A Banner Day for ArchiSci!

A Banner Day For ArchiSci!

It was a banner day for ArchiSci this past Saturday at the MDCPS Regional Science and Engineering Fair / SECME Olympiad event. Hundreds of students from schools all across the district were assembled at the Science Complex of the Miami Dade College North Campus as Superintendent Carvalho and other dignitaries opened the day with much fanfare. There was a great deal of praise and words of support for the students, teachers and parents who are placing an emphasis on Science, Technology and Mathematics (STeM) Education. Archimedean schools were well represented with students competing in Science Fair and SECME at all three levels, parents, several faculty members (including Dr. Kalai, Ms. Ibarra-Rivera, and Mr. Shahin who volunteered as official judges for the Science Fair) and of course Dr. Kafkoulis.

The event was kicked off by a parade of banners representing each school and this year’s SECME theme: “STeMulating Minds”. It was a great pleasure to see Archimedean students at the front of each group (elementary, middle and high schools) holding the school logo proudly in beautifully designed, decorated and engineered banners. Each banner was the result of a collaborative effort from students, parents and teachers and was judged on the basis of creativity, neatness, balance and depiction of the theme.

After the parade, Science Fair students, dressed in professional attire were rushed off to the rooms where their projects were displayed in categories ranging from Physics to Environmental Science. SECME students went off to their respective events and parents and teachers were invited to attend a variety of workshops or view the events that were open to the public. These included the Mousetrap Car, Egg Drop Container, Water Rocket, Robotic Hand, Bridges and VEX Robotics.

On the Science Fair side, Archimedean was represented by two students (the maximum allowed) from the Academy, 15 students from the Middle, and 4 students from the Upper Conservatory. Our students produced the highest quality projects on topics including water quality, magnetic levitating trains, hydrogen production, and microbiology. The students stood in front of their project display boards for several hours awaiting three judges who studied the projects and asked the students questions. The judges then went back and the scores were averaged to divide the projects into three categories with the top being the “Superior” award. Finally, from these top projects, the district chooses 15 candidates at the Middle and High school level to compete in the State Science and Engineering Fair.

On the SECME side, Archimedean competed in Banner, Essay, Brainbowl, Math Challenge, and Mousetrap Vehicle at all three levels. In addition, we had teams competing in Water Rocket for Middle and High, as well as Robotic hand in Middle and VEX Robotics which is a High School only event. This was only our second year competing in SECME and in spite of a significant date change and many other challenges our students in all three schools worked diligently to prepare for the competition. Their eagerness and determination were matched only by the support from faculty and parents who contribute every day to ensure the highest quality science and math education at Archimedean Schools. These activities provide extraordinary opportunities for learning, problem-solving and critical thinking in a hands-on and exciting way as well as encourage personal growth and self-confidence through competition.

At the end of the day, the students’ hard work was rewarded and Archimedean schools stood out from the crowd in all areas of the competition when our students were called up to the stage time and time again to receive awards. In the Regional Science and Engineering Fair, the Upper Conservatory earned two honorable mentions and two excellent awards, and the Middle Conservatory was recognized with four honorable mentions, five awards of excellent, and 6 superiors! In addition two of our students received special awards, one for “outstanding In Vitro research” and one from the US Naval Academy Alumni Association offering a scholarship for a summer program at the Academy in Annapolis, MD. Furthermore, two Middle Conservatory students were selected to represent the district at the state Science and Engineering Fair.

In the SECME Olympiad, Archimedean Students brought home second place trophies for Essay in all three divisions plus second place in Elementary and Middle school Mathematics Challenge. Our middle school team also came in fourth place out of 28 schools in Brainbowl and second place in Bridges as well as Robotic Hand. Furthermore, our banner depicting the Archimedean Compass “STeMulating Minds” through the SECME program, designed, drawn, painted, and illuminated by our young team won 1st place, beating out of all the schools in attendance, some with a very long history in this competition!!

Finally, we had one more success that merits special mention. Archimedean Upper Conservatory students delivered what is surely the first of many trophies in our newest area of interest: ROBOTICS! Our students beat out teams with established robotics programs to win 1st place in VEX and earn a spot at the National SECME Competition in Alabama this summer. This marks a fortuitous start for what will soon be a full robotics program from Academy through the upper conservatory.

Congratulations ArchiSci!!! I am proud to be part of this great community and to thank Dr. Kafkoulis and Dr. Kalai for creating ArchiSci and to the science department, especially Ms. Valderrama, Mr. Shahin, and Ms. Ibarra for their commitment to science education. I would also like to thank Mr. Mendez and Ms. Roussakis for their assistance in preparing the students for the competition and Mrs. Georgoulakis for her tireless support of our SECME club. Finally, I want to give a big thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Barretto for their dedication to the students’ success in Robotics.

Science Fair Roster


  • Isaac Barreto
  • Sophia Christodoulou
  • Ioanna Georgoulakis
  • Kendra Guerrero
  • Elizabeth Hernandez
  • Yeorgia Kafkoulis
  • Shiva Kangeyan
  • Amy Lee
  • Antonio Menarde
  • Gabriela Muino
  • Christopher Rivera
  • Leonardo Sanchez-Noya
  • Aditya Shetty
  • Constance Thurmond
  • Keyan Zolfaghari


  • 6th place  for the event Trajectory,
  • 13th place in the event Meteorology,
  • 16th place in the event Ecology,
  • 23rd place in the event Helicopter,
  • 23rd place in the event Physical Science,
  • 24th place in the event Optics

Leader of the Women’s Chorus

    • Lysistrata Johnson: Christina Tsitouris

Women’s Chorus

    • Linda Smith: Karla Boada
    • Natalie Watz: Tatiana Valdes
    • Sandra Carter: Nicole Guevara
    • Susan Mcphee: Brianna Rodriguez

Leader of the Men’s Chorus

  • Dennis Johnson: Alfonso Lopez

Men’s Chorus

  • James Carter: Ronald Borrell
  • Michael Watz: Roger Borrell
  • Jonathan Smith: Daniel Camargo
  • Carl Mcphee: Leandro Hernandez

The Child

  • Jimmy (son of Sandra and James): Edwin Marquez

Leader of the Hippies’ Chorus

  • Venus: Cristina Varela

Hippies’ Chorus

  • Stella: Keilyn Vasquez
  • Daisy: Maria Santallana
  • Skye: Zoe Morales
  • Delilah: Mia Gaines
  • Dawn: Victoria Grijalva
  • June: Alezia Mata
  • Summer: Ariadne Aranda

Runaways’ Chorus

  • Revelation “Rev”: Jose Correa
  • Orion: Giancarlo Cabanilla
  • Zen: Charalampos Korfiatis


  • Dave: Andres Hands
  • Neil: George Thompson

Leader of the Soldiers’ Chorus

  • Lieutenant: Alex Llopiz

Soldiers’ Chorus

  • Maggot a: Ronald Borrell
  • Maggot b: Devin Ponce
  • Maggot c: Luigi Vera