FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – Dozens of Fresno County students will take their science fair projects to the next level by participating in the state competition, but the fair is just the beginning for many students who will go on to compete worldwide.
Students, Justin Quon, Braden Batesole, and Manraj Mondair have been spending a lot of time together. They have two weeks to prepare for the upcoming state science fair competition.
“There is a lot of stress that goes with it and nervousness but it’s very exciting that we can show our solution to higher level people and people know about the issue,” says Quon, a student at Buchanan High School.
The three Buchanan high school students project, title an autonomous robotics approach to detecting and depleting micro plastic from fresh water sources, won them honors at this year’s Fresno County science fair.
“Amazing in a word really. It was a long process getting to this point and were happy we got some recognition let alone this,” says Batesole.
Braden and his team are among the 225 students who participated in this year’s science fair. When honors were handed out 50 students won awards that would take them to the state science fair competition.
“Your work and more importantly your work ethic is on display and we adults commend you for it,” says Dr. Michele Copher, superintendent of Fresno County schools.
It’s an exciting ceremony and all eyes are on the final four. The top winners will go to the international science and engineering fair, where seven million dollars in cash prizes and scholarships will be given away. This will be Jaspreet Sahota’s second trip to international and she’s learned a thing or two.
“From prior experience I realize it’s not even about the project but it’s about the people I’m going to be able to meet not just from California or the U.S. but internationally,” says Sahota.
Jennifer Weibert, director of the Fresno County science fair, encourages students to participate, she says there are many rewards, and you don’t have to take home the top prize to be a winner.
“We give out $20,000 in cash at the Fresno fair and with that come other competitions that give certificates to advance on as well,” says Weibert.
University high school student Eva Chen didn’t take home the top prize, but she still won a lot and she’s one of the four that will be going to the international competition.
“It’s really nice to be in an atmosphere where there is so many people as passionate as you,” says Chen.
Many of these students spent months on their projects working afterschool and weekends because they love to explore the sciences and where it can take them.
“I don’t see these as awards I see these as skills I can take into my future in my career,” says Mondair.