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The Villages
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Sumter County students will advance to Florida State Science and Engineering Fair

The 2022 Big Springs Regional Science Fair brought out the best and brightest middle and high school students to share their science research, experimental designs, and interesting conclusions with a host of judges from a variety of professions.  Sumter County students joined students from Marion County for this competition.

Eager young researchers from South Sumter Middle, South Sumter High, Wildwood Middle High, and The Villages Charter School submitted 55 projects to the regional science fair. The projects were placed in thirteen different categories ranging from Behavioral to Intelligent Machines to Engineering to Animal Sciences. 

Of the 55 Sumter County projects competing in the 2022 Big Springs Regional Science Fair, 16 projects earned first place ribbons, 11 projects earned second place ribbons, and 10 projects earned third place ribbons. 

To reach the next level of competition, the highest scoring projects were judged in a second round.  Based on this finalist judging, a team was selected to compete in the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair held in Lakeland, Florida March 29-31. The 2022 Florida State Science and Engineering Fair team of 34 projects includes 17 projects representing Sumter County.

At the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair, the following Sumter County students will once again share their research, experimental designs, data, and conclusions: from Wildwood Middle High School Junior Division- Julia Temple, Abigail Lacayo, Olivia McGill, Sophia McGill, Joseph Wise; Wildwood Middle High Senior Division –Jordan Riche, Arianna Zarazua-Benitez, Brandon Martinez, Leirin Bryd, Trinity Skaggs, Kadie Mariano, Aryonna McCoy ; from the Villages Charter High School-Grace Froehle; from South Sumter High School-Cheyenne Shirley, Avory Andrei, Colby Rinberger, Emma Bogue, Johanna Heijkoop, Ty Kadur, Alynza McBride.

Sumter County School District affiliates with the International Science and Engineering Fair.  Through the affiliation, the district is eligible to enter six projects to compete with more than 1,500 students from over 50 countries.   Representing Sumter County are: Cheyenne Shirley, Avory Andrei, Colby Rinberger, Johanna Heijkoop, Ty Kadur, Emma Bogue, Jordan Riche, and Ariana Zarazua-Benitez.   

“Once again, students from Sumter have proven they can compete with anyone. My guess is our students will do very well at the state and international levels as well. We have incredible teachers and phenomenal students who produce consistently great results. We are all proud of them,” said School Superintendent Rick Shirley.

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