lot of computer programming. That is a little bit over my head.”

First Place in Physics and Mathematics went to Eastern’s tandem of Tanner Logan and Liam Weiss for their project - The Effect of Shape on Sound. First place in Engineering went to Eastern’s combo of Josie and Kyler Gonzalez for their project The New Generation: Building a Pathway to a Greener and Stronger Future. 

First place in Earth and Environmental Science went to Riley Dixon, Lilian Fitzgerald, and Miranda Richmond for their combined project - Fertilizer Filtration Systems. First place in Chemistry went to Kallie Elam for her project - Filtering Carbon Dioxide from the Air using Transportation Vehicles. Second place in Biology Group 2 was Faryn Deal and Jordan Beavis for their project - Nic Prints. 

While most of the students completed these projects for a grade, there were a couple that completed projects simply to take part in the Science Fair. 

“It starts off as a ten-week project. We walk them through the Scientific Method. They have to design their own project. They get to pick their own topic - mostly because we feel like if they pick a topic they’re interested in, they’ll do a little bit better job,” Casey said. “A few of them are not actually in a class. They participated last year, and made it to very high levels. We’re very excited about the prospect of winning again. They decided to participate as well.” 

Mrs. Casey admitted that getting to work with such bright and motivated young students was one of the things that helped keep a high school teacher in the job in this day and age. 

“That is why teachers stay teaching - when you get kids who stay excited,” she said. “We have some students that this is their first time participating at the high school level. We have freshmen all the way up to seniors. I’m always amazed by what they come up with. Always amazed.”

“I think the Science Fair is important to teach them not just about science, but meeting deadlines, preparing a project, and then defending your project to someone else. No matter what job they have, they’re going to have to do that,” Casey continued.