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2023 County Science Fair Results

Over 65 projects were on display as students from elementary, middle and high school participated in the 2023 Los Alamos County Science Fair this past weekend. Thirty-two students qualified for the 2023 Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science Fair which will be hosted by New Mexico Highlands University on March 11.

LAHS Junior Daniel Kim was awarded Best of Show for the Senior Division in the 2023 Los Alamos County Science Fair.

LAHS Junior Daniel Kim was awarded Best of Show for the Senior Division in the 2023 Los Alamos County Science Fair.

Los Alamos High School junior Daniel Kim was awarded Best of Show for the Senior Division for his project in the Environmental Sciences category, “Mapping Anthropogenic Ocean Litter with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle.” 

Head judge for the Science Fair was Cathy Snelson, with assistants Jonas Kintner and Nishath Ranasinghe.  

County Science Fair Director Eva Abeyta and Assistant Director Pamela Miller played a major role behind the success of the Science Fair. “Your hard work has not gone unnoticed,” said Acting Assistant Superintendent Carter Payne during the elementary and junior/senior award ceremonies in the Los Alamos Middle School gym Saturday evening.

Members of the Science Fair committee included Amy Gilbert and Emily Christensen, Aspen Elementary; Stephanie Martinez, Barranca Mesa Elementary; Deidre Thorn, Chamisa Elementary; Mary Alice Hawkins, Mountain Elementary; David Krell and Tera Deines, Piñon Elementary; Naomi Unger, Los Alamos Middle School; Jacqueline Griego, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy; Michela Ombelli, Los Alamos High School and Lynn Strauss, community volunteer.

Over 75 students shared over $3,700 in cash and gift certificates provided by community sponsors including PEEC, Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos, Los Alamos Master Gardeners, Science Fair Committee, American Society for Materials LA Chapter, Pajarito Astronomers, Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Consortium, Pajarito Masonic Lodge, AAUW Los Alamos, LAMS PTO, Los Alamos Garden Club and an anonymous donor.

2023 Los Alamos County Science Fair Awards

Best of Show for Elementary Division
Earth Science: Julian Delorey, Barranca Mesa Elementary
Life Science: James Junghans, Barranca Mesa Elementary
Physical Science: Neal Somasekharean, Mountain Elementary, and Alexander Sherrill, Mountain Elementary 

Best of Show for Class Projects 
Grades K - 2: Mrs. Littleton’s Class, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
Grades 3 - 4: Mrs. Griego’s 3rd/4th Grade, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy 

Best of Show for Junior Division
Life Science: John Fung, Los Alamos Middle School
Physical Science: Rebekah Scott, Aspen Elementary, and Aditya Viswanathan, Los Alamos Middle School

Best of Show for Senior Division
Physical Science: Daniel Kim, Los Alamos High School

County Science Fair Elementary Division Winners

Elementary Division Awards

Earth Science
Honorable Mention - Julian Delorry, Barranca Mesa Elementary
Honorable Mention - Mrs. Littleton’s 2nd Grade Class, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy

Life Science
1st - James Junghans, Barranca Mesa Elementary
2nd - Sequoya Ke and Benji Minko, Mountain Elementary
3rd - Oliver Saenz, Chamisa Elementary
Honorable Mention - Sebastian Holtkamp, Chamisa Elementary

Physical Science
1st - Alexander Sherrill, Mountain Elementary
2nd - Fiona Smith, Mountain Elementary
3rd - Javier Chacon, Max Renner and Lane Metcalf, Mountain Elementary
Honorable Mention - Natalia Griego, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
Honorable Mention - Neal Somasekharan, Mountain Elementary

Carter Payne with County Science Fair Junior Division Best of Show Winners

Junior Division Awards

Animal Science
1st - Aislinn Marshall, Los Alamos Middle School
2nd - Simeon Capolungo and Hans Gardner, Mountain Elementary
3rd - Aleyana Baca, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy 

Behavioral & Social Science
Honorable Mention - Sarah Haaser, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy

Chemistry
1st - Rebekah Scott, Aspen Elementary
2nd - Burke Tastan, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
3rd - Eliot Work, Los Alamos Middle School
Honorable Mention - Riley Fensin, Mountain Elementary

Earth & Planetary Science
Honorable Mention - Luke Patterson, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy 

Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
1st - Natan Svyatsky, Los Alamos Middle School
2nd - Linus Plohr, Mountain Elementary
Honorable Mention - Bronze Strum, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
Honorable Mention - Max Wilson, Barranca Mesa Elementary 

Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering
1st-Antonio Martin-DeVargas, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy

Environmental Science
1st - Aditya Viswanathan, Los Alamos Middle School 

Medicine & Health Sciences
1st - Yuiko Yamaguchi, Mountain Elementary
2nd - Grace Norman, Piñon Elementary 

Microbiology
1st - John Fung, Los Alamos Middle School
2nd - Jasper Stauffer, Piñon Elementary
3rd - Julia Neale, Barranca Mesa Elementary 

Physics & Astronomy
1st - Tate Plohr, Los Alamos Middle School
2nd - Brailyn Manzanares, Barranca Mesa Elementary
3rd - Boden Holmes, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
Honorable Mention - Haley Bishofberger, Barranca Mesa Elementary 

Plant Sciences
1st - Amelia Hill, Los Alamos Middle School
2nd - Iris Butcher, Los Alamos Online Learning Academy

Carter Payne with County Science Fair Winners in the Senior Division.

Senior Division Awards

Chemistry
Honorable Mention - Jason Zhao, Los Alamos High School

Engineering: Electrical & Mechanical
1st - Andres Iturregui , Los Alamos High School
2nd - Michael Bane, Los Alamos High School 

Environmental Sciences
1st - Daniel Kim, Los Alamos High School 

For a complete list of award winners and their projects, click here.

Girls Cross Country Coach Kathy Hipwood Selected as NM Coach of the Year

LAHS Girls Cross Country Coach Kathy Hipwood at the 2022 New Mexico State Cross Country Championships. Photo by Blake Wood.

Los Alamos High School Girls Cross Country Coach Kathy Hipwood has been selected as the 2022 Girls High School Cross Country Coach of the Year for the state of New Mexico by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).This is the second year in a row, and third time in the last four years that Coach Hipwood has received this recognition.

 “This honor is based upon your leadership and the success of the cross country team throughout the season,” noted Sam Seemes, CEO of the USTFCCCA. “It’s also a reflection of your hard work and the dedication of the student-athletes, the coaching staff, and the administration of the school.”

 The USTFCCCA High School Coach of the Year Award Program is sponsored by the United States Marine Corps. Started in 2014, the program recognizes the best high school boys’ and girls’ coaches, at both the state and national levels in cross country and track & field. A boys’ and girls’ coach from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia are chosen at the end of each respective season as state-by-state winners, and from there, those 102 honorees are vetted, and two national award winners are selected.

 “The recognition is an honor and is a tribute to all of the coaches and the team,” said Coach Hipwood.  “This year was unique because it took a leap of faith on the part of the girls after a big turnover of last year’s varsity. The win was hard-fought and definitely rewarding, but the way the entire team embraced the whole process and gained confidence and trust in each other throughout the season made it very special.”

 The LAHS Girls Cross Country team was undefeated for the second consecutive year against New Mexico schools from all divisions. They won the 2022 4A State Championships last November with the fastest top 5 average of all divisions. This state championship was the fourth in a row and 21st girls title for Coach Hipwood in her 29 years as head coach. With seven boys’ titles, Coach Hipwood has earned more championships than any other cross country coach in New Mexico history.

 The USTFCCCA is a non-profit professional organization representing cross country and track & field coaches. The organization has over 11,000 coaching members, encompassing NCAA track & field and cross country programs of all divisions, the NAIA, the NJCAA and several state high school track & field/cross country coaches associations.

District Spelling Bee Winners
Spelling bee winners from left to right: Julia Zhou, 1st place; Rebecca Scott, 2nd place; Gianna Rolfe, 3rd place.

From left to right: Julia Zhou, 1st place winner; Rebecca Scott, 2nd place; Gianna Rolfe, 3rd place.

 

LAPS NEWS RELEASE

Julia Zou, a 7th grader at Los Alamos Middle School, won first place at the Los Alamos Public Schools District Spelling Bee. Aspen Elementary School 6th graders Rebekah Scott and Gianna Rolfe, placed second and third, respectively.

The winning word was “exaggerate.”

Julia and Rebekah will participate in the New Mexico State Qualifying Spelling Bee on February 28. The top 25 qualifiers will compete in the New Mexico State Spelling Bee on April 1.

Last year Julia was a runner up in the Piñon Elementary Spelling Bee; Rebekah placed third in the Aspen Elementary Spelling Bee.

Seventeen students representing Aspen Elementary, Barranca Mesa Elementary, Chamisa Elementary, Mountain Elementary, Piñon Elementary and Los Alamos Middle School participated in the District Spelling Bee held last Wednesday evening in the Los Alamos High School Speech Theater. In addition, two students from Alcalde Elementary School also participated.  Nancy Brugh served as emcee and recordkeeper. Judy Crocker was the pronouncer, Tammy Hinckley was the timekeeper, and Debbie Grothaus, Oliver Morris and Morrie Pongratz were the judges.

Hosts for the District Spelling Bee included the LAHS Activities department; Acting Superintendent Jennifer Guy; Dr. Sharon Fogle, LAPS Director of Curriculum; and Curriculum Specialist Kaela Jacobson.

School site sponsors include Skyeanne Webb, Aspen Elementary; Pam Miller, Barranca Elementary; Nancy Brugh, Chamisa Elementary; Shanda Moore, Mountain Elementary; Tera Deines, Piñon Elementary; and Sherri Bublitz, Los Alamos Middle School.