Modern musings by Trishna Buch
Several Galveston County students were recipients of a variety of awards during the Texas Science And Engineering Fair competition which took place at the end of March. Participants competed in two sections; students in grades six through eight participated in the junior section, while students in grade nine through twelve participated in the senior section. The winners of the junior division will be competing at the Broadcom MASTERS (math, applied science, technology and engineering for rising stars) national science fair in September, while the senior division winners will compete in the Intel International Science And Engineering Fair in May. And first and second place winners of the senior division received a scholarship to attend a weeklong residential camp, the Texas Governor’s Science And Technology Champion’s Academy, held in the summer.
Not only were grand awards handed out, but participants also won category awards and special awards. The special awards were handed out by various organizations to the most-deserving students.
Clear Brook high-school student, Syamantak Payra, was the recipient of the senior division first place grand physical sciences award in the category of embedded systems. In the second place vein there were also several county students represented. In the junior division life sciences section, Seabrook Intermediate student, Bailey Foulds, won third place in the animal sciences category. In the junior division physical sciences section Seabrook Intermediate student, Grace Meyer, won second place in the chemical energy category. In the senior division life sciences section Friendswood high-school student, Aly Knowles, won second place in the behavioral and social sciences category; Clear Falls high-school student, Alex Abate, won second place in the category of biomedical and health sciences and Clear Brook high-school student, Tanya Kumar, won second place in the translational medical sciences category. In the senior division physical sciences section Clear Brook high-school students, Dhiren Wijesinghe and Andrew Liu won second place in the engineering mechanics and environmental engineering categories, respectively.
Payra was also the recipient of the Intel Excellence in Computer Science award in the category of embedded systems. The National Space Society And San Antonio Space Society presented an award to the “best project that forwards people living and working in thriving communities beyond the earth.” This award was given to Clear Spring high-school student, Ashley Hoffman, in the category of engineering mechanics. The Office Of Naval Research presented Brookside Intermediate School student, Kaustub Adhikari, with an award in the chemical energy category. And Payra was a third time winner when he received an award from the US Metric Association in the embedded systems category.
Being someone that is completely useless in all things Science, I commend all of the students who participated. Award or not, I believe that everyone who participated is a winner in their own right. I congratulate them all.
Where’s The Fun?
With summer on the way, there is only one question on the minds of every student: what are we going to do now?
All students, male and female, want to spend their summer break enjoying themselves. After spending nine months in the classroom, dealing with papers, tests, projects and assignments, they just want to kick back and relax. In fact, not only students, but we all like to take time away from our schedules and just put our feet up, right? Regardless of whether you are a student or not, I am sure that every person is looking forward to the warm weather and fun times the summer will bring.
Well, we Texans will have no problem finding warm weather. All we will have to do is step outside and we’ll be hit with a wave of heat and sunshine. But if we want to find entertainment, we may have to search for it because, our home state came in 35th in a study conducted by financial advice website WalletHub, measuring the most fun states of the year.
The score our state earned, while not completely low on the board, is still not one to boast of. But, personally, the score doesn’t surprise me. Whenever I have family coming to town I always wonder how I will keep them entertained. We have Kemah boardwalk, Galveston Island Pleasure Pier, the Galleria mall and other various entertainment venues, but what else do we have for people’s enjoyment?
I’m going to answer my own question. I know we have a lot. Unfortunately, not many people are aware of how much there is to do in Texas; resulting in the low score. Did you know that the Woodlands offers kayaking? I didn’t.
WalletHub analysts calculated the fun level of each state across two categories: “entertainment & recreation” and “nightlife.” Each category was evaluated using 22 factors including amusement parks per capita, movie theaters per capita, access to national parks, personal spending on recreation services per capita, nightlife options per capita, music festivals per capita and casinos per capita.
Texans can take pride in the fact that we haven’t fallen in the bottom spots, but we need to improve our entertainment sector so we can boast one of the top three spots – which are currently held by Nevada, South Dakota and Colorado respectively.
Best In Business
Texans have much to celebrate because the state has been named the best state for business this year.
The exciting information came to light last week with a statement released by state governor, Greg Abbott.
In tidbits last week I told you about Texas being one of the nation’s top states for the growth and economic success of women-owned businesses. During that tidbits, I implored all women to explore their innovative sides to increase the amount of women-owned firms in the area. And now, with this new information come to light, I call upon you again. Women and men—dive into your creative selves, bring out that developer in you and consider starting a business. What better place is there to do it, than in a place that earned the title of best state for business for the 13th year in a row?