Seven Cherokee County School District students, all from E.T. Booth Middle School, placed at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair.

The students earned high honors at the competition for middle and high school students, including two best in state awards and several other top prizes. The 73rd Fair took place virtually over the past several weeks and followed a regional competition where nine E.T. Booth Middle School students earned an invite to the state competition and 10 won special awards.

“We’re incredibly proud of these outstanding science students and their dedication to learning,” Superintendent Brian Hightower said. “STEM education is a priority for us, and we’ve specifically focused on middle school instruction over the last several years -- this accomplishment highlights the value of that investment. Congratulations and thank you also to their teachers, who not only guided their classroom learning, but also served as project mentors.”

CCSD’s state winners are:

Haylee Castens, eighth grade, First Honors – Junior Division. Haylee also earned the Grand Award – Junior Division – Microbiology, National Association of Biology Teachers Award – Junior Division and a Broadcom MASTERS Nomination.

Adriel Ontibon, seventh grade, First Honors – Junior Division. Adriel also earned the Grand Award – Junior Division – Plant Science and a Broadcom MASTERS Nomination.

Abigale May, sixth grade, First Honors – Junior Division. Abigale also earned the Junior Division Outstanding 6th Grade Project Award.

Aahana Karanji, seventh grade, Second Honors – Junior Division. Aahana also earned the Inspiring Excellence Award, Naval Science Award – Junior Division and a Broadcom MASTERS Nomination.

Asher McCollum, sixth grade, Fourth Honors – Junior Division. Asher also earned the UGA Physics and Astronomy Department Award – Junior Division.

Claire Bailey, seventh grade, Fourth Honors – Junior Division.

Kate Dallas, seventh grade, Third Honors – Junior Division.

The Broadcom MASTERS, sponsored by the Society for Science and the Public, is the nation’s premier science fair competition for middle school students. From the nominees, 30 finalists will be selected to travel to Washington, D.C. to compete for more than $100,000 in prizes, including a top prize of $25,000 and scholarships for STEM summer camps.

Teachers Angela Mentzel and Lawrence Gruszecki served as mentors for the E.T. Booth students, and Gruszecki was recognized with the Fair’s Inspiring Excellence Teacher Award for showing “untiring dedication, selfless commitment and continuing support of science.”

CCSD’s region winners are:

Abigale May, sixth grade, Second Place; Cobb EMC winner

Aahana Karanji, seventh grade, Third Place; Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority and Cobb EMC winner

Adriel Ontibon, seventh grade, Third Place; Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority and Cobb EMC winner

Claire Bailey, seventh grade, Third Place; Cobb EMC winner

Haylee Castens, eighth grade, Honorable Mention; Cobb EMC winner

Kate Dallas, seventh grade, Honorable Mention; Cobb EMC winner

Asher McCollum, sixth grade, Honorable Mention; Cobb EMC winner

Ava Walker, sixth grade, Honorable Mention; Cobb EMC winner

Dean Loa, seventh grade, Honorable Mention

Ava Tyrner, seventh grade, Cherokee County Water and Sewerage Authority and Cobb EMC winner

Alexis Pluta, sixth grade, Cobb EMC winner

The Cherokee County School Board will honor the students and their teachers with a virtual recognition at the May school board meeting.

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