Each NCSS student who participated in the Georgia Elementary Science Fair brought home either a first, second, or third place award. Not pictured are Kaylee Ransom and Tristian Rascoe.

COVINGTON — Newton County School System elementary students brought home the hardware from the 2020 Georgia College K-5 State Science and Engineering Fair. In fact, every student who participated won an award at the statewide competition!

“This was the first year our elementary school students participated at the state level and they performed extremely well,” said Christina Phyall, NCSS Elementary Science Curriculum Specialist. “Overall, they brought home six first place ribbons, eight second place ribbons, and two third place ribbons from the fair. In addition, two teams also won recognition for their achievement during the STEM Design Challenges. We are definitely very proud of our students’ accomplishments!”

NCSS students, their project names, category, school and grade are listed below:



Paul Farmer, The Capillary Effect, Physical Science, East Newton, grade 4

Connor May and William Sharpe, Which Bridge is Standing Up?, Physical Science, Newton County Theme, grade 5

Kaylee Ransom, Can Your Plants Grow with Other Liquids?, Biological Science, Live Oak, grade 5

Tristian Rascoe, What Keeps Apples from Turning Brown?, Biological Science, Live Oak, grade 5

Payton Tremblay, Hydrate Your Plants, Biological Science, South Salem, grade 4

Katie Williams, Hydropower, Physical Science, Mansfield, grade 5


Makayla Darnell, You Got Pain-I Got the Answer, Health Science, Heard-Mixon, grade 5

Madeline Malone, Avoid Halitosis for the Holidays, Chemical Science, South Salem, grade 5

Aliya Mason, Disappearing Act, Chemical Science, Fairview, grade 5

Kayden O’Cain, Egg-stra Stained, Health Science, Heard-Mixon, grade 3

Ava Ricci, You Should Not “Carie” Your Teeth, Health Science, Fairview, grade 4

Rob Thompson, Payload Placement, Physical Science, East Newton, grade 5

Aiden Walls, Which Liquid is Best?, Biological Science, Mansfield, grade 3

Josselin Zintzun, Erosion Revisited, Biological Science, South Salem, grade 5


Elizabeth Mendez, Crazy Crystals, Chemical Science, Livingston, grade 4

Kaynise Hawkins and Markita Little, Rocks, Biological Science, West Newton, grade 4

In addition to their project awards, two teams of students also won awards in the STEM Design Challenges. Team members Payton Tremblay, Josselin Zintsun, Kaynise Hawkins, and Markita Little won second place in the Parachute STEM Design Challenge while Aiden Walls and Katie Williams joined forces to win third place in the Bridge Building STEM Design Challenge.

“I am so impressed by our elementary students and their accomplishments at the State Science Fair,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of the Newton County School System. “For each and every student to bring home an award at the state level on their very first trip to the State Science Fair is huge! I am so proud of these students and I cannot wait to see how they progress in their science studies. If they are already winning state awards now, imagine what they can accomplish in science by the time they reach middle and high school. Congratulations to each of them on a job well done!”

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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