Selecting the right science topic, doing the research, completing the project then presenting to judges, if done well, can take a student places in the Friendswood Independent School District.

For nine students, it brought them to the State Science Fair in San Antonio. And to get there meant they all had been participants in three science fairs before the state event. Two of the nine advanced to competition in Los Angeles.

The first science fair was Jan. 22 at Friends-wood High School. More than 30 judges representing a variety of companies provided their expertise and service to judge the fair. From this fair, 33 students qualified for the Galveston County Science Fair.

The annual Galveston County Science and Engineering Fair was Feb. 8 on the campus of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Twenty-two Friendswood High School students participated and many earned awards for their outstanding projects. The event was sponsored by Galveston College, TAMUG and the University of Texas Medical Branch. More than 90 judges spent their time interacting with the young scientists. 

Out of the 22 FHS participants, 21 earned trophies and cash honors with 13 first places, four second places, two third places and two honorable mentions. Nine of the 21 earned Grand Awards, which included additional money and plaques or certificates. 

The 55th annual Science and Engineering Fair of Houston was Feb. 20 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. From FHS, 23 students participated and 12 earned division awards for their projects. Awards for the fair were given Feb. 22 at the Cullen Performance Hall on the University of Houston campus. A total of 970 projects competed in the fair and included both senior and junior division projects. FHS had 11 students receive 16 special awards.

Nine participated in the ExxonMobil Texas Science and Engineering Fair from March 21-23 in San Antonio. The 1,300 participating students at the fair represented 12 regional fairs from across Texas.

FHS students included Daniel Bellian, Crystal Chacko, Jamie McCullough, Aditya Mohile, Neha Narayan, Sarah Palmer, Roma Pradhan and Shanika Silva. Friendswood Junior High student Jared Janak also participated in the Junior Division Science Fair. Five students received place awards and Pradhan received a Grand Award second place in the physical science division. This places her among the top four projects for the state of Texas.

Mohile, Jerath, Palmer and Pradhan qualified and were invited to attend the Governor’s Science and Technology Champions Academy from June 16-20 at the University of Houston.

McCullough and Pradhan will continue on to the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair from May 11-16 in Los Angeles.

Science Fair director and coordinator for FHS Rebecca Clark and assistant Theresa Lawrence, both science teachers, deserve standing ovations for the work they do with the FHS students.

Lawrence reviews all of the student research plans and helps students fill out the Scientific Review Committee paperwork that must be done before students begin their research. She has won Teacher of the Year twice at SEFH, most recently in 2013. 

Karolyn Gephart is director of communications for Friendswood ISD.

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