Marfa High School students reflect on trip to international science fair in Atlanta 

Three Marfa High School juniors, Juan Avila, Alexis Gonzales and Aubrie Aguilar, competed last week at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta. 

MARFA — Three Marfa High School juniors, Juan Avila, Alexis Gonzales and Aubrie Aguilar, competed last week at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Atlanta. 

While their microbiology project, “Germs and You,” which studied the spread of germs in elementary and secondary classrooms utilizing glow powder, UV lights and more, did not advance in the competition, the exposure to other student’s projects and the event as a whole was positive, said science teacher Elizabeth Donaldson. 

“It was a great learning experience for all of us. We are looking forward to competing again next year,” said Donaldson. 

Young scientists Avila, Gonzales and Aguilar each expressed their gratitude for participating in ISEF and discussed what it was like mingling with fellow high school students from around the U.S. and the world. The competition included 1,750 young scientists representing 49 states and 63 countries, regions and territories across the world, according to ISEF’s website. 

“It was so much fun and it was something I didn’t expect. When we saw how many people there were I was just in shock. There were so many people from around the world and their projects were so crazy,” said Gonzales. 

“Competing in ISEF was so surreal to me! It was super fun meeting other teenagers from different parts of the world. Hearing the different languages and seeing how, come present time, there is no language barrier when it comes to big events like this, was so cool. I’m proud of our team and project and look forward to possibly expanding on it in the future,” said Aguilar.

“We didn’t place but it was a huge accomplishment making it as far as we did. I never thought I’d go across states for a school trip let alone fly, compete, and represent Marfa High School,” said Avila.