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Ramey Students Shine Overseas

Mr. Timothy Proskauer
Ramey - Aguadilla, Puerto Rico | October 29, 2018

The students at Ramey Unit School put their stamp on the world this past summer. Despite facing hardships and challenges during a hurricane-ravaged school year, these students showed resilience and determination to work towards their goals. In the process they earned national and international recognition for their achievements in athletics, research, service, scientific investigations, and mathematics.

Rising 9th grader Gianfranco Orama is an honor student and gifted athlete. He represented Ramey athletically as both a basketball player and track athlete during the year. Over the summer Orama was selected from over 300 soccer players from all Puerto Rico to represent Puerto Rico internationally as a member of the U-14 National Soccer team. According to reporters he is considered one of the best forwards around the island. Gianfranco and his team-mates, who hailed from all corners of Puerto Rico, traveled to the Dominican Republic in August for a series of games against the national squads from St. Martin, St. Lucia, and Dominican Republic, among others. The team represented Puerto Rico very well finishing sub champions and bringing home the silver medal.

Orama’s talents are not confined to the athletic fields. He teamed with rising ninth graders Dan Ellsworth, Janeliz Guzman, and Bria Roettger who were selected as national finalists in the 17th annual eCYBERMISSION competition. The web-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) program—sponsored by the U.S. Army and administered by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA)—is designed to cultivate student interest in STEM by encouraging students in grades six through nine to develop solutions to real-world problems in their local community. Without electricity or internet service, these students researched the water contamination crisis and developed a water filtration system using natural resources that completed eliminated all bacteria present. The Ramey team was among twenty national finalist teams (selected from 4,345 teams) to advance to eCYBERMISSION’s National Judging and Educational Event in Washington, D.C. in June.

Also in June, Guzman and Roettger teamed with fellow rising 10th grader Kailey Aponte to participate in the Project CSGIRLS National Gala. Their project, also focusing on the water crisis, created a website instruction manual illustration how to easily construct the filter using available and natural resources: coconuts, sand, and coffee filters. They were selected from 700 applicants as national finalists. Overall, they placed 3rd at the National level receiving a trophy and a tablet.

From this competition, these girls along with rising eleventh grader Giovanishka Gonzalez and rising tenth graders Kaymarie Jimenez and Elisa Torres were selected to present their research at the International GLOBE Learning Expedition in Killarney, Ireland. Aponte, Guzman, and Roettger presented their water filtration prototype along with their educational website. Although Torres was unavailable for the international conference, Gonzalez and Jimenez traveled to Ireland in July to present their findings on the comparison of the effectiveness of commercial water filtrations systems used during the relief efforts after Hurricane Maria. This week-long opportunity included keynote speakers, student presentation, cultural activities, Killarney National Park field experience, story-telling sessions, and a final banquet to celebrate their contributions. Along with Ramey School, 40 international teams participated in this life-changing event.

STEM success was in the air this summer. Rising senior Paulo attended the US Naval Academy Summer Seminar in June to experience the life of a naval cadet. Then he spent the month of July at the University of Maryland’s Clark School of Engineering ESTEEM SER-Quest program. At this month-long research camp he attended classes in coding and Computer-Aided Design. He then had to develop an individualized inquiry-based project. He will present his results at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in spring of 2019. Martinez is a standout in many ways. As captain of the soccer team, starting center on the basketball team, and MVP of the track team, Paulo was named Ramey Athlete of the Year in 2017-18. He also is a member of the National Honor Society and Treasurer of the Student Advisory Council.

In May rising 10th grader Nico Proskauer was selected by the Puerto Rico Math Olympiad program to represent his homeland as a member of the delegation to the Central American and Caribbean Math Olympiad. He traveled to Havana, Cuba for a week in June with a team of three other Puerto Rican mathletes. At the competition Nico earned a Silver Medal. As Puerto Rico’s top scorer, he led the team to a fourth place finish among thirteen nations. At Ramey, Nico is a member of the National Junior Honor Society, captain of the math team, and represents Ramey in soccer, cross-country and basketball.

As you can see, hurricane or no hurricane, nothing can stop Ramey’s students from shining!

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