Local Charter School Students Shine in Science

Courtesy Patricia Williamson ACLC learners await judging results at the 2015 Alameda County Science Fair.

Young scientists from the Nea and Alameda Community Learning Centers (ACLC) entered a broad range of projects in the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair held from March 20 to 22 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

They entered 35 projects and 19 placed, including five first-place winners, one second-place winner and six third-place winners. Seven projects gained additional recognition, garnering 10 special awards.

"Science is very focal at both of our schools," said Patti Wilczek, executive director of Community Learning Center Schools, which oversees Nea and ACLC.

"We have a well-established tradition of promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) within our schools and seeing our learners participate in county, state, and international science fairs."

ACLC ninth-grader Erika Badalyan’s project, "Stress Relief from Laughter? It’s No Joke" earned not only first place in behavioral sciences, but special awards from the U.S. Department of Health, the American Psychological Society and the California State Science Fair Qualified Award.

Badalyan will compete in the 64th annual state Science Fair, California’s most elite science competition for grades six through 12.

ACLC eleventh-grader Sophia Moore’s project, "An Early Warning System Using Self-Potential to Measure Levees" earned a first-place engineering award, as well as the Intel Talent Award, which includes a chance to compete in Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair.

In the middle-school division, Nea eighth-graders, Holly Teeters and Vivi McKee, won first place in middle school environmental science for "Filtering Particulates," as well as a Broadcom Masters award, which is given to the top 10 percent of first-place winners with an invitation to participate in their "Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars" competition.

ACLC seventh-graders, Harrison Coorey and Sara Zhu, received a first-place award in middle school behavioral sciences for "The Dependence of Reaction Time on Different Stimuli" and a Broadcom Masters award.

ACLC seventh-grader Noah Foster’s project, "Swing Time: Anisochronic Pendulums" took first place in middle school physics and a Broadcom Masters award.

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