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Villa Augustina students win $1,000 prize

GOFFSTOWN - The seventh-grade at the Villa Augustina took home one of seven $1,000 prizes in a regional "Dig Into Science" contest.

The contest, sponsored by S.W. Cole Engineering, which has offices in both New Hampshire and Maine, asked students in grades kindergarten through 12 to explain in a video application how science, engineering and technology can be used in new ways to make the world better.

In their entry, students from Donna Collins' seventh-grade science class explained, in a black-and-white video using only demonstrations and no speaking, how advances in technology, such as portable electronics, cell phones, and safer stairwells, make the world a better place.

The class and Mrs. Collins learned that they were among the contest's six winners during a surprise visit by S. W. Cole Engineering on Dec. 7.

The school plans to use the money to pay for a spring field trip to the Seacoast Science Center in Rye, attended by both the sixth- and seventh-grades.

Principal Beverly Broomhall said winning is just the kind of thing the school encourages for students to become immersed in their education.

"Twenty-first century education places a strong emphasis on STEM programs," Broomhall said.

The other $1,000 prizes are being awarded to schools in New Hampshire and Maine in surprise presentations are being made through next Thursday.

"We were pleased with the response and quite impressed with the enthusiasm, creativity and hard work that all the students put into their videos," said Bob Chaput, the company's senior vice president.

Chaput said the firm saw 79 entries this year, up from last year's 47, from towns all over New Hampshire and Maine.

Established in 1979, S. W. Cole Engineering is an employee-owned firm of more than 85 scientists, engineers and technicians providing geotechnical engineering, geology, environmental and natural resource consulting, and construction materials testing for projects throughout New England.

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