CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The end of the school year comes with end-of-the-year field trips. However, six West Oso Junior High students are getting a different kind of field trip.
CITGO and The Society of Science are sponsoring West Oso Junior High to attend the International Science Fair Educational Outreach Day. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M) students do not have the opportunity to attend and compete in the fair until high school, but they were invited to participate in the educational activities that come along with the fair.
S.T.E.M teacher Christina Campos chose six students who were impacted by S.T.E.M the most throughout the year to go on the trip. She hopes that her students will be inspired by the projects they see and continue participating in S.T.E.M and science fairs throughout high school.
"I want my students to have a little piece, a little part of it to get to see it, so that they can look forward to having the opportunity to see that and want to come back. It’s a very big honor to be able to do that. We’ve never done that and I'm very excited about that. The students are really, really excited to be able to do that and experience this," Campos said.
Seventh grader and regional science fair winner Chad Aguilar said S.T.E.M allows him to be creative. He said he's excited for the trip.
"I'm looking forward to talking to new people, meeting new people from all round the world, what their mind is about and why they came up with this project. I can get some new ideas for science fair. It pushes me every year so I can work up to first place," Aguilar said.
The trip is not only meant to encourage students to stay involved in science in high school but to carry that passion into their future careers.
"S.T.E.M has challenged me because there’s so many different types of challenges we can go through. We can build and code. I always get bored very easily and S.T.E.M is the only thing that gets me going," Seventh grader Yolanda Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez and seventh grader Julianna Cocotel were a part of two S.T.E.M conferences and Girls Day at The University of Texas. They created a project involving energy transfers. This is the first year that West Oso will attend the fair.
"I’ve never gone to this type of trip before so it's new to me. I just want to be able to take a nice moment and see new things," Cocotel said.
West Oso Junior High is the only school in the Coastal Bend to attend the science event, and the students going said they are grateful that they were selected.
"I’ve had a lot of opportunities to use my knowledge to join science fair and robotics. I've really done S.T.E.M as a hobby, but now that I'm at West Oso, I get to use it in the science fair and for that I'm just very excited. It's a great opportunity," eighth grader Gavin Lopez said.
Students will leave Wednesday, May 17. The international fair is Thursday, May 18, but the impact is forever.