Brilliant discoveries and inventive designs were showcased by Beverly Hills middle school and high school students at the Annual Science and Engineering Fair. The event, presented by the Beverly Hills Education Foundation, took place on Nov. 5 at Beverly Vista Middle School. The students presented on many topics including water preservation, global warming, efforts to save animals from exposure to plastic, and even Cancer research. Students enthusiastically shared their findings with judges including Board of Education President Noah Margo. “It is a pleasure every year to volunteer because you get to see what students are not only learning, but also applying what they learn especially to the real world. Now more than ever students tackle the same kinds of questions that adults are working on as far as agriculture and climate change,” Margo told the Courier.
Beverly Hills Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Michael Bregy also attended the event and shared with the Courier the importance of Science and Engineering as it relates to critical thinking. “To come up with a hypothesis and to predict, that works in every academic area.” He added, “It gives students some ownership; they have an opportunity to personalize their learning.” Board of Education Vice President Isabel Hacker, Board member Tristen Walker-Shuman, and Hawthorne Elementary School Principal Sarah Kaber were also among those who attended the fair to show support for the middle school students and high school students participating in the event.
Board member Tristan Walker-Shuman pointed out how participants worked collaboratively in presenting their work. “It’s amazing to see,” she stated. An example of that collaboration was one of the first place 7th grade student teams that worked together on their “Will the Dead Sea Die” project where they tested salt levels to determine if water would completely evaporate or replenish. The results of their study revealed that the water was replenished at some levels.
The students participating in the fair presented a wide variety of creative projects. “The exciting thing about talking to our students is that they really know the topics.
That is the best part,” said Superintendent Bregy. A perfect example of this was demonstrated by first place high school winner Jacquelyn Bakshian, a junior at Beverly Hills High School who presented research on cancer cells. She explained that the work- was started by her grandfather Dr. Samuel Rahbar. “Right before he passed away, he invented this drug which through research has been shown to have anti-cancer properties. So not only are they killing the cells but they are stopping them from reproducing.” Bakshian added, “It’s really nice to be able to continue his research.”
All of the winners of the fair were presented with prize ribbons, and trophies were given to the first, second, and third place winners for each grade level from 6th to 8th grade. High school winners received- monetary awards provided by the Beverly Hills Education Foundation. Event sponsors also presented special awards including the Outstanding Science and Engineering Award from Sylvan and the Environmental Award from Rediscover. Another special award was given for Showing Innovation. Winners of the Science and Engineering Fair may also advance to state and national competitions.