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Sonoma students dominate at county science fair

The Sonoma students who received the very highest scores at the county science fair were eighth grader Nicole Hanson and seventh grader Alison Perkins from St. Francis; eighth grader Natalie Gulrajani from Presentation School, eighth grader Eliza Neely from Altimira Middle School and 8th grader Alexandra Garber from Presentation School.

The Sonoma students who received the very highest scores at the county science fair were eighth grader Nicole Hanson and seventh grader Alison Perkins from St. Francis; eighth grader Natalie Gulrajani from Presentation School, eighth grader Eliza Neely from Altimira Middle School and 8th grader Alexandra Garber from Presentation School.

Lorna Sheridan/Index-Tribune Education Editor

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During the past few months, hundreds of middle-school students from across Sonoma County have developed and conducted experiments and prepared research reports in preparation for their schools’ science fairs. Entries were judged and scored based on execution of the scientific method, creativity, presentation and connections to the real world.

Three-dozen Sonoma students received scores in these local school science fairs that qualified them to compete at The Synopsys – Sonoma County Science Fair on March 1 at Sonoma State University (SSU). From across the county, 24 schools sent 156 students to compete.

From Sonoma, eight students from Adele Harrison Middle School, eight students from Altimira Middle School, two students from St. Francis Solano School and eight students from The Presentation School competed.

• Competing on Saturday from Adele were sixth-graders Sofia Portello, Olivia Weisiger, Jake Baker and Reese Dobson; seventh-graders Paulina Martindale and Liam Sheldon; and eighth-graders Emma Maggioncalda and Quinn Jenson.

• Competing at SSU from Altimira were eighth-graders Eliza Neely, Kimberly Uzzo, Karen Torres, Kohana Bowman and Molly Brown; and seventh-graders, Eden Scheiblech, Annette Lee and Gavin Kohler

• Competing on Saturday from the Presentation School were sixth-grader Bettina Hart; seventh-graders Lauren Flaherty, Nell Sheridan, Michalea Zeiter and Silvan Kopp; and eighth-graders Aria Schuler, Alexandra Garber and Natalie Gulrajani.

• Competing at Sonoma State for St. Francis Solano were seventh-grader Alison Perkins and eighth-grader Nicole Hanson.

• Competing at SSU from Crescent Montessori’s middle school were sixth-graders Logan Campbell and Tobias For-Monroe and seventh-graders Roam Neff and Russell Garber.

At the end of the day, more students from Sonoma received top honors at the county level than did students from any other town.

Honored with the highest scores among all 156 competitors at the county level were Altimira eighth-grader Eliza Neely; St. Francis eighth-grader Nicole Hanson and seventh-grader Alison Perkins; and Presentation School eighth-graders Natalie Gulrajani and Alexandra Garber.

Three of the four middle-school students chosen to be sponsored to move on to the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles in April were from Sonoma – Neely, Hanson and Garber.

This event was sponsored by the Sonoma County Office of Education and Synopsys Outreach Foundation. Fifty-three scientists, university professors and science enthusiasts served as judges for this annual event. According to the county, both the number of schools and number of students participating were records for this annual event.

Additional photos are available at sonomanews.com/schools.