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Phoenix Freshmen Showcase Research On Climate Change

Climate change was in the spotlight recently as nearly two dozen Phoenix high school freshmen showcased their research during an annual symposium.

Catherine Musumeci displays the Principal’s Award plaque she received recognizing her trifold and presentation as best of show.
Catherine Musumeci displays the Principal’s Award plaque she received recognizing her trifold and presentation as best of show.

The event, held at John C. Birdlebough High School, highlighted students’ scientific findings regarding global warming.

Each student in Susan Sharp’s ninth grade earth science honors course created a trifold display and presented their research to a panel of judges.

“The symposium and presentation are requirements for the class, and the students put a lot of work into their projects,” Sharp said.

That hard work translated into accolades for several of the students.

Gold medals were presented to Alisa Trudell, Julie Yates, Catherine Musumeci and Haley Stellingwerf for exhibiting exceptional quality and superior effort.

Taking home silver medals were Zoe Heckert, Gabrielle Crandall, Morgan Gravlin and Emily McDonald.

Bronze medalists included Alexis Smith, Ben Vienneau, Jordan Cole and Lauren Schmidt.

John C. Birdlebough earth science honors students gather for a group photo after presenting their research findings on climate change during a recent symposium.
John C. Birdlebough earth science honors students gather for a group photo after presenting their research findings on climate change during a recent symposium.

In addition to the first, second and third place medals, three special awards were handed out to students who excelled in different aspects of the project.

The Principal’s Award went to Catherine Musumeci for all-out effort, presentation and best of show.

Hannah Grabowski earned the Scientific Method Award, which recognized her for science literacy, strong knowledge and use of the scientific method; and Zoe Heckert rounded out the winners by gaining the public’s vote for best poster.

While some students took home awards, all walked away with a greater understanding and appreciation for the planet, Sharp noted.

She said that the students must realize they are the future caretakers of our planet.

“Climate change is a major issue that kids need to know about for the future,” Sharp said. “The symposium allows them to examine, study and learn how things happen, why things happen. They are really learning what science is all about.”