By Gail Cordy, President, AHS Foundation
Another Southern Arizona Science & Engineering Fair (SARSEF) has come and gone. Many thanks to Marla Odom and Dan Guido of Montgomery & Associates for joining me in judging the science projects for grades K–12. We focused our attention on projects with a water theme. Our goal was to select winners for $750 in prize money — $550 provided through a Central Arizona Project (CAP) grant to the Arizona Hydrological Society (AHS) Foundation and $200 from the AHS Tucson Chapter.
We found some surprisingly sophisticated science projects among the usual “Which filter material is best?” or “Which freezes first -- salt water or plain water?” presentations. I had to laugh at one particular project title -- “What would be worse for your health — licking a toilet seat or a dollar bill?” Yep. . .it is the toilet seat!
The project that received our largest prize ($125) was titled “Identifying the Endangered Huachuca Water Umbel,” in which the students developed the DNA profile for the umbel and proposed using that profile to identify the presence of the endangered species in Arizona waters.
This year, I attended the awards ceremonies and handed out the prizes in person. What a joy to watch the proud students as they heard their names read out and their families cheered! It was heartwarming to watch an entire class of kindergarteners walk across the stage with their teacher to receive their award. And while the monetary award is a nice perk, it was clear that the real prize for these young people was having their projects recognized as a job well done!
Here are the winning project titles selected for AHSF and AHS awards:
- Identifying the Endangered Huachuca Water Umbel for Conservation Efforts: $125
- The Design and Evaluation of an Osmotic Irrigation: $100
- Increasing the Efficiency of a Cistern-Dry Well System: $100
- Green Street: Water Conservation Techniques: $50
- Hand Washing: $50
- How Salty Does Water Have to be to Flow on Martian Slopes in Sub-Zero Temperatures?: $50
- The UPS and DOWNS of Arsenic: $50
- Analyzing the Effects of El Nino on Tucson weather: $50
- Surviving the California Drought with Shade Balls: $50
- Check Out Check Dams: $25
- Will Bacteria Grow in Water in Seven Days?: $25
- Saltwater “Let’s Make Freshwater”: $25
- The Water Games: $25
- Drop the Dripping Habit: $25