SHS science night

Longtime science teacher Azza Ezzat and Socorro High School organized students from the ages of elementary school through New Mexico Tech seniors to present several advancements in scientific knowledge.

Elementary, middle, high school and TECH students gave presentations to students and members of the community on the vastly different components of scientific discovery.

A non-competitive event such as a fair, the “Socorro Science Night” took over the high school cafeteria on April 24.

Organized by SHS science teacher Azza Ezzat with the help of schools all around the community, a large circle of exhibits were on display, beginning with the young First Lego League kids fresh off of national competition showing off their robotic skills in the center of the room. Sarracino middle schooler Noah Metcalfy was there showing off a few of his designed creations.

“Today we’re representing how our robots work and function,” he said. “While some of our more advanced robots have been broken down since national competition we’ve brought a few examples of just how much effort it takes to put together some of these remote controlled designs.”

After being greeted with the playful robotic designs, family and friends made their way around the room and were treated to fascinating presentations the other students had to offer.

Ninth grader Lilly Stover and her team received a grant with the help of SHS to go around the surrounding area and study the current status of water sources in the county. They presented their findings with an air, water and sand display.

“We had chloride, nitrate, calcium, dissolved oxygen and pH sensors,” she said. “We were also checking water temperatures. I’m not a very active person but I have always been interested in how things work and why. Knowing what is going on around us.”

Not a surprise in a desert climate such as New Mexico, water research was also a key part of the booth hosted by three senior New Mexico Tech Students. Stevan DiGregorio, Mac O’Connell and Sawyer Gill showed off a sample portion of their water desalination project. In basic terms, it is research involving reverse osmosis and hollowed nano-fiber technology to make water cleaner. You have to wear a glove in order to safely touch the material. The three students were excited to interact with the curious young up and comers.

“Helping kids understand science is extremely important,” O’Connell said. “A lot of the challenges that we face today are yet to be answered and we need the future scientists and engineers to get interested in this stuff early on to help make the planet a better place.”

On the opposite side of the room were two SHS seniors looking towards working in the medical field going forward.

Electra Burleigh is interested in anatomy and was helping several of the younger kids to prepare their exhibits. She plans to attend UNM and is currently in a shadow program as she eyes a career in occupational therapy.

“I’m really into sports,” she said. “One day I want to be a physical therapist which is why I am interested in anatomy. I find science interesting and important because it is something that is never going away and the more you can learn the better you can become.”

Alejandro Portillo is also a senior and did a presentation on skeletal anatomy using both models and actual human bones. He has been accepted into the prestigious BA/MD UNM medical program beginning next fall.

“It’s a pretty amazing opportunity to get accepted into such a prestigious program,” he said. “My goal is to become a doctor. I have time to figure it out but I’m leaning towards emergency medicine because I feel that I thrive under stressful situations. That would be a great way to test my limits. But I’m also looking into oncology. The study of cancer is very important with the rate in which people contract the disease. It is an epidemic that needs to be tackled.”