Inventors, Scientists, and Engineers of Tomorrow to Compete at Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair

Three students on stage with Dr. White

Sweepstakes winners hold their trophies high in front of the 1,200 attendees at the 2018 Riverside County Science and Engineering Awards Ceremony.

RIVERSIDE – Exploring alternatives to plastic straws, replicating the fascinating exhaust plume of SpaceX rockets in the night sky, and proposing solutions to rehabilitate the Salton Sea, are a few of the student projects investigating real life scenarios that will be on display at the Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at the Riverside Convention Center (3637 5th St, Riverside, CA 92501).

Nearly 500 students from 36 affiliate fairs representing public, charter, and private schools will present their findings in 405 projects spanning 19 subject matter categories from Biochemistry and Behavioral and Social Sciences to Microbiology and Robotics and Intelligent Machines.

Public viewing will be available on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, April 3, at 6 p.m., where gold, and silver (runner-up) medals will be presented. Community awards will also be announced during the awards ceremony.

Within each of the 19 subject matter categories, students will compete in the Grade 4/5 division, Junior division (grades 6-8), and Senior division (high school). Winners in the Junior and Senior division will advance to the California State Science and Engineering Fair to be held April 29-30, 2019, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, California. Sweepstakes awards will be presented to one project in Grades 4/5 combined, one project in the Junior Division, and one project in the Senior Division. Three Senior division students will advance to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) to be held May 12-17, 2019, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Participating districts and charter/private schools include:

  • Banning USD
  • Beaumont USD
  • Coachella Valley USD
  • Corona-Norco USD
  • Desert Sands USD
  • Excel Prep Charter
  • Hemet USD
  • Highland Academy Charter
  • Jurupa USD
  • Lake Elsinore USD
  • Moreno Valley USD
  • Murrieta Valley USD
  • Nuview Union SD
  • Oakhill Academy
  • Palm Springs USD
  • Palo Verde USD
  • Pechanga School
  • Perris Elementary SD
  • Rancho Christian School
  • REACH Leadership STEAM Academy
  • Riverside STEAM Consortium
  • Riverside USD
  • Romoland SD
  • Sacred Heart School
  • San Jacinto USD
  • Springs Charter School
  • St. Catherine’s of Alexandria
  • St. Edward’s School
  • St. Hyacinth Academy
  • St. Jeanne de Lestonnac
  • St. John’s Lutheran School
  • Sycamore Academy
  • Temecula Preparatory School
  • Val Verde USD
  • Woodcrest Christian School

Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair by the numbers:

486 – Total students participating

405 – Total projects

35 – Districts and/or charter/private schools participating

25 – Participants who earned gold medals at 2018 event

162 – Projects from students in Grade 4/5

153 – Projects from students in Junior Division (Grades 6-8)

90 – Projects from students in Senior Division (Grades 9-12)

19 – Categories of competition

40 – Entries in most popular category: Health/Biomedical Sciences and Engineering Mechanics (tie)

A brief selection of entries from this year’s event include:

Project Title: Acorn Woodpeckers: Do They Prefer Some Trees Over Others to Store Acorns?
Student: Emil Solorio-Coyle
Grade: 4
School/District: Brookside Elementary School, Beaumont USD
Project Description: What type of trees do acorn woodpeckers prefer to store their acorns in, and do they prefer trees with softer bark?

Project Title: Are Ants More Productive With Music?
Student: Orion Pedroza
Grade: 4
School/District: Seneca Elementary School, Moreno Valley USD
Project Description: Does playing music make ants dig more tunnels?

Project Title: Tetherball Time
Students: Adeline Clark and Bella Ward
Grade: 4
School/District: Jose Antonio Estudillo Elementary School, San Jacinto USD
Project Description: Because the lines to play tetherball at recess were too long, the students designed a portable tetherball system that fits into a backpack.

Project Title: Nextraw: The Next Generation of Straws!
Student: Sophia Dunn
Grade: 4
School/District: Laselle Elementary School, Val Verde USD
Project Description: With plastic straws being banned in California, this student’s project tested the durability of three biodegradable straws: bioplastic, paper, and pasta.

Project Title: Distracted Driver
Student: Jaiden Roffi
Grade: 5
School/District: Nuview Elementary School, Nuview Union School District
Project Description: This student tested the impact of cell phone usage on driving by comparing the speeds of the student’s father and grandfather during a driving video game with and without cell phone distractions.

Project Title: Rigatoni Pasta Rocket Engine
Student: Amanda Mata
Grade: 5
School/District: Orange Elementary School, Corona-Norco Unified School District
Project Description: After witnessing the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket leave an exhaust plume across the Southern California sky on October 7, 2018, this student attempted to use common household materials to build a simple hybrid rocket engine that would emit an exhaust plume.

Project Title: Knife Block 2.0
Student: Andrew (AJ) Carney
Grade: 5
School/District: Sundance Elementary School, Beaumont Unified School District
Project Description: Designed a magnetic, locking, kid-safe knife block to prevent kids from having access to knives.

Project Title: Artificial Pancreas
Student: Maddison Chau
Grade: 8
School/District: Palm Middle School, Moreno Valley Unified School District
Project Description: Student created an artificial pancreas model that showcases the functions of insulin in the body with applications for people living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Project Title: Does Air Quality at Schools Near the Freeway Make the Grade?
Student: Cameron Conner
Grade: 6
School/District: Highland Academy Charter School
Project Description: Student measured air quality around schools during peak traffic hours near Interstate 10 with the hypothesis that schools closer to the freeway would have lower air quality.

Project Title: Shake It Up: The Effect of Temperature on Building Materials During an Earthquake
Student: Heidi Bishop
Grade: 7
School/District: Elsinore Middle School, Lake Elsinore Unified School District
Project Description: Student tested the effects of different temperatures on metal, wood, and plastic buildings during an earthquake.

Project Title: Saving the Salton Sea
Student: Abigail Alvarez, Arlene Rivera, Jonathan Marquez-Leal
Grade: 8
School/District: Bobby Duke Middle School, Coachella Valley Unified School District
Project Description: Students designed and built a solar-powered aerator prototype to address the salinity issues plaguing the Salton Sea.

Project Title: Weed Killer Robot
Student: Joseph Dadlez
Grade: 8
School/District: Frank Augustus Miller Middle School, Riverside Unified School District
Project Description: Student invented and programmed an automatic self-driving robot that can destroy weeds with a minimal amount of weed killer.

Project Title: Characterizing the Atomic Structure of Amorphous Carbon Electrodes for Na-ion Batteries by Machine Learning
Student: Edward Koh
Grade: 11
School/District: Martin Luther King High School, Riverside Unified School District
Project Description: Student attempted to determine whether distinct, discerning clusters can be determined between Hard Carbon-Na binding sites through machine learning to produce viable amorphous carbon electrodes for Na-ion batteries.

Project Title: Methylglyoxal, An Antibacterial Agent in Manuka Honey and Its Efficacy to Treat S. Aureus Nosocomial Infections
Students: Lana Lim and Wenxuan Tang
Grade: 10
School/District: Eleanor Roosevelt High School, Corona-Norco Unified School District
Project Description: Experiment conducted was to determine what fabric treatment, of different concentration of methylglyoxal extracted from Manuka honey and water, can function as a biocide solution and stifle the growth of staphylococcus aurea on the uniforms of healthcare workers.

Additional details on this year’s Riverside County Science and Engineering Fair are available at