Mid-school scientists show their stuff


Taos Charter School and Taos Middle School held their respective annual science fairs Friday (Jan. 26) and brought in nearly 200 projects between the two.

Everything from 'which laundry detergent works best' to 'growing bacteria cultures' was on display. Students shared their knowledge and experience with the judges and their peers for the yearly competition.

Taos Charter welcomed some students from Anansi Charter School to participate in their fair and also had some help from charters in the area to put on the fair. Planning for both fairs began around September and kept the students busy working and collecting data well into the start of the new year.

"I just get to learn new stuff about science that I never knew about through testing," said Taos Charter eighth grader Hunter Tafoya.

Tafoya, like others at the fair, plans to continue his efforts in science into high school after participating in the past three fairs at Taos Charter.

Taos Charter School requires all students from grades 6 through 8 to participate in the fair, and this year they brought in 82 projects. The fair has been held each of the last 16 years, according to math and science teacher and town councilor Nathaniel Evans. Evans is fair sponsor.

Taos Middle School also has an extensive history regarding the fair, despite the recent uncertainties many students were faced with after the district parted ways with their longtime sponsor Laura Tenorio.

The school and Tenorio have declined to say why her contract was terminated. Tenorio was the science fair sponsor who helped many students with their projects and experiments, but school officials said the fair would go on as planned and promised the students the opportunity to have their projects displayed.

"Everybody at the middle school has gotten together and helped us out," said science department head Ella Rael, "All the teachers and some from the high school, too."

Rael said the efforts to complete the fair this year came from collaborations with Taos High School as well as Evans who assisted in getting the tables for the middle school fair. The community effort was not unnoticed by Rael who was pleased to have as many students as she did in the fair. Some students at the time of the fair were out sick had their projects judged on a different day. Still, a total of 115 projects lined the tables in the TMS gym.

Community members from several entities came together to judge the projects with public officials joining in on the judging as well. Students will show their experiments next at the regional science fair March 10 at New Mexico Highlands University.

Taos Middle School students eligible for the Regional Science Fair: Jaelynn Gonzales, Sarah Randall, Ashlynn Vigil, Jocelyn Gutierrez, Trinity Padilla, Marika Moyer, Haley Martinez, Felice Vasquez, Joshua Gonzales, Ryan Garcia, Kailey Conklin, Melanie Torrez, Amaya Lopez, Ryen Ortega, Adam Abeyta, Estevan Salazar, Christopher Muniz, Isabela Herrera, Matteya Vigil, Esperansa Contreras, Erick Alvarez, Brianna Romero, Myah Parish, Angel Pacheco, Jacqualyn Withers, Jonathan Dominguez, Arianna Gutierrez, Eric Montoya, Dominic Miera, Maye Montoya, Brianna Duran-Romo, Rose Osborne, Marissa Ortega , Michal Gutwein, Tayler Donaldson, Michelle Valerio, Roman Quintana, Christine Trujillo, Destinee Martinez, Kiana Melendez, Santiago Tafoya, Dominique Vigil, Cassie Sanchez, Tatiana Flores, Jazmine Bernal, Ashley Quintanilla, Anakaela Trujillo, Daniela Martinez, Kionamua Ely, Trinity Trevizo, Benito Juarez, Lance Miller, Maria Garcia, Carlos Miller and Jeremy Mondragon.

Taos Charter School students eligible for the Regional School Fair: Keenan Greywolf, Josie Leeson, Cameron Olsen, Anabelle Caldwell, Marielle Gomez, Louis Hay, Teresa Parraz, Alyx Mastor, Mariebella Duran, Makayla Vigil, Marlen Stoessel, Jessie Alvidrez, Ciara Salazar, Alejandro and Augustin Martinez, Nicholas Holley, Seth Danemann, Ben Currey, Lilly Henderson, Savannah Martinez, Emily Archuleta, Cleome Bianga, Grace Carmona-Yong, Michael Mondragon, Hanna Weinman, Dillon Brown, Madelynn Quintana, Matthew Mondragon and Corrina Harrower.