Three Portales Junior High School students and a Portales home-schooled ninth grader placed at Saturday’s 44th Southeastern New Mexico Regional Science Fair at Eastern New Mexico University.
Audra Brown, a home-schooled freshman, earned first place for excellence in science, math and engineering. Brown also won a $50 U.S. savings bond for winning the National Atomic Museum Foundation Science Award.
She will attend the state competition in Soccoro in April.
Out of 182 entrees, PJHS student Megan Speshock came in third place for her individual project in Chemistry.
PJHS students Sunny Liu and Jacob Bonner won first place in the Team Project, earning them a trip to the State Science Fair in April.
“All of our students who participated did a wonderful job and are to be congratulated,” PJHS Principal Steve Harris wrote in an e-mail.
Bonner and Liu’s project tested the affects of pesticides on digestive bacteria.
Bonner said he and Liu worked on the project under lab supervision at Eastern New Mexico University, where Liu’s father Zheming Liu works as an assistant professor of biology.
Liu and Bonner’s teacher Laura DeBusk, PJHS Science Fair Sponsor, earned two cash awards for her efforts with PJHS students: The Douglas B. Stone VFW Post 9515 Science Teacher Award for $100, and The New Mexico Science Teachers Association Award for $50.
“We are very proud of Ms. DeBusk and all of the PJHS students that participated this year,” Harris said.
Regional science fair secretary Rosemary Mathews said very few Portales students entered the contest. She said she was disappointed students from the high school and Lindsey Middle School didn’t compete.