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Yuma Education

Harvest Prep student becomes finalist, will represent U.S. internationally


13 students also earn recognition from state competition

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Foundation (SARSEF) awarded over a dozen students enrolled in Harvest Preparatory Academy for their respective entries in the 66th SARSEF Science and Engineering Fair.

Andrea Romero

One student in particular, Andrea Romero, has moved on to the International Science and Engineering Fair as a finalist to represent the U.S.

Romero placed first in the Grand Award category with her "Let's Fight Bac(teria)!" project, which examined the effects of Prosopis glandulosa (Honey Mesquite) leaves extract on lowering the antibiotic resistance of Escherichia coli, Sarcina lutea and Staphylococcus epidermidis.

The examination earned Romero a $2,500 University of Arizona scholarship. Her award also includes being one of eight top projects in the U.S. to qualify competing in the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Rebecca Rodriguez and Alexander Sandoval's third place Food Safety Award earned the duo a $50 check and framed certificate after examining which household items can be used to keep apples from browning.

Isael Padilla's entry into the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Excellence in Aerospace Engineering category earned the pupil a $25 check and certificate. Padilla investigated the effect weight had on a plane.

Sheivanny Magaña's second place High School Award earned Magaña a wireless microscope and Texas Instruments Nspire - CX CAS Graphing Calculator for her efforts in creating essential macromolecules from inorganic sources.

Ana Navarro, Miranda Salcido and Sheyla Solorzano placed third in the Grand Award category with individual entries. Navarro examined the role of nitric oxide in mediating gravitropism in natural and synthetic auxin. Salcido studied the use of gibberellic acids on promoting germination of crypreserved Lactuca sativa (Romaine Lettuce) seeds. Solorzano investigated the efficacy of Pestalotiopsis microspora fungi vs. Ictalurus furcatus fish gut biome in the biodegradation of polystyrene microplastics.

Gabriel Bojorquez and Ricardo Villarreal placed third in the Grand Award category for submitting their joint project which tested the effects of Copaifera reticulata on gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.

Alfred Santos

Carlos Teodorovich entry into the AIAA Excellence in Aerospace Engineering category earned him a $50 check and certificate. Teodorovich also entered his project into the Outstanding Project in Nautical or Submarine Sciences category, which earned the pupil a $250 check and certificate provided by the U.S. Air Force. He also submitted his project into the Outstanding Science or Engineering Project category, earning him a $25 check and certificate.

Josselyn Hernandez Jimena Uribe earned the SARSEF Board of Directors Award, $75 check and certificate for their joint submission, which studied biocontrol for toxic algae.

Eveleen Velarde's efforts in comparing water analysis of City of Yuma and San Luis drinking fountains earned her a $25 Check, certificate and name to be featured in the December issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS).

The SARSEF award Alfred Santos, teacher to many of the recognized students, Champion Educator of Science and Engineering, which earned Santos a $200 check and certificate. The foundation also awarded him the Endorsed Teacher Award, earning Santos a $100 check and framed certificate.

Arizona News / Yuma County
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Caleb Fernandez

Caleb Fernández has always had an affinity for creative collaborations. Throughout his early education, he was actively involved in musical theatre. Upon earning his Bachelors degree from The Pennsylvania State University in Advertising/Public Relations, Caleb went straight to New York City where he learned the necessities of production assistance, photography and art direction.

Most recently, his work in strategic social media management has allowed him the blessing to work remotely while utilizing his skill sets of shooting still and moving images, retouching, scripting, editing, event management, and brand representation.

As a native of the Imperial Valley, Caleb looks forward to serving the KYMA/KECY-TV team in one of the most rewarding ways: by giving back to the Valley which helped raise him.

Please reach out via email at if you’re interested in collaborating.


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