Cherokee students shine in science and engineering fair


Cherokee Nation School Community Specialist Daniel Faddis presents Sequoyah freshman Onendanegea Rhoades with his first place overall award at the Cherokee Nation National Science and Engineering Fair, while Northeastern State University professors Dr. Rui Zhang and Dr. Demitri Plessas give Rhoades a $1,500 tuition waiver to NSU.

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, Okla. — A Sequoyah High School freshmen’s engineering project won first place at the 8th Annual Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair.

Onendanegea Rhoades’ project on which sand best filters water earned him a $1,500 tuition waiver from Northeastern State University.

Rhoades built eight, three-chamber miniature slow sand filters and using local bought large and small granule sand, tested which ones best filtered drinkable water.

“When I heard my project being announced as first place overall, I could barely believe it,” Rhoades said.

The tribe’s competition was held Jan. 25 at Northeastern State University. It challenged Cherokee students to create projects in life and physical sciences, energy, engineering and environment. The competition is part of the tribe’s plan for advancing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in schools within the Cherokee Nation.

Judges also awarded Muldrow eighth-grader Emily Johnson first place in the middle school division for her medicine and health project, “See You Later Alligator – Skin: Keeping Skin Moist.”

“The Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair is a learning and networking opportunity for students interested in STEM subjects,” said Bill Andoe, deputy executive director of Cherokee Nation Education Services. “Students get to interact with peers from other schools and professionals working in STEM-related fields.”

Students were awarded medals, pottery, scholarships and more. Listed below are Cherokee Nation Science and Engineering Fair overall winners:

Middle School Division:

1st Place - Emily Johnson, Muldrow Middle School

2nd Place - Brennon Noblin, Westville Middle School

3rd Place - Seth Sifuents, Muldrow Middle School

High School Division:

1st Place - Onendanegea Rhoades, Sequoyah High School

2nd Place - Sarah Snyder, Westville High School

3rd Place - Amber Roberts, Westville High School

Cherokee Nation News Release
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