37 students advance to state science fair competition

Two Farmington students invited to national competition after regionals; more could qualify at state competition

Megan Petersen
Farmington Daily Times
People browse science fair projects during the Regional Science Fair at Piedra Vista High School on Saturday.
  • 135 students presented 128 projects in the regional science fair on Saturday at Piedra Vista High School.
  • Donations are down in the wake of the slump in the oil and gas industry.
  • The State Science Fair will be held on April 6 and 7 at the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro.

FARMINGTON — More than 130 competitors from two dozen schools competed in the regional science fair this weekend at Piedra Vista High School — and 37 of those students will advance to the state science fair on April 6 and 7 at the New Mexico Tech Campus in Socorro.

Three students from around the Four Corners region were named overall winners in their age category. Ayden Gonzalez of Pinon Hills Academy, Trey Jones of Hermosa Middle School and Sky Harper of Navajo Preparatory School earned top marks in the elementary, junior and senior categories, respectively, according to organizer Steve Stubbs.

Gonzalez’s project was titled “The Last Beyblade Standing,” referring to a spin-top toy. Jones’ project compared planarian and UV radiation, and Harper’s examined the origins of the moon, Stubbs said.

Other projects examined the most effective mouthwash, food decomposition, stereotyping babies, the healthiest way to bleach hair and the anti-glycemic properties of traditional Navajo plants, according to Stubbs.

Students in sixth through 12th grade who earned first- or second-place prizes will advance to the state science fair in Socorro. From there, the top student scientists from throughout the state will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair from May 13 through 18 in Pittsburg, according to the NMT website.

Two students have qualified to represent the Four Corners region in the international competition in the regional fair’s affiliation with Intel, Stubbs said. 

Harper and Delaney Hammond of Piedra Vista High School earned the opportunity to participate in the international competition, but more local students may qualify after the state competition in April, depending on funding, Stubbs said.

Four Corners organizations donated approximately $2,700 — $2,200 for cash awards and $500 for administrative costs, including medals and meals for judges — for this year’s fair and gave $1,300 in external awards, Stubbs said.

Donations are continuing in a downward trend due to the slump in the region's oil and gas industry, Stubbs said. The fair has received as much as $12,000 from local donations in years when the industry was booming, Stubbs said.

Megan Petersen covers business and education for The Daily Times. Reach her at 505-564-4621 or