Madison Toonder places second in national STEM competition

Historic City News has been informed that because of her expertise in her field, St. Augustine middle school student Madison Toonder has received an award based on her oyster research project, leadership 1abilities in STEM challenges, presentation and communication skills.

Toonder earned second place in the mathematics category of the Broadcom MASTERS national STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competition held in California. She was chosen by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from 30 finalists representing 29 schools from 14 states.

“Education and research teams at the reserve support a variety of citizen science projects, which includes student mentorships,” said Michael Shirley, director of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. “We have so many wonderful programs in which young people have the chance to gain hands-on experience solving real world challenges, while being mentored by our staff.”

The sixth, seventh and eighth grade students participated in a week-long series of challenges on a marine research vessel and took enrichment excursions where they toured Google, Tesla and NASA.

First-place winners were awarded $3,500 and second-place winners received $2,500 to support their choice of STEM summer camp experiences.

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