953 students from 359 High Schools and Middle Schools gathered at the California Science Center in Southern California last month to put their science fair projects against the best in the state. Students from Santa Cruz City Schools fared very well. From Santa Cruz High School, Chandan Lodha placed 2nd in the Electronics and Electromagnetics category with his project on Solar and Thermal Energy. From Mission Hill Middle School, Grace Kumaishi came away with a second place finish in Mammalian Biology with “Take a Deep Breath” a project evaluating lung capacity. Finishing fifth were Holly Borg’s exploration of products used to remove oil from sea birds “Physical Product Science” and Alexandra Venable with a look at “White Line Disease” in Microbiology.

At the California State Spelling Bee held in Sonoma on May 10th, Mission Hill Middle School 7th graders Mia Thacker and Claire Grishaw-Jones placed 12th and 13th respectively in the Middle School division. This was the second trip to the state finals for Mia and Claire; both girls placed in the top 25 in 2007.