By Kelly Pingleton | May 10, 2023

ST LOUIS – Science Coach High School students garnered the attention of two Missouri Senators and a State Representative because of their enthusiasm and creative experimentation in science, resulting in three school visits, 14 projects displayed and four in-person student presentations to legislators while visiting the State Capitol April 11, 2023, to display their science projects.

The Missouri classroom tours started with Missouri Republican Senator Jason Bean, District 25, visiting Hayti High School in Hayti, Missouri on December 1, 2022. Missouri Republican Senator Travis Fitzwater  District 10 observed science students at Holt High School in Wentzville, Missouri on December 7, 2022. Missouri Republican State Representative Alex Riley, District 134, rounded out the tour by traveling to Lebanon High School to assess High School innovations at Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri on March 23, 2023.

Senator Bean and Fitzwater invited Holt High School students to Jefferson City on April 11, 2023, to exhibit their science projects in the State Capitol’s third floor rotunda.

This round robin of Missouri High School Science classroom tours, led four high school students, Braydon Burthardt, Drew Bufalo, Reagan Stinson and Callie Logsdon, some whom have won local, regional and national competitions, to the Missouri State Capitol, the home of the Missouri General Assembly and the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Missouri in Jefferson City.  There, they displayed their research and spoke about its results with curious Senators, Representatives, and guests.

Students at Hayti High School enjoyed sharing a variety of 15 projects with Senator Bean such as programing and using various spices to inhibit or kill food bacteria such as E. coli, using algae as fertilizers, using natural substances such as caffeine and peppermint to deter and kill ants, and using water plants to clean water. With Senator Bean’s farming background, he found particular interest in using algae as natural fertilizers.

Holt High School Science Coach Jennifer Hess said Senator Fitzwater’s observation of students’ projects in the classroom ranged from viewing the effects of environmental noise pollution on bumblebees, to the creation of a prosthetic hand for baseball, to the role of a protein called p38 in the disease fascioscapularhumeral muscular dystrophy.

“Senator Fitzwater seemed truly engaged in what the students were saying. He was animated and involved in his conversations with them,” said Hess. “The students were impressed that a state level politician would be interested to take the time to come and visit with them to understand how their work can benefit the State of Missouri.”

Lebanon High School students were happy to share their recently completed science research projects with State Representative Riley on his visit to Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Missouri on March 23, 2023. Three students recently won first place in their category at the Ozark Science and Engineering Fair and one was selected to present at the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. “Senator Riley was very impressed with the level of understanding of what these students showcased about their projects,” said Ryne Emerick, Lebanon High School Science Coach teacher.