Innovators assemble as Colton High hosts the 2023 CJUSD Science Fair

Colton students submit 6 projects for competition at the annual event


J. Dollins

Sophomore’s Alyssa Aguirre and Addyson Castro present their science fair project about water stoppage at the 2023 CJUSD District Science Fair.

Colton, CA—Student scientists from across the Colton Joint Unified School District came together last Saturday to participate in the annual Science Fair and Career Pathways Expo, held at the Rivera Multi-Purpose Room on the CHS campus.

A total of 75 projects were submitted to this year’s Science Fair districtwide. Six of those belonged to Colton High students. Several projects were on display in person at the Rivera, while others were submitted digitally. Judges interviewed students on video conferencing platforms. At the same time, Colton High’s STEAM, Welding, and HEAL pathways hosted exhibitions in other locations on site for visitors.

CJUSD School Board Member Patt Haro has been judging the Science Fair for the past 25 years, and this year was no exception. “I love seeing what the students come up with as projects and their excitement when telling me as a judge what they did,” she said. “Our Science and Engineering Fair brings out the creativity in our students.”

Among the creative projects on display from Colton High’s students included an experiment to determine the best substance to stop water flow in a hurricane, one that tried to determine the effect of ice on fizz production in carbonated beverages, and which type of garden plant is the best at repelling mosquitos and spiders.

The experiment involving ice and carbonation was put together by sophomore Ricardo Ruiz after a “very silly accident that happened.” He overfilled a cup with soda. Ruiz shared, “and the fizz literally went everywhere and it was a huge mess. So I wanted to do a project to try and help prevent that from happening.”

While that project had household implications, others, like Alyssa Aguirre and Addyson Castro’s, were designed to help during natural disasters. “I was just thinking of how, because of the hurricanes in Florida, what would be the best material to put in a sandbag to stop water from coming into peoples’ houses.” Castro said. They discovered that sand was indeed the best substance to use to keep water at bay, but according to Aguirre, for those who cannot afford sand, “dirt also blocked the most water—only like a few bits of water went through.” 

In addition to the Science Fair demonstrations in the Rivera, students and families were encouraged to enjoy the Pathway Expo, being held in conjunction with the Science Fair. 

Mr. Daniel Hearon introduced students to a variety of engineering concepts put together by Colton High’s STEAM students. 

In the welding workshop, Mr. Chris Barta and students from the Welding Pathway shared their projects this year, including an impressive trailer meant to carry the STEAM boating club’s boat to its competition in May.

At the Mac Gym, HEAL students hosted a medical demonstration to showcase the nursing and medical skills gained in Colton High’s HEAL program.

CHS Science teacher Jesus Delgado coordinated the event this year for secondary students, and was excited by the turnout and creativity on display in the projects. “I just think that students engaging in experiments is fun,” he said. “Which is why I like teaching science and chemistry.”


2023 Science Fair Results

Grades 4-5

Sweepstake winner
Viviana Arevalo (4th), “Does the color of paint on a house help it absorb less heat?”

Gold medalists
Daniel Herrera (5th), “What Type of Ball Goes the Fastest?”
Therese Ping-ay (4th), “Methane Gas: The effects of not properly disposing of food scraps in a landfill”
Clara Flores (4th), “Icee You Later”
Ivan Muro, Angel Avalos & Sabino Leon (5th), “Baby Spider Parachute”
Camila Venegas & Sharon Bernal Campos (5th), “The Robotic Scissor Arm”
TJ Larriba (5th), “The Eggcellent Battle”

Silver medalists
Charlene Russell (4th), “How long does it take an electrical balloon pump for a regular balloon to pop?”
Zavannah Zavala (5th), “Does the environment have an affect on the rate of growth of seeds?”
Benjamin Casso (4th), “What is the best sediment for molding fossils?”
Analy Olvera (5th), “Do different materials weaken WiFi signal strength?”
Jia Kagarise (5th), “One Trip Grocery Haul”
Julien Bautista-Munoz (5th), “Browning Apples”
Juan Delgadillo (4th), “Solar Panel Cars”
Ariana Ruiz (5th), “The Croc Brella”
Elias Flores (4th), “The Ultimate Ukraine Bunker”

Bronze medalists
Mia Duran, Neveah Rivera & Mariano Cervantes (4th), “The Elastic Kart”
Camila Garcia & Angela Nunez (4th), “How Can We Help?”
Calie Ursua (5th), “More Oceans, Less Plastic”
Andrea Diaz (5th), “Does a white candle burn faster than a colored candle?”
Aylani Brown (5th), “Can environment affect the freshness of food?”
Mantej Gill (4th), “Sierpinski Triangle”
Jolene Decker, Julian Cuahutenos-Contreras & Eliana Sanchez (4th), “Slingshot Car”
Jose Gutierrez, Angel Salazar & Ivan Rosales (5th), “Super Slingshot Car”
Joziah Dimas (5th), “How to Brighten Lights with Saltwater”
Stephanie Guzman, Camila Diaz & Aria Mackamul-Moya (4th), “Potential Energy Car”

Grades 6-8

Sweepstake winner
Shaye Torres (6th), “Tap Water vs. Filtered Water for the Inland Empire”

Gold medalists
Audrina Calderon (6th), “What Makes Alka-Seltzer Dissolve the Fastest?”
Kiana Ortiz (6th), “Catching Stardust”
Michael Lara Monterrosa (6th), “Do different shapes of ice last longer than others in or out of water?”
Ava Firnkoess (7th), “Which popular pain relievers dissolve the quickest in liquid?”
Fernanda Lepe (6th), “What recycled water makes plants grow quickest?”
Sarai Orozco (6th), “What keeps things colder: aluminum foil or plastic wrap?”
Natalie Rosales (6th), “The Key Picker Upper”
Eduardo Guzman (8th), “Communicating with the World”
Peter Tejedalsaac Rodriguez (6th), “Launch & Fly”
Grace Vanilian (6th), “Sound Waves”
Sadie Santana (6th), “The BookTracker 2000”
Alyssa Encinas & Yanelly Felix (6th), “Can Plants Stop Soil Erosions?”

Silver medalists
Vianey Pineda & Jocelyn Duenez (6th), “The Egg Tower”
Toribio Flores (6th), “Automatic Lego Cleaner”
Madelyn Rodriguez (6th), “The Identifier”
Carolyn Carlstrom (8th), “Plants vs. Coffee = ?”
Fernando Arellano-Chavez (6th), “Cotton Transmitter X”
Logan Vinzon (8th), “Can different music genres affect how much you lift?”
Madison James (6th), “Do sugar crystals grow faster in tap or distilled water?”

Bronze medalists
Andrew Ramirez (6th), “Anti-Splasher”
Lynette Baltazar (6th), “WhiteBoard Eraser 2”
Aubrey Esquibel (6th), “Soil Catcher 9000”
Ashley Mora (6th), “The LED Shoe”
Mia Arevalo (6th), “Does the amount of weight of a ball change how fast it goes?”

Grades 9-12

Sweepstake winner
Priscilla Munoz & Danaya Figueroa (10th), “Color & Object Detection Glove for the Blind”

Gold medalists
Aryel Arellano & Aiden Puentes (10th), “Temperature Dependence of Electrical Resistivity”
Kenneth Jaquez (9th), “The Effect of Various Temperatures on Tennis Balls and the Altitude Reached from a Sudden Hand-Held Drop”
Daniel Torrijos (10th), “The Effect of Sectional Density on Paper Airplanes”
Aaron Perez-Soto (10th), “A Lengthy Launch”
Izabel Lara & Kiara Verdin (10th), “Bioessay on the Toxicity of Water and Soil”*
Stephanie De La Cruz (10th), “Delayed Release Pill Experiment”
Mikala Afadonis (9th), “The Use of Different Substrates in Ground Reservoir Planting Systems”
Ricardo Ruiz (10th), “How Ice Affects Carbonation”
Alyssa Aguirre & Addyson Castro (10th), “Sandbag Materials”

Silver medalists
Alliyah Leon & Mymy Nguyen (11th), “Thermal Efficiency of Different Types of Popcorn Kernels”
Celine Ordaz (10th), “Plants That Repel Bugs”
Nicole Escalante (10th), “Glow Stick Resistance”
Madelynne Gauthier & Ava Resendez (10th), “Reducing thermal damage through the application of hair protective products”
Josiah Strahan (10th), “Durability of Vegetable Spray Coatings”
Sonia Castillo (10th), “Solar Powered Water Desalination”

*Colton High students italicized.