In­dian Creek stu­dent named na­tional STEM com­pe­ti­tion semi­fi­nal­ist

The Covington News - - LOCAL - KAYLA ROBINS krobins@cov­news.com

A lo­cal mid­dle school stu­dent is work­ing her way to the top of a na­tional STEM com­pe­ti­tion by be­com­ing one of only two semi­fi­nal­ists in Ge­or­gia.

Ava Jane Teasley, an eighth-grader at In­dian Creek Mid­dle School, was named one of 300 semi­fi­nal­ists na­tion­wide for the Broad­com MASTERS, ac­cord­ing to the Foun­da­tion and So­ci­ety for Sci­ence and the Pub­lic (SSP). The fourth an­nual com­pe­ti­tion is the na­tion’s most pres­ti­gious Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing and Math (STEM) such for mid­dle school stu­dents, ac­cord­ing to a New­ton County School Sys­tem (NCSS) press re­lease.

The Broad­com MASTERS (Math, Ap­plied Sci­ence, Tech­nol­ogy, En­gi­neer­ing for Ris­ing Stars) en­cour­ages mid­dle school stu­dents to follow their per­sonal pas­sion in sci­ence or en­gi­neer­ing and con­tinue their stud­ies in math and sci­ence through­out high school. Stu­dents are in­tro­duced to the sci­en­tific method and en­gi­neer­ing process through sci­ence fair com­pe­ti­tions and hand­son chal­lenges that teach them the 21st cen­tury skills or crit­i­cal think­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and cre­ativ­ity by fo­cus­ing on project-based learn­ing and team­work in their ar­eas of in­ter­est.

Teasley’s recog­ni­tion stems from the work she did on her sev­enth-grade sci­ence fair project, “Pre­vent­ing a Pain in the Butt!” She used in­frared equip­ment to as­sess body tem­per­a­ture in live­stock, and the project won first place in the An­i­mal Sci­ence Di­vi­sion of the Grif­fin RESA Re­gional Sci­ence Fair and fourth place in the Ju­nior Di­vi­sion of the Ge­or­gia Sci­ence and En­gi­neer Fair at the Univer­sity of Ge­or­gia. She also won the Ge­or­gia Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cal Aux­il­iary Award at last year’s state sci­ence fair.

“The New­ton County School Sys­tem is ex­tremely proud of Miss Teasley,” said Craig Lock­hart, NCSS deputy su­per­in­ten­dent of schools. “Re­ceiv­ing a na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ac­co­lade in the STEM are- na is a crown­ing achieve­ment, and it serves as a tes­ta­ment to the won­der­ful work our stu­dents do ev­ery day. We com­mend Ava Jane for rep­re­sent­ing her­self, her fam­ily, In­dian Creek Mid­dle and (NCSS) in such (a) grand fash­ion.”

Semi­fi­nal­ists were se­lected from more than 2,054 ap­pli­cants after each project re­ceived three in­de­pen­dent read­ing and eval­u­a­tions by dis­tin­guished sci­en­tists, en­gi­neers and ed­u­ca­tors, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. Nom­i­nees qual­i­fied to en­ter the Broad­com MASTERS by be­ing among the top 10 per­cent of the par­tic­i­pants at their SSP-af­fil­i­ated sci­ence fairs.

As a semi­fi­nal­ist, Teasley will re­ceive an award rib­bon, a cer­tifi­cate of ac­com­plish­ment, a Broad­com MASTERS back­pack, a one-year fam­ily dig­i­tal sub­scrip­tion to Sci­ence News mag­a­zine and a one-year sub­scrip­tion to Math­e­mat­ica+ cour­tesy of Wol­fram Re­search. In recog­ni­tion of the role teach­ers play in the suc­cess of their stu­dents, each semi­fi­nal­ist’s class­room will re­ceive a col­lec­tion of Sally Ride Sci­ence Ca­reer Books cour­tesy of Deloitte.

“Now in its fourth year, the Broad­com MASTERS is en­abling more mid­dle school stu­dents of all lev­els to re­gard math and sci­ence as help­ing them gain the crit­i­cal skills that lead to re­ward­ing ca­reers in STEM,” said Paula Golden, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Broad­com Foun­da­tion and di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity af­fairs for Broad­com Cor­po­ra­tion. “We are ex­tremely proud of the thou­sands of young peo­ple who were nom­i­nated by their re­gional and state fairs to com­pete this year and ap­plaud the 300 semi­fi­nal­ists who now com­pete for a slot as one of the 30 fi­nal­ists in the 2014 Broad­com MASTERS.”

Fi­nal­ists will be an­nounced on Sept. 17. If Teasley makes the cut, she will re­ceive an all-ex­pense-paid trip to Wash­ing­ton D.C. Oct. 24-28 to showcase her sci­ence fair project and com­pete in a four-day STEM com­pe­ti­tion for awards and prizes, in­clud­ing the top ed­u­ca­tion award of $25,000 pre­sented by the Sa­mueli Foun­da­tion.

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