West Shore takes 19 firsts at science fair


Billy Luu

Students set up their behaviorial category boards before judges arrived Saturday morning.

West Shore students took 19 first-place spots out of a total of 26 categories at the annual Science Fair held at Merritt  Square Mall, where students from all over the county set up their boards and presented to judges and interested shoppers.

“To prepare, I did lots and lots of research for Fair,” senior Avi Patel said. “After doing this for five years, you just know what to do.”

West Shore students earned more than $822,000 in college scholarships, with Margarita Cruz Sanchez and Mohammad Abdulla winning Best of Show in the senior division. Many other students also placed first in their categories.

“I was surprised I won at first,” said first place Environmental Engineering winner Mario Sultan. “This was my first year in Science Fair.”

Students worked for the whole year to present at fair.

“I was really nervous at fair. I prepared by writing note cards,” Sultan said.

Science Research teacher Paula Ladd spent the year preparing students.

“High-schoolers procrastinated a lot more and did a lot more last minute,” Ladd said. “This really affected their outcome, although I think high schools got more first places.”

Seventy-two West Shore students took home first- through fourth-place ribbons.

“Our population is more college prep, and our kids have strong science and math backgrounds,” Ladd said. “They also had good science research teachers. I don’t really think that’s part of it though, I just think they’re well-prepared.”

By Billy Luu