More than 1,200 students competed in the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair, that brings together first place winners from school, district, county, and regional science fairs. Over 2,000 projects representing every energy field of science, medicine, technology, and engineering were on display at this year’s’ event.
Jude Thomas, a fifth grader from Mesa Elementary, earned first place at the Navajo Nation Science Fair and a third place in Environmental Science at the Arizona Science and Engineering Fair for his work researching and building wind turbines.
Jude’s interest in science started when he was in the third grade and he started thinking about alternative methods for generating electricity. He had seen large wind farms during a recent trip to California and wondered if this could be a way for people living on the reservation to generate power for their homes and offices.
He was also interested in testing different turbine designs to see which was able to capture the most wind and produce the largest amount of energy.
“Sooner or later earth is going to be out of oil and gas and we need to find a renewable energy. Then, earth is going to get too hot, which makes renewable energy even more important,” Jude stated.
Jude Thomas is an exceptional student whose love for learning is infectious and exciting. He is currently averaging a 95% in math, and a 98% in English Language Arts.
“Jude reads at a seventh grade reading level and this is representative of his drive for excellence,” stated his principal, Dr. Lopez-Martinez.
Dr. Martinez added that “Jude’s future contributions when he is a secondary student, and later in his adult life, are an attribute to his school, his teachers and the district.”