By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Dent Students Earn STEAM Fair Honors

The San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) announced the winners of the 2020 SJCOE STEAM Fair at the Feb. 26 awards ceremony and a trio of Dent Elementary students was among the honorees. Judges selected winners after reviewing 207 individual, group, and whole-class projects submitted by over 400 K-12 students in the county. In all, 16 schools from four school districts, two private schools, and two charter schools participated in the fair.

From Dent, top projects were submitted by Bradley Potts, Hadley Casazza and Kaia Machado.

Formerly known as the Science and Engineering Fair, the 62nd annual event was renamed to reflect a new focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) education. New exhibition categories include science fiction writing, robotics, computer coding, reverse engineering, and creating Rube Goldberg machines. Students still competed in traditional categories to qualify for the California Science & Engineering Fair.

In another change, all competitors had an opportunity to present their projects to volunteer judges. In past years, only finalists presented their projects. To judge the projects, 48 STEM professionals and other volunteers from the community helped judge the projects and conduct interviews.

In the kindergarten through third grade division, First Place in Science went to Bradley Potts for his project: “Vital Signs: Exercise and Elevation”. Second place in the Science category went to Hadley Casazza for her work, “Germinating Lima Beans at Different Temperatures”.

In the fourth through fifth grade division, it was Kaia Machado who took first place in the Science division. Her project was: “Weight, Speed, and the Warped Wall”.

The SJCOE’s STEM Programs department seeks to promote science and engineering exploration and understanding for students. Each year, the SJCOE awards thousands of dollars to students and teachers who exhibit and articulate superior levels of understanding in the areas of science and engineering.

Seven projects from the STEAM Fair will represent San Joaquin County in the state fair in Los Angeles on April 20 and 21.

The Best of Show was awarded to Mountain House High School’s Jacqueline Prawira, “Cyclo. Plas: Upcycling Fish Scale Waste as an Environmentally Friendly Thin Plastic-Like Material to Combat White Pollution.”

The San Joaquin Audubon Society donated cash prizes for environmental awards. Additionally, cash prizes were awarded to top contenders from the SJCOE Educational Foundation.

San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) provides educational leadership, resources, and services to support schools throughout the county. With its highly regarded programs, innovative staff, and community partnerships, SJCOE ensures that every student in San Joaquin County has the opportunity of a quality education. For more information, visit