by Trang Le
(Plain Press, May 2011) The participation of the Lincoln-West High School Science Research Team in the 58th Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF) has been a tradition for many years. Under the leadership of national awarded chemistry teacher and sponsor, Olga Gueits, the team is once again making history in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District community. This year marked the first time the science research team at LWHS participated in the competition as an individual academy from the building. Participants in this year’s competition were all students at the International Studies Academy (ISA), one of three thematic academies housed in Lincoln West High School.
This year the NEOSEF Board of Trustees requested to reduce the participants in this annual competition to twelve from fifteen. ISA-LWHS sent the maximum number of participants allowed – being the only CMSD high school with this level of participation. Early in the school year the twelve members of the team were prepared in the use of the scientific method. They spent multiple hours in the design, development and performance of their investigations and finally, after almost a calendar school year in process, they presented their product to the judging panel at Cleveland State University at the competition in March.
This year 650 students were in the competition from 126 public and privates schools from seven surrounding counties. A total of 262 judges were in charge of deciding the final results of 8 categories and three different levels. This year ISA’s participants were awarded as follows: Svetlana Leskiv: 2nd Place Medal+ $150 & Invitation to Present at the Cleveland City Club + $50 Clev Society of Prof. Engineering with her project,”The Nano-Technology of Colloidal Gold“; Angelica Rodriguez: 2nd Place Medal +$25.00 with her project: Ozone Generation and Ozonolysis of Rubber; Shalisa Basdeo: 3rd Place + $150 and Inv. to present @ City Club + $100 & Cert Stockholm J r. Water Prize; Ocean Currents and Acid Rain Pollution: A Model; Emmanuel Garcia: 3rd Place + Outstanding Project; Cuy. Western Audubon Water Society Award; His project: Non Point Water Pollution Effect of Metro Zoo Artificial Rain Forest; Kadisha Pinkston: 3rd Place; Her project: Recycling Plastic by Density in Different Fluids; Wu, Yongxin: 3rd Place; Her project: Alum as Flame Retardant in Wood, Clothe and Paper; Darius Cincu: 3rd Place; His project: Ascorbic acid & D Fructose in Fruits Preservation; Le Trang: Honorable Mention + $150 & Invitation to Present @ City Club; Her project : Raphanis sativa vs Lactuata sativa Interference by Allelopathy; Darius Cincu: 3rd Place; His project: Ascorbic acid & D Fructose in Fruits Preservation; Elizabeth Leonardo: Honorable Mention + $50 gift cert. and a Special Cert. from CWRU School of Nursing; Her Project: Comparative Survey of Fat-o-Meter Among Fem/Male Teens; Nancy Rojas: Honorable Mention + $150 & Invitation Present @City Club +$50 Gift Cert. and Outstanding Naval Sc Award from US Navy; Her project: Parents-Child Communication about Sexuality by Ethnic Groups; Emma Moore: Honorable Mention + $100. Society of Automobile Engineers + $50 + Outstanding Western Cuyahoga Audubon Society Certificate; Her project: From Cooking Oil to Bio-diesel; and Gloribel Rodriguez: Honorable Mention; Her project: Receiver vs Giver: A Model of the Rate Of HIV/AIDS Infection
Lincoln West Science teacher Ms. Olga Gueits wants to recognize the commitment, dedication and assistance of her chemistry class tutors Mr. Toan Huynh and Mrs. Hsu. Their input was critical in the completion of the project by the students. According to Ms. Gueits, the success of this extracurricular project could not be possible without the diligence of Dr. Irene Javier, Principal of the International Studies Academy, who assigned the necessary funds from the School Improvement Grant to buy all the science materials, transportation and supplies needed for the science investigations.
When asked the importance of this activity, Ms. Gueits responded, “Science is about discovery. It’s about opening our eyes to things that we never knew existed. I feel like we should teach our students to think about the world around them, question how it came to look the way that it does, and began to look for features that provided evidence for that process. The learning process should facilitate this through inquiry-based learning’. She concluded saying, “I love to teach science”