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ASMS Students Attend Wilcox Central High School Science Fair

Camden is a small city with a population of roughly 2,000 citizens located in Alabama's historical Black Belt region. Despite its modest size, it has played a major role in contemporary Alabama culture. Governor Kay Ivey, Senator Jeff Sessions, and Representative Jo Bonner all grew up in Camden. Today, the city remains relatively rural, accessible by two-lane highways frequented by logging trucks.

On Tuesday, November 28, students and employees from the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile traveled those roads to attend the Wilcox Central High School Science Fair in Camden. ASMS representatives were invited by Wilcox science teacher Ms. Monica Reuben to view the proceedings, participate, and provide feedback. Academic Dean Dr. Mitch Frye and Research Coordinator Ms. Asia Frey escorted two ASMS seniors, Hakeem Menifee and Abigail Richardson, to the fair.

Wilcox hakeem

Hakeem previously participated in the 2023 Mobile Regional Science Fair, presenting a project on microplastics in marine settings. He showcased his poster at the Wilcox fair as an example for students who might want to take their projects to regional and state competitions. Hakeem says he had fun sharing his research with the inquisitive kids at Wilcox.

Abigail is currently a paleontology student in the ASMS Research Fellows Program, and she hopes to present a project at the 2024 Alabama Academy of Science Conference. Her mentor Dr. Drew Gentry sent dinosaur fossils, including a portion of a triceratops head frill, for the Wilcox students to examine. Abigail was impressed by the positive atmosphere at Wilcox. She says, “It was nice to see how excited everyone was and how supportive they all were with each other.”

Wilcox planes

ASMS representatives viewed the Wilcox projects and spoke with each student group, offering praise and advice. Dr. Frye was struck by the effort and intelligence on display. He noted, “Even a project as deceptively simple as determining the best paper for making paper airplanes showed the scientific method in action.” He found that Wilcox students took care to form hypotheses, control variables, perform experiments, record data, and make reasonable conclusions.

Ms. Asia Frey provided Wilcox employees with scoring rubrics used at the annual ASMS Spring Research Forum, giving them an option for streamlining student feedback in the future. Ms. Frey says that ASMS has received support from its sister schools in other states as it develops its own research programs, so she is happy to share these resources with other Alabama schools.

Wilcox dna

The ASMS visitors enjoyed the experience and were encouraged to see the enthusiasm of the young scientists at Wilcox Central High School. Wilcox students and teachers are invited to attend the ASMS Spring Research Forum in April, and their rising sophomores and juniors are encouraged to apply to attend ASMS, which is a free-of-cost educational opportunity for any Alabama student motivated to pursue advanced STEM coursework.

  • Dec 04, 2023