Soldiers judge projects of future scientists at Tippin Elementary

Fort Bliss
Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 10:45pm

On a breezy, sunny day in West El Paso, a group of Soldiers assigned to 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, volunteered to participate as judges for the Tippin Elementary School science fair Jan. 30.

The Soldiers gathered in the school cafeteria and were instructed on how to grade and evaluate the students’ science projects by Cynthia Ambriz, a fifth-grade teacher at Tippin Elementary School. Ambryz is also the science contact teacher and has been in charge of the science fair program at the school since 2010.

“I feel very proud of every child who participates in the fair. It’s rewarding to see how much each child has learned through the process of completing these projects,” said Ambriz.
Unaware that the judges were Soldiers, the students in the third grade came out of their classrooms and headed to the cafeteria carrying their projects. The students displayed a lot of enthusiasm and excitement when they realized that Soldiers were the judges for their science fair.

“I love going and giving my time to the kids to help and encourage them with their projects,” said Pvt. Ryan McClintock, a geospatial engineer with 2nd BCT, 1st AD.

Toward the end of the science fair, the rest of the fourth and fifth-grade students came out and presented their projects to the judges. Each student had to introduce themselves, shake the judge’s hand and present their project in a clear and precise manner. To get the best score on their project, the students needed to cover every topic that was presented on their board.

The scores the students can achieve, ranges from 17 to 25 points. Seventeen points will earn them a third-place ribbon, while 25 points will reward the students with the coveted first place.

“They’re all so excited and it brings me back to when I did this when I was younger. I enjoyed this a lot,” said McClintock.

After the students were finished presenting the judges with their projects, they were dismissed to their classrooms while the judges graded their performance.

The school’s principal, Gina Rodriguez said this is the fourth year Soldiers from 2nd BCT, 1st AD have participated at Tippin Elementary School functions.

The Soldiers were accompanied by 1st Sgt. Rufus Davis and Capt. John Turner, senior leadership for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd BCT, 1st AD. They were surprised at how much fun their Soldiers were having at the science fair.

“The Soldiers that came out enjoyed a great learning experience and those who didn’t come out and participate in this function missed out because these kids are incredibly smart and innovative.

Those kids at Tippin are very impressive and I’m happy I got the opportunity to participate in their science fair,” said Davis.   

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