Annual Science and Engineering Fair & S.T.E.A.M Expo Inspires Curiosity and Innovation


The 37th Annual Mendocino County Science and Engineering Fair & S.T.E.A.M Expo, held March 18th at Mendocino College, was a celebration of young minds, creativity, innovation, and resilience. The event offered a fun-filled day of learning that sparked the curiosity and imagination of students and their families. Alongside the Science and Engineering Fair, the inaugural S.T.E.A.M. Expo featured engaging activities and resources provided by educators, students, and community organizations that highlighted science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.).

The Science and Engineering Fair displayed over 140 projects from 160 3rd to 12th grade Mendocino County students. Twenty public, private, and charter schools participated in the fair. Eleven exceptional projects were selected to advance to the 72nd California Science & Engineering Fair, which will be held virtually on April 11th. The winning entries were carefully evaluated and selected by a panel of 20 local science, engineering, and education professionals, who volunteered their time to serve as judges.

Additionally, students received special awards sponsored by community organizations, including Outstanding Young Scientist Award (Baechtel Creek Medical Clinic), Paul Joens-Poulton Avant-Garde Award, Excellence in Environmental Science/Ecology (UC Hopland Research & Extension Center), Achievement in Scientific Methodology (South Ukiah Rotary), and Insights & Innovations in Renewable Energy (Sonoma Clean Power).

The Science and Engineering Fair & S.T.E.A.M. Expo is made possible through the support of Mendocino College and the Mendocino County education community, volunteers, community organizations, and businesses who recognize the importance of promoting science education and opportunities for students.

Mendocino County Superintendent of Schools Nicole Glentzer expressed her appreciation for the educators, volunteers, and community groups that come together to make the annual fair and first S.T.E.A.M. Expo a success. Glentzer said “Children have innate curiosity and wonder, making them natural scientists. The many individuals that volunteer and mentor kids on their path to the Science and Engineering Fair provide opportunities to explore that wonder and transform passions into innovative projects.”

For more information about the event, and to view a slide show of images and complete list of awardees, please visit the Mendocino County Office of Education’s event website:

2023 Qualifiers for the 72nd California State Science & Engineering Fair Representing Mendocino County:

First Name Last Name School of Origin Project Title
Pele Esserman Tree of Life Charter School Drapes vs. Droughts
Brian Bowles Sherwood School Sampling the Elements
Yazmin Carrillo Arena Elementary School Eww Bacteria
Shayla Carrillo
Camila Gomez Avalos
Lyra Peters Pacific Coast Community Charter School What amount of light do chia seeds grow best in?
Tyler Knight Laytonville Elementary Germy Kisses
Prema Peralta Deep Valley Christian School Don't burst my bottle!
Logan Devine Willits Charter School Life Beyond the Trash
Timothy Kanthack Laytonville Elementary Need Energy?
Charlie Jacobson
Connor Quigley St. Mary of the Angels Which Roofing Material Best Protects a Home From Fire
Katherine Wang Developing Virtue Secondary School Measuring the fidelity of sperm in short tandem repeat DNA sequences and their potential implications in disease development
Yi Fan Chan Ukiah Independent Study Academy Friction and Efficiency in Cup-and-Cone Style Bearings

37th Annual Mendocino County Science and Engineering Fair Special Awards and Ribbons:

Winners of The Outstanding Young Scientist Award - Sponsored by Bechtel Creek Medical Clinic:
Joelle Skinner Is Sunlight Necessary?
Margot Dowdney Lux and UV Light
Winners of The Paul Joens-Poulton Avant-Garde Award:
Levi Caceras Ph, Plants & Poop
Mason Bonner Ph, Plants & Poop
Winner of The UC Hopland Research & Extension Center Award for Excellence in Environmental Science/Ecology:
Utpala Stanton Planet Saving Paper
Winners of The South Ukiah Rotary Award for Achievement in Scientific Methodology
Lucia Button Generation Fear
Tyler Knight Germy Kisses
Katherine Wang Measuring the fidelity of sperm in short tandem repeat DNA sequences and their potential implications in disease development.
Winner of The Insights & Innovations in Renewable Energy - Sponsored by Sonoma Clean Power:
Selene Luong Algae Greenhouse
Zhi-Xuan Ooh Algae Greenhouse