Exceptional students honored by WAEF: Mid-Columbia Science Fair and NCW Regional Spelling Bee

Since inception WAEF has been involved in recognizing and encouraging students to achieve academically.  We are excited to share our involvement and sponsorship of educational programs in the area, specifically the Mid-Columbia Science Fair and the NCW Regional Spelling Bee (part of the Scripps National Spelling Bee program). 

The Mid-Columbia Science Fair is the oldest science fair in the state.   It occurs annually in Richland and is open to students in grades 6-12 enrolled in public and private schools in the Mid-Columbia region. 

WAEF honored 10 students in grades 6th-9th with projects entered into the "Food & Agriculture" category. Sue Graf, Process Development Scientist at Tree Top and fellow judge John Baranowski, also from Tree Top, are in their 18th year of working with WAEF on these awards and they have really enjoyed their time as Judges, "We always marvel at the range of topics they choose to explore.  The ingenuity of some of the students is amazing, and our discovering lab instruments built with Legos or other novel materials adds to the fun." 

Science Fair participant Kara Nelson: An Apple a Day Keeps the Germs Away?

Science Fair participant Kara Nelson: An Apple a Day Keeps the Germs Away?

The 2016 Mid-Columbia Science "Food &Agriculture" category honorable mentions are:

Emmaline McKinnon, Chief Joseph Middle School, Richland

Damon Van Dyke, Carmichael Middle School, Richland

Daniel Li, Enterprise Middle School, West Richland

Kara Nelson, Enterprise Middle School, West Richland

Nora Cox, West Valley Middle School, Yakima

Joseline Flores, Franklin Middle School, Yakima

Lily Raihl, Harrison Middle School, Sunnyside

Nikhil Davanathan, Desert Hills Middle School, Kennewick

Brenna Carstensen, Odessa High School, Odessa

Anayil Lupercio, Sunnyside High School, Sunnyside

 A BIG thank you to John Baranowski and Sue Graf for leading this effort each year and encouraging students to scientifically explore food and agriculture.

2016 NCW Regional Spelling Bee

Students from right to left: Champion Leo Chen, 2nd place Faith Kruse and 3rd place Olivia Strandberg. Also shown are event officials Missy Raymond, Gary Jasinek,Matthew Ockinga and Geraldine Warner.

Students from right to left: Champion Leo Chen, 2nd place Faith Kruse and 3rd place Olivia Strandberg. Also shown are event officials Missy Raymond, Gary Jasinek,Matthew Ockinga and Geraldine Warner.

The NCW Regional Spelling Bee, held at Eastmont Junior High School, was presented by the Washington Apple Education Foundation for the 5th year.  The format was of a traditional "spelldown" with each student receiving one word per round. 

The winning word was rutherford for Oroville sixth grade student Leo Chen who survived 17 rounds to capture this year's title. This was Leo's third time competing in the Regional Bee and we are very excited to cheer him on at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the Washington D.C. area in May. 

Faith Kruse, a seventh grade student at Cashmere Middle School earned second place and Morgen Owings Elementary (Chelan) fifth grade student Olivia Strandberg placed third.  

Thank you to all participating schools and to the officials for their volunteer efforts!