Local High School Students in Colorado State University’s EnvironMentors Chapter to Compete in National Science Fair

Note to Reporters: Photos of the students and their projects are available with the news release at www.news.colostate.edu.

Four high-schoolers from Fort Collins have earned a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete against students from across the nation in the 2012 EnvironMentors National Science Fair, taking place May 23. EnvironMentors is a national initiative that connects high school students from underrepresented cultural, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds with environmental science learning. It offers students opportunities to explore programs in college and potential paths toward environmental careers.

Nine students of the Colorado State University EnvironMentors Chapter presented their environmental science projects at the Warner College of Natural Resources (WCNR) at CSU on April 19, and a panel of judges from the environmental science and academic community selected three winners and one honorable mention.

The winners are: Lydia Gonzalez, 10th grade, Rocky Mountain High School; Marcus Padia, 10th grade, Rocky Mountain High School; Rodrigo Sepulveda, 11th grade, Poudre High School; and honorable mention winner Kevin Alcala, 11th grade, Poudre High School. All four will travel to D.C. for three days to present their projects at the national competition for a chance to win awards and scholarships.

The students’ projects covered a broad range of topics including wind energy along the Front Range, the effects of air quality on asthma, using solar energy to power schools, bike-powered generators to charge electronic devices, the effects of natural vs. artificial turf sporting fields and more. Each student was partnered with a student from the Warner College to provide guidance and mentoring as they conducted their research.

“The CSU EnvironMentors Chapter is in its fourth year and is a collaborative initiative with the Environmental Learning Center at WCNR,” said CSU EnvironMentors Chapter director and CSU Associate Professor Brett Bruyere. “By connecting students with nature and providing one-on-one educational mentoring with college faculty and graduate students, we hope that our EnvironMentors will develop a long-lasting interest in and passion for environmental science.”