In the news:
captures third place at State Science Fair
slime and flatworms sounds like an odd combination, but for Miller
Intermediate eighth grader student Tony Garcia it created for a perfect
trio as he took third place in the State Science Fair recently.
Garcia's project, titled "Slimey Healing" captured the bronze medal in
the Zoology category. He advanced to the state competition after a first
place finish at the regional contest. Miller Intermediate has had
students compete at the regional event for the past 14 years.
The objective of Garcia's experiments was to see if snail secretions
would make a planarian (flatworm) grow faster when it was cut in half.
"I got the idea from a commercial that I saw that said it helped
regenerate skin tone," he said. "The lotion had 40 percent snail
secretions in it. I thought it was a challenging theory and I decided to
More than 60 flatworms were cut in half and some of them were placed
into containers that contained the snail secretions. After four weeks,
Garcia's testing concluded that the secretions did help the planarian to
grow at a more rapid rate.
"I'm very proud of Tony," said Miller science teacher Cindy Bagwill.
"This project required an intense amount of higher-level thinking and
experimentation. He put in a lot of time and effort into his analysis."
Bagwill said the project caught the judges' attention, but they were
even more impressed with his oral presentation.
"Tony is a great speaker and he is one of our student leaders on
campus," Bagwill said. "He was able to take what is a complicated
project to explain and put it into terms where anyone could easily
understand. You could really tell that he knew his subject matter inside
and out - and explained it all with ease."
In addition to being an award-winning science student, Garcia is
involved in several organizations on campus including the Robotics team
and PALS (Peer Assistant Leaders).
Garcia will attend Pasadena Memorial High School next year. He said he
wants to join the Pasadena ISD Robotics Team. He added that his future
goals are to attend Rice University and pursue studies in robotics.