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State Science Fair Results

2680 West County Road 476
Bushnell, Florida  33513

Press Release

From:  Colleen Strickland, Curriculum Supervisor

Date:  April 9, 2021

Subject:  State Science Fair Results


Students from Sumter District Schools were triumphant at the 66th State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida (SSEF) during the virtual awards ceremony on April 7, 2021. Our young researchers were recognized for their scientific talent and academic excellence.  They represented the top science research and engineering design projects from the entire state of Florida.  


South Sumter Middle School eighth-grader Alynza McBride won first place in Earth and Environmental Sciences with her project titled, “Can Hydrologic Records Be Reconstructed Using Tree Rings from the Upper Withlacoochee River?”  Alynza was also awarded a $100 cash prize from the Sierra Club of Florida, Certificate of Recognition from NASA Earth Systems and the Association for Women Geoscientists, and a nomination and certificate of recognition for Broadcom Masters.   Meanwhile Jaycee Meuller, also an eighth-grader at South Sumter Middle School, won sixth place (Recognition) with her project titled, “Can the Tomato Take the Heat?” in the Plant Sciences category. 

Wildwood Middle High School students won several place and special awards as well. Seventh-grader Julia Temple won third place in Chemistry with her project titled, “Plastic…Plastic Everywhere! Is Polyethylene a More Suitable Replacement for Sand Based Cement?” Julia also won a nomination and certificate of recognition for Broadcom Masters.  Seventh-grader Noella Lipham won fourth place in Microbiology with her project titled, “Which Antibiotic will be More Efficient When Fighting Against E.coli k-12?”  Jose Carvajal-Beltran, eighth-grader, won fourth place with his project titled, “Let’s ENLIGHTen on Night Insects!” in the Physics and Astronomy category. Eighth-grader Shyanne Durst won sixth place (Recognition) in Engineering with her project titled, “Surface Groundwater Filtration.” Aryca Zapata, seventh-grader, won a $25 cash prize from the Manatee Regional STEM competition.

South Sumter High School Junior, Cheyenne Shirley won fourth place in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category with her project titled, “The Effects of Ketone Supplements on Reducing Postprandial Glucose Levels.”  Both Cheyenne Shirley and Savannah Stephens of South Sumter High School will advance to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair with Kadie Mariano, Michael Vick and Trinity Skaggs of Wildwood Middle High School, which will be held virtually in May.   

We are proud of all of our State Science and Engineering Fair participants. This is the largest academic competition in Florida. It introduces students to STEM research and recognizes their scientific talent. Sumter’s State Science and Engineering Team included students from South Sumter Middle School- Alynza McBride, Jaycee Mueller; from Wildwood Middle High School- Julia Temple, Aryca Zapata, Shyanne Durst, Emma Strickland, Noella Lipham, Jose Carvajal-Beltran, Trinity Skaggs, Michael Vick, Destiny Gosselin, Kadie Mariano, Kaitlyn Fort; from the Villages Charter High School-Olivia Williams; and from South Sumter High School-Cheyenne Shirley, Savannah Stephens.

The guidance, encouragement, and coaching of the adult sponsors at each school as well as parents must also be recognized.  School coordinators this year include Shelly Paulinyce and Michelle Alberto of South Sumter Middle School, Shelbie Wiley and Stephanie Yarbrough of South Sumter High School, Monica Vinas and Lauri Siverson of The Villages Charter School and Emily Keeler of Wildwood Middle High School.  The support from numerous individuals, organizations, and businesses is greatly appreciated