Support Of First Regional Gila County Science And Engineering Fair Appreciated

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Editor:

I am writing to express my gratitude and thanks for the broad-based support of teachers, parents, business and community members from around the county for the First Regional Gila County Science and Engineering Fair.

Through your efforts, students from throughout Gila County had the opportunity to engage in hands-on science activities as they conducted research and prepared their science projects for display and competition at the school, district and county levels.

We are extremely proud of the county’s first place winners who will move on to compete at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair in April. We wish them the very best of luck as they now contemplate ways they can improve their projects in preparation for the very rigorous competition with students from around the state.

The success of such an event requires the support and commitment of many people along the way. I want to thank classroom teachers, administrators, parents and community members in our local schools for their efforts in helping students prepare science projects and for conducting school and district science fairs.

I acknowledge and thank High Desert Middle School and the Globe School District for hosting the county science fair. High Desert administrators Steve Estatico and Lori Rodriguez were gracious hosts and very considerate of the disruption to their school’s daily routines due to the science fair activities and additional people on campus.

A huge thank you goes out to our team of judges, who reflected a broad cross-section of the community — business, government, parents and community leaders. The judges were fully dedicated to the scoring process and fair determination of the winners, a critical element of the overall event.

I would like to acknowledge the efforts of administrative assistant Noelle Anderson of my office, who served as the point person for all aspects of this event and attended to the many details involved. I also want to thank the other staff members of the county schools office, who provided behind-the-scenes and as-needed support and assistance for the science fair. I am proud to say that, collectively and continuously, my staff is prepared to give their all to ensure that events sponsored by our office are well-planned and successfully executed!

We were very pleased that Phil Huebner, director of the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair, was able to join us at our science fair. Phil provided guidance and assistance to us in planning our event and was on hand to present ribbons and awards to our winners. A major impetus for us to stage a countywide science fair this year is that, beginning in 2014, only first place winners coming from county/regional science fairs will be allowed to compete in the state event. This decision amplifies the increased importance of providing rigorous educational opportunities for our young people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

We look forward to next year and an even better Second Annual Gila County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. We have lots of exciting plans for supporting Gila County students in the exploration of all things STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering and Math — and look forward to your support and participation in them. Next up, a STEM Festival planned for Saturday, April 28 at Besh-Ba-Gowah Archaeological Park in Globe; and then, a Star (Gazing) Party at the Globe Community Center, scheduled for Thursday evening, May 17.

Thank you, everyone, for your support of the first Gila County Regional Science and Engineering Fair!

Linda O’Dell

Gila County Superintendent of Schools

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