The 59th annual State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida awards ceremony took place April 10 at the Lakeland Civic Center to recognize the science research efforts of students across Florida.
More than 957 student finalists arrived at the state fair as winners at 37 regional science and engineering fairs. The state science fair is the largest academic competition in Florida. Of the 26 Hernando County students who attended, 23 received some type of award.
Colleen Doulk, a science teacher at Explorer K-8 School, is the Hernando County secondary science fair coordinator.
• Nathaniel Toler of Challenger K-8 School of Science and Mathematics, won first place in animal science.
• Two students won third-place honors: Kyler O'Leske of Quest Academy in chemistry and Tully Goldrick of Springstead High School in behavioral sciences.
• Four students earned fourth-place honors. Three were from Challenger K-8: Carl Boutin in chemistry, Katie Sinsko in chemistry and Ammar S. Ali in medicine and health. Elijah Preuss of Springstead High won his in physics.
• Eight students received fifth-place honors: Kareem Zuhdi of Challenger K-8 in earth/space, Jordyn Ranfone of Challenger K-8 in animal science, Cole Kolasa of Hernando High in environmental science, Taylor Rejsek of Nature Coast Technical High School in environmental science, Vasu Malhotra of Springstead High in medicine/health, Basima Ali of Springstead in microbiology, Frank Schooley of Weeki Wachee High School in physics and Addison Hilyard of Central High School in animal science.
• Sixth-place recognition awards went to: Emily Carr of Quest Academy in environmental science, Roger Sniffen of Challenger K-8 in environmental science and Olivia Guerin of Challenger K-8 in medicine/health.
• Special awards, certificates, scholarships and monetary awards went, in the junior division, to Emily Carr, Quest Academy, $125, and, from Challenger K-8, Nathaniel Toler, $300; Maude Boutin, $75; Grace Andress, $75; Roger Sniffen, $75; Olivia Guerin, $50, and Makenna Messaris, gift. In the senior division, awards went to Rebecca Laing, Hernando High, $25; Basima Ali, Springstead High, $200; Tully Goldrick, Springstead, $75, and Kyle Keefer, Weeki Wachee High, $75.