Mountain House High School science star Jacqueline Prawira took Best of Show honors for the second year in a row at the 2020 San Joaquin County Office of Education STEAM Fair.

The annual science and engineering fair was renamed this year to embrace the broader realm of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics education. New categories were added for science fiction writing, computer coding, Rube Goldberg machines and reverse engineering.

Individual students, groups and classes in kindergarten through 12th grade submitted 207 projects, which were judged by a panel of 48 volunteers who interviewed all the competitors. They chose winners in several age and subject categories, including seven projects that will represent the county at the California Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles in April.

The students whose projects will go to the state fair are all from Mountain House: Divya Matta from Bethany School, Arshdeep Nijjar from Bethany School, Jordan Prawira from Altamont School, Sai Harish Balamurugan from Hansen School, and Vishnu Matta and Ayush Sheth, Alicia Roice and Ashlyn Roice, and Jacqueline Prawira, all from Mountain House High.

Clara Kerr from Lammersville School is an alternate for the state fair.

62nd annual San Joaquin County Science & Engineering Fair

Kindergarten through third grade

  • Class project winner: Tammy Hurst’s third-grade class, Altamont School, Mountain House, “Geometric Bubbles”
  • Science, first place: Bradley Potts, Dent Elementary School, Escalon, “Vital Signs: Exercise and Elevation”
  • Science, second place: Hadley Casazza, Dent Elementary School, Escalon, “Germinating Lima Beans at Different Temperatures”
  • Science, third place: Nirvaan Bangar, River Islands Technology Academy, Lathrop, “The Candle Meltdown”
  • Engineering, first place: Chris Emmanuel, River Island Technology Academy, Lathrop, “Dimmer Switch with Pencil”
  • Engineering, second place: Shaan Aggarwal, River Island Technology Academy, Lathrop, “Fun with Paper Airplanes”

Fourth and fifth grade

  • Science, first place: Kaia Machado, Dent Elementary School, Escalon, “Weight, Speed, and the Warped Wall”
  • Science, second place: Kaylie Reshes, Wicklund School, Mountain House, “Bubble Project”
  • Science, third place: Lorelai Kiliany, Wicklund School, Mountain House, “Melting Chocolate”
  • Engineering, first place: Lucy Sorensen, Hansen School, Mountain House, “Salt Water Desalination”
  • Engineering, second place: Dev Aggarwal, River Island Technology Academy, Lathrop, “Thinking Out of the Pizza Box: Solar Energy”
  • Engineering, third place: Shraddhaa Hariharan and Kaaviya Saravana Moorthi, Hansen School, Mountain House, “Biodegradable Plastics”

Sixth through eighth grade

  • Science, first place: Divya Matta, Bethany School, Mountain House, “A study on preventing non biodegradable microfibers and microplastics from entering our natural environment through washing machine effluent” (state fair representative)
  • Science, second place: Arshdeep Nijjar, Bethany School, Mountain House, “Rainwater Storage System” (state fair representative)
  • Science, third place: Vibhav Chandrala, Questa School, Mountain House, “Influence of PGPR’s and AMF on Plants”
  • Science, honorable mention: Gianni Adamo and Joseph Jaballas, St. Bernard’s Catholic School, Tracy, “Recycling Recycled Water”
  • Engineering, first place: Jordan Prawira, Altamont School, Mountain House, “Spira Mirabilis 2” (state fair representative)
  • Engineering, second place: Sai Harish Balamurugan, Hansen School, Mountain House, “Gadget Distraction Solution” (state fair representative)
  • Engineering, third place: Clara Kerr, Lammersville School, rural Tracy, “Improving the Design of Windmills by Making a Bird Friendly and Efficient Windmill” (state fair alternate)
  • Engineering, honorable mention: Arjun Kurup, Questa School, Mountain House, “3D Scanner”
  • Rube Goldberg machines, first place: Jonathan Ha, Lodi SDA Elementary School, “Star Wars”
  • Math/computer science, first place: Kimiyah Stewart, Wicklund School, Mountain House, “Preventing SQL Injection Attacks”

Ninth through 12th grade

  • Science, first place: Jacqueline Prawira, Mountain House High School, “Cyclo.Plas: Upcycling Fish Scale Waste as an Environmentally Friendly Thin Plastic-Like Material to Combat White Pollution” (state fair representative and Best of Show)
  • Science, second place: Lisette Aguilera, Chavez High School, Stockton, “Homemade vs. Store Bought”
  • Science, third place: Francesca Palo, Chavez High School, Stockton, “To Grow or Not to Grow”
  • Engineering, first place: Vishnu Matta and Ayush Sheth, Mountain House High School, “Artificial Intelligence Assisted Physical Therapy System” (state fair representative)
  • Engineering, second place: Alicia Roice and Ashlyn Roice, Mountain House High School, “Nurosole: A Novel Device for Early Detection of Diabetic Neuropathy” (state fair representative)
  • Engineering, third place: Isaac Anchanattu, Mountain House High School, “Use of Machine Learning and Neural Networks to Optimize Efficient Measurement of Road Quality”

Environmental awards

  • Noah Toth, John McCandless STEM Charter, Stockton, “Windmill Turbines”
  • Peyton Lazaro, George Lincoln Mosher Elementary School, Lodi, “The Grey Water Plant”

If you have news for Accolades, send it to or drop off a note at the Tracy Press, 95 W. 11th St., Ste. 101.

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