RRISD students champion state STEM competition

TAME_FIRound Rock ISD students from five schools competed in the Texas Alliance for Minorities in Engineering State Math & Science Competition, including 11 students who earned first place awards and special recognitions.

Students competed in individual timed math and science tests and in randomized teams for an engineering design challenge. The top five teams in the engineering design challenge were recognized. In addition, three teams received special awards for design, creativity and teamwork.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, who hosted the event, honored the team with the most innovative solution with a special award inspired by the National Aeronautics Association’s Collier Trophy. Westwood senior Nicholas Curtis was a recipient of the Collier Trophy for his team’s work building a Zeppelin aircraft with household products, including balloons. The aircraft had to fly for a set distance and had to stay within certain distances above the ground.

Curtis said the Westwood engineering club was a big part of his success because the club had previously completed a similar task and studied together.

“We had study sessions for this competition and it’s always easy to underestimate how much Westwood prepares you for things like this,” Curtis said. “I was so honored and didn’t expect to win anything, but it was awesome.”

The following first place students from Round Rock ISD are as follows:

Cedar Valley Middle School

  • Ethan Garcia, first place level three math, first place sixth grade science, and
  • Jessica Ding, first place eighth grade science.

Canyon Vista Middle School

  • Anuja Uppuluri, first place Engineering Design Challenge Performance,
  • Nikhil Lyles, first place middle school algebra I, Engineering Design Challenge Creativity Award, and
  • Rehana Shaik, first place seventh grade science.

Westwood High School

  • Avilash Rath, first place statistics, Engineering Design Challenge Design Award,
  • Kush Desai, first place high school geometry, Engineering Design Challenge Design Award,
  • Nicholas Curtis, first place math comprehensive, first place comprehensive science, Engineering Design Challenge Collier Inspired Award, Outstanding Senior Award, and
  • Roshni Rawal, Engineer Design Challenge Teamwork Award.

McNeil High School

  • Cathy Nguyen, first place chemistry, and
  • Samuel Mokhtar, first place calculus, first place AP physics.