Vice President Nez visits students at Navajo Nation Science Fair

Vice President Jonathan Nez listens to a student from Eva B. Stokely Elementary School present her project titled, “Is Bottled Water ‘Good’ For You?”

Vice President Jonathan Nez listens to a student from Eva B. Stokely Elementary School present her project titled, “Is Bottled Water ‘Good’ For You?”

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Nez encourages students at the 2017 Navajo Nation Science Fair to continue striving for a brighter future for themselves and the Navajo Nation. Submitted photos

CHURCH ROCK, N.M. — Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez visited with students at the 2017 Navajo Nation Science Fair Feb. 28, encouraging them to achieve a brighter future for themselves and the Navajo Nation.

“You can do whatever you want in life,” Nez told the students. “Set a goal and reach it. Never let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. Remember these words of encouragement as you start accomplishing things for yourself, families, community and our Navajo people.”

Nez said he was greatly impacted by a science fair project by a student from the Eva B. Stokely Elementary School. The student submitted a science fair project titled, “Is bottled water ‘good’ for you?” From her research, she discovered that Arrowhead water and tap water registered as an eight on the pH scale.

“Come to find out, other bottled waters had a high concentration of acid,” Nez said. “Thank you for empowering me to make better choices for my own health and my family.”

More than 200 students from more than 21 schools participated in the Navajo Nation Science Fair.  

This is the seventh science fair that Johanson Phillips, principle education specialist, has helped organize.

“We created this science fair to encourage our children to learn the scientific method and conduct a research project,” Phillips said. “This process will help prepare them for the next level. The projects are becoming better and better each year. They are even running trial experiments.”

The science fair is run by various volunteers who are responsible for judging, cooking, registering students and preparing the event area. The winners of the science fair will go on to the Arizona State Science Fair and then the Intel International Science Fair.

“The Navajo Nation Science Fair has set the bar high amongst other local public school science fairs by requiring more research based and data driven projects from students,” said Julia Mitchell, who is with the Navajo Nation Department of Diné Education.

Nez thanked all the scientists, volunteers and the Department of Diné Education for organizing the fair for the Navajo Nation youth.

More information about becoming a judge is available by contacting Julia Mitchell at juliamitchell@nndode.org.

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