A Temecula 7th grader is one of just three Riverside County students this year honored as a national semi-finalist finalists in the country’s premier science and engineering fair for middle-schoolers.
Mary Travis Haisten Doepner, a student at River Springs Charter School, was tapped during the recent Broadcom MASTERS competition.
Mary’s project was titled, “Findings from the Field: A Study of Pervious Materials in the Low Impact Development Project at Riverside County Flood Control and Water Conservation District.”
Mary was among thousands of entrants in the prestigious Broadcom MASTERS, where just 300 semi-finalists were selected. To be eligible, each student must have been nominated by a science fair affiliated with the national nonprofit Society for Science & the Public, which runs the national competition. In addition, semi-finalists earned those spots by demonstrating their use of STEM principles -- science, technology, engineering and math -- in the development and presentation of their project.
Yamileth Shimojyo, science coordinator for the Riverside County Office of Education, said it is a tremendous achievement to make the semi-finals in California.
“This year, out of 300 semi-finalists nationwide, 37 were from California,” she said. “Six of the 30 finalists come from California, the most of any state. Last year, a Northern California student won the competition, and Riverside County had two semifinalists then, too. It’s helping to give Riverside County a strong reputation in STEM competitions.”
From the field of semi-finalists, national judges chose just 30 projects to advance to the Broadcom’s final round. None of the Riverside County students advanced. In addition to Mary, Tré Joseph Risk, an 8th grader at Indio’s Desert Ridge Academy, and Hondo Guillermo Gonzalez, an 8th grader at St. Hyacinth Academy, were the two other Riverside County students honored as semi-finalists.
The middle-school competition’s name, MASTERS, stands for Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars. The event is underwritten by the Broadcom Foundation, with additional support from the Samueli Foundation and Elmer’s Products, Inc. This year’s finalists will gather in Washington, D.C., on September 28 to show their projects. The 2012 winner will be selected October 3.