2024 Regional Science Fair Winners

NCCA STEM Trio to Compete in International Science & Engineering Fair; Sixty NCSS Students Win Awards at Regional Science Fair
Posted on 03/15/2024
Three students with science fair projectNewton County School System students brought home the hardware from the recent 2024 Griffin RESA Regional Science Fair with 60 students earning first, second, or third place awards! NCCA STEM Institute students, Lynda Coots, Tania Menchaca, and Miguel Ramos, led the way with their first-place project that also earned the highest honor possible for high school students—the Regeneron ISEF Award. As such, the trio will move on to compete and represent Newton County School System and our region at the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in May in Los Angeles, California!

According to Dr. Vicki Meeler, NCSS Secondary Science Curriculum & Instructional Specialist, while tens of millions of students participate in science fairs around the globe, only about 1,800 earn the right to compete for nearly $9 million awards at the ISEF.

Although Lynda, Tania, and Miguel put in countless hours working on their project, they noted they were still stunned to win the award.
“I didn’t even hear our names called,” said Tania. “We were still stuck on the fact that we got first place. I was already texting my mom and all of a sudden, I heard everybody from our school get up and start screaming. I realized someone from our school won, and then I see our names and we were like oh my gosh.”

“We were shell shocked,” added Miguel. “I couldn’t believe it!”

Even though the judges were thoroughly impressed with their project, the trio still plans some tweaks and updates before they head to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.

“We are going to focus on the aesthetics of our project,” Lynda explained. “We can’t really tweak the data or get more people for our data at this point so we will work on our board and try to improve the esthetics.”

They added they will work on their presentation and hone their interview skills when they compete in the Georgia International Science and Engineering Fair in April, noting that would be great experience in preparation for the international event.

In addition to Lynda, Tania, and Miguel, several other NCSS students earned special awards for their projects. Newton College & Career Academy students Cameron Gustave, Blake Thomas, and Lenaya Turnbull not only earned first place honors, but they also received the American Psychological Association Award for their project researching “The Effect of Environment on Stress Levels.” At the Junior Division level, both Audrey McGovern of Newton County STEAM Academy and Indian Creek Middle School duo, Vincent Garibay and Bentlee Millermon, won not only first place awards but also brought home the Thermo-Fisher Scientific Junior Innovator’s Challenge Award for their projects. This is a top honor as only a few projects are selected per region.

“The Thermo Fisher Scientific Award is the highest honor a middle school student can receive at the regional fair,” said Dr. Vicki Meeler. “RESA is allowed to choose three projects from the region to invite to the national science fair in Washington D.C. and our NCSS students earned two of the three! Audrey, Vincent, and Bentlee will now be in a pool of students from other Georgia RESA locations for the opportunity to compete in the national science fair.”

According to Dr. Meeler, all students who earned first place awards at the regional competition will now represent Newton County Schools in the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair in Athens, Georgia, April 11-13, 2024.

See below for a complete listing of NCSS Awards Winners at the 2024 Griffin RESA Regional Science and Engineering Fair.


Lynda Coots, Tania Menchaca, & Miguel Ramos   NCCA STEM Institute   The Effects of Video Games on Stress Levels   First Place and ISEF Award
Cameron Gustave, Blake Thomas, & Lenaya Turnbull   NCCA STEM Institute   The Effect of Environment on Stress Levels   First Place and American Psychological Association Award
Justin Johnson & Tre'von Davis   NCCA STEM Institute   Feather Falling: The Fall Detecting Shoe   First Place
Sabreea Solomon, Racheal Mattox, & Jezie Garmon   NCCA STEM Institute   Microfibers in Fashion   First Place
Noah Carter, James Cooper II, and Hayden Hill   NCCA STEM Institute   Music's Muse: A Study of Soundscapes and VR   First Place
Kayla Parsons, Joshua Miller, and Hailey Quinn   NCCA STEM Institute   The Effect of Salinity Chang on the Reproduction of Oil-Eating Bacteria   First Place
Bobby Stephens III, Sara Canup, & Heaven Devoe   NCCA STEM Institute   Smart Glasses   First Place
Sara Anderson, Paris Wheeler, & Kennedy White   Alcovy High   Hand Sanitizer vs. Hand Soap   Second Place
Alivia Jones   Newton High   The Lifting Power of Wind Turbines   Second Place
Ella Whitehead, Madison Forsythe, & Megan Ellington   NCCA STEM Institute   The Plastic Planet: An Introduction to a Bio-Alternative   Second Place
Cameron Potter & Emma Grace Lumpkin   NCCA STEM Institute   Exploring Air Engine Efficiency   Second Place
Alexaray Gale, Jhavel Allen, & Shania Stewart   NCCA STEM Institute   Industrial Development/Balance of Freshwater Microorganisms
Third Place
Taje' George & Savannah Jones   NCCA STEM Institute   Environmental Gentrifications Impact on Methane Levels in Georgia   Third Place
Andrea Schoedel & Gloria Canup   NCCA STEM Institute   Growth Rate of Brassica rapa in Soil and Hydroponics With Molasses   Third Place


Middle School Results
Audrey McGovern   Newton County STEAM Academy   Does Your Dirt Hold Water?   First Place and Thermo-Fisher Scientific Junior Innovator's Challenge Award
Vincent Garibay & Bentlee Millermon   Indian Creek Middle School   Analyzing Locations for Wind Speed at ICMS   First Place and Thermo-Fisher Scientific Junior Innovator's Challenge Award
Matthew Camba   Newton County STEAM Academy   Corrosion Showdown   First Place
Journey Johnson   Newton County STEAM Academy   Egg-ceptional Stains   First Place
Benjamin Parson & Oliver Reid   Newton County STEAM Academy   Types of Substrates on Plastic Consumption of Tenebrio molitor   First Place
Anthony Hortman, Willington Tomas & Jesse Mace   Veterans Memorial Middle School   How Does Jupiter's Size Affect Earth   First Place
Sabrina Stokes   Newton County STEAM Academy   What Drink Breaks Down Your Teeth the Fastest?   Second Place
Christopher Standen   Indian Creek Middle School   Can You Get Sick From Money   Second Place
Kennedy Cleaves   Newton County STEAM Academy   Can the Location of a Volcano Affect How Much Magma Erupts?   Second Place
Harper Eller   Newton County STEAM Academy   Elephant Toothpaste   Second Place
Autumn Vandeweghe   Indian Creek Middle School   The Investigation of Liquid Chlorophyll's Effects on Plants   Third Place
Tristen Brown   Clements Middle School   look Out! It's Flying Teabags!   Third Place
Sophia Mabie & Kyra Stewart   Newton County STEAM Academy   What is the Most Ideal Technique of Fingerprint Collection?    Third Place
Peyton Edwards   Newton County STEAM Academy   What do Birds and Squirrels Prefer to Eat?   Third Place
Will Roberts   Indian Creek Middle School   Investigating the Loudness of Guitar Picks   Third Place
Carly Rodriguez   Newton County STEAM Academy   Bacteria Growth in School   Third Place
Gabrielle Mattis, Janayza Rozzier, & Jaylen Smith   Clements Middle School   Music Affects Mood!   Third Place

In celebrating the outstanding achievements of our Newton County School System students at the 2024 Griffin RESA Regional Science Fair, Dr. Duke Bradley, III, Superintendent of Newton County School System, expressed his pride in the students' accomplishments. He stated, "I am immensely proud of our students' remarkable success at the regional science fair. Their dedication, innovation, and commitment to excellence highlight the strength of our STEM education programs. Congratulations to Lynda Coots, Tania Menchaca, Miguel Ramos, and all the students who earned awards. Your achievements not only reflect your individual talents but also highlight the quality of education provided by Newton County School System. We look forward to supporting and cheering for our students as they represent us at the upcoming Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles. Your success inspires us all, and we are confident that you will continue to make us proud on the national and international stages of scientific excellence."