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      Central Lee students stand up to science

      Whether it was a local science fair or the State Science Bowl, Central Lee science and engineering students took home awards.

      "We just got back from State FTC with 40 some amount of teams and we finished about 12th out of those," Central Lee High Robotics team member Asa Crowe said.

      "I was in the top 3 at the local science fair and I also won first place in biological science and super conference," Central Lee High School sophomore Breanna Kramer said.

      "We were undefeated and we were the only team to score over 100 points," Central Lee Middle School student Aaron Wills said.

      Most of these students work for months on the projects they present at competitions. A lot of the work is done outside of the classroom. Requiring dedication from the competitors and teachers.

      "Teaching is not just about the classroom," Central Lee High School chemistry and physics teacher Jamey Sue Smith said. "It's about making sure the students are engaged in the world outside and seeing the kids smile just once or twice in a day is enough for me to say 'this is worth it, this is worth the long hours and hard work.'"

      "They're really good teachers," Wills said. "They teach everything thoroughly and they make sure you understand it and if they have to go the extra mile to help you with it they, they will do anything to help you succeed."

      "They do encourage you to love science, math, everything there is," Central Lee Middle School student Dean Robinson said.

      "The teachers put in a lot of extra work and their own time to help each kid grow in science and I think that's what helps us the most because the kids actually feel like they're being helped out," Central Lee High School student Taylor Doyle said.

      Most of Central Lee's science teachers are homegrown. They've actually graduated from Central Lee and came back to teach their favorite subject.

      "If you actually show a student that science is beyond just learning in the text book, they embrace it and they learn to love it because they're naturally inquisitive," Smith said. "They best part is seeing them smile and overcome their fear because a lot of it when they say 'I hate science' or 'I hate math' is not that they really hate it, it's just that they haven't been able to overcome the fear that they've gotten at some point in their lives."

      It's safe to say these students aren't scared of science anymore.

      "It's so interesting to learn about new things," Wills said.

      "I really like how things have relationships and everything's connected," Kramer said.

      "I like to see how science applies to the everyday life," Doyle said.

      Central Lee science students are gearing up for the next competition.

      They will compete in the Regional Eastern Iowa Science Fair later this month and in April students will represent Iowa at the National Competition in Washington, D.C..

      Take a look at some of the student's experiments, here.