Science Fair Champion

Dr. Dennis D. Cantu Early College High School’s sophomore Giselle Luna who hopes to pursue a career in the medical field and eventually become an orthopedic surgeon conducted a science experiment for the 2023 Laredo ISD Secondary Schools Science Fair. 

For her efforts, Luna won first place in the Earth and Environmental Science Division with her project “Cognitive Regeneration of Planaria” and was declared the 2023 Grand Champion of the LISD Secondary Science Fair held recently at the LISD PAC.

“When I heard my name called it felt perry surreal, almost like a fever dream,” said Luna.

Luna, a sophomore, will represent CECHS, Martin High School and Laredo ISD at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Tx, May 13 - 18. She will join other high school students from around the world who will display their independent research.

The purpose behind Luna’s “Cognitive Regeneration of Planaria,” was to test the ability of Planaria to regeneration themselves under certain magnets field and test what magnetic fields would work better overall. She used Neodymium magnets (which is one of the strongest magnets you can find) and three different magnets (plus 1, plus 2, and plus 3), low medium highest. She thought the highest would be the one that would regenerate the fastest. But she discovered that plus 2 was the best. 

“I chose this project because I hope that one day it would help humans regenerate body parts because there's some people that lose their limbs or certain organs. They go through this very long and vigorous process to try to gain them back or try to go back to the normal way of life,” said Luna.

Giselle’s hunger for science began at an early age while seeing her father go to work.

“I think it’s the fact that you can find new tings, there is always something new to find out,” said Luna.  “I have always liked to learn new things. So, Science just peaks my interest more than any other subject.”

“My dad is in the medical field where he sells placenta tissues which helps tissues regenerate faster,” said Luna. “I kind of grew up always watching him go to work at the hospital, so I guess I got that passion from him.”

Attending the upcoming Science Fair with Luna will be her science fair project sponsor who also served as his science teacher at Cantu Early College High School, Ms. Lorena Castaneda.    

“I'm extremely proud that Giselle got this award. She's that student that really tries hard and is very deserving. She doesn't complain, she doesn't say no, and she's always doing her best,” said Castaneda. “She was very enthusiastic about the project. In the end it's all her credit.” 

“I want to thank my parents and brother because they are always there for me and my teachers Mr. Hoover and Ms. Castaneda and the administration at MHS and CECHS for always encouraging me,” said Luna. 

Giselle is a member of the Martin High School Swim team which just won regionals on the same day she won the Science Fair. Her hobbies include reading and writing, and she enjoys spending time outdoors with her dogs. 

The Grand Champion runner-up was Mia Cuevas from the Garcia Early College High School with her project entitled “Autism Awareness starts at School.” The Middle School Grand Champion was Juan Aguillon and Juan Diaz from Cigarroa Middle School with their project entitled “Vitamin C Analysis of Commercial Fruit Juices and Beverages,” and the Middle School Grand Champion runner-up was Alfredo Cebedo, Eliseo Nevares, and Ghio Maxamilliano from Memorial Middle School with their project entitled “The Neon Bacteria from Memorial Middle School.”