Local Kids Win at Science and Engineering Fair
The Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair (ACSEF) was held the weekend of March 10 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Students at Alameda Community Learning Center (ACLC) participated in the competition after qualifying at the ACLC Science Fair held in December. The youth spent the weekend talking to scientists and engineers about the science experiments they developed as part of their ACLC science classes. Learners returned from the experience with new insights and much enthusiasm for science.
Mai Corkins, an 11th grader, won second place for her project titled: “Secret Superpowers: Garlic Reveals Another Hidden Talent.” The fair “opened up my mind to the possibility of being a scientist,” she said.
Aidan Gleason won second place for his “Oil Spill Containment Apparatus.” He said going to ACSEF was fun because he likes to share, and the fair is a big deal. Keynote speaker Sarah Richardson (Founder, Chief Scientific Officer, Ignition Genomics) spoke on how she uses DNA to train bacteria to do tricks, which proved particularly inspirational for Gleason.
Seventh graders Deniz Akin and Morna Mandic won second place for their project on Eco-Fertilizers. Akin enjoyed the fair because, “you get to look at everyone else’s projects and you learn a lot from them.”
This is Erika Badalyan’s fourth time at the ACSEF. She earned an honorable mention for her project “Are All Chi Created Equal?” Badalyan said the fair “ignites a fire” that helps young people figure out what they want to do with their futures.
George Hofstetter and Luana Cardenas won honorable mentions for a project they coded themselves called “Are You Safe?” When asked about the experience Cardenas said, “Reading about science doesn’t compare to seeing people your own age leaving their mark in science with you walking along with them.”