SciFiWri Winners Announced

Posted by Science Explored on March 26, 2013

Submissions are in and the judges have spoken! We have our SciFiWri winners: 4th grade student, Luis Guillermo, of El Paso ISD and 7th grader, Nicholas Garza, of United Independent School District. Congratulations to both of you! Their creative essays, "Soccer Time Travel", an inspiring journey that connects two generations, and "Project Sunburn", a gritting story centered on an post-apocalyptic world, are reproduced below for your reading pleasure.

Soccer Time Travel
by Luis Guillermo (sponsoring teacher: Emily Delgado)

Walking into my basement I noticed a soccer ball in a glass case, but I never knew just a black and white ball would change my life and lead me to a great adventure...

I've heard some stories about my great-grandfather, but I had a feeling he was special. I slowly went down to the basement. The walls of the underground place seemed old, rusty, and the walls also had pictures. In the middle was a stand holding an old soccer ball. It said "Guillermo". As I got closer I noticed the detail. I gently picked up the glass and put it on the ground. A golden ticket was on the bottom of the ball. I held the ticket in one hand and the ball on the other. A shiver went down my spine as everything started to disappear. I appeared in a place with a few vintage cars. I realized I was about 60 years behind. "WOW, I just time traveled," I whispered to myself. I noticed the same golden ticket in my hand. I came across a king size amount of people going to one place. I asked a man, "Where are you going?"

"To watch the best soccer player play in the world cup and his name is Guillermo Hernandez," he kindly answered. The last name sounded familiar. I hurried to the cashier and gave her the golden ticket. Entering the stadium, I felt special for being in the front row seat. The crowd cheered from end to end. The grass was as green as a frog. Apparently, a player from the team walked to me and offered me to go with the team. I noticed his jersey said "Hernandez". Near half time there was a goal of Guillermo Hernandez. They were soon to penalties. It was Guillermo's turn to shoot.

He sprinted to me and questioned, "Want to shoot?" 

"Me?" I said pointing my finger to myself. He nodded yes. I bolted to the ball. As I got closer I noticed the same detail of the ball in the basement. A grin came from ear to ear when I noticed he was my great-grandfather. 1000 eyes stared at me. I took a step back and shot.

"GOAL!" the crowd shouted. I picked up the ball and a shiver went down my spin as I went home.

Project Sunburn
by Nicholas Garza (sponsoring teacher: Dora Garcia)

On January 25, a group of soldiers ascended to the surface. They were underground for almost a year with diminishing food and supplies. They desperately searched the surface for a food source. All they saw was a desolate wasteland slowly rotting away. Sergeant Smith observed while standing on top of a toppled car and reminisced on what a great city this used to be before the explosion. The rest of his troops were on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. As they scouted the area, one of his troops heard a scraping noise from a building not too far away. They thought little of it at the time. This was a choice they would soon regret.

As the sun started to set, the Sergeant along with the rest of the troops started to make their way back to home base. While on their way back, they heard a thunderous growl and a hiss. The troops had their guns ready. The growling came from an abandoned shopping mall. The troops peered into the darkness and saw a pair of red eyes staring back. Immediately, they fired rounds of bullets into the building. They heard screams of agony coming from inside. They thought the creature was dead. Then all went silent. All of a sudden, a pack of hideous disfigured humanoid creatures leapt out of the windows and charged at the soldiers. The humanoids had gaping jaws and hungry looks in their eyes. The creatures were incredibly fast. The creatures leapt into the air and onto the troops. They bit into their flesh with a violent swaying motion while ripping chunks out of them. As the creatures made their kill, the rest of the pack joined in on the meal. Unfortunately some of the troops weren’t fast enough, but some of the troops did manage to get away. The Sergeant and his troops entered the underground base drenched in sweat. The first thing Smith did was to check on Dr. Williams. He entered a room where he found the doctor writing notes and formulas for a weapon. "What are you working on?" Smith asked. 

"Some formulas for a bomb," said Williams. 

"What, are you crazy?" exclaimed Smith. 

"What's the problem Smith?"

"The problem is that the mutations were caused by the radiation!"

"Hear me out Smith," said Williams. "My theory suggests that the radiation in this bomb will overpower the mutants to the point of extinction."

"Doctor, the bomb is what got us into this mess in the first place. Don't you remember the wartimes? The times when planes circled the skies, the clouds were black, and the cities were in ruins.”

"I really think I could be onto something."

"Close the project," said Smith.

"But then how would we fight back?" said Williams. Smith sighed and then spoke.

“There is another option. Come with me." The Sergeant led Dr. Williams down a dimly lit hall that led to a thick steel door. The Sergeant punched in a code of letters and numbers. The door slowly slid open. Inside were strange devices, highly advanced missiles, and biological weapons. As they walked through the room, the Sergeant explained what all the devices were. Smith explained that during the conflict there was a deep science division that worked for the U.S. Military. The division manufactured top-secret weapons to help win the war. "Unfortunately, they also built the weapon that led to our demise," said Smith. 

They stepped right in front of what looked like a giant hi-tech cannon facing up towards the ceiling on an industrial tripod. "This is project Sunburn. This project was specifically made to beam an intense laser up into the ozone layer causing the sun's guided ray's to burn a hole which could then be used to demolish anything in its path. I think that if we can aim it at just the right angle, we can cause a hole big enough to burn every single freak out there. I already have plans on where to place the canon," said Smith.

Six months later, the Sergeant and the troops positioned the canon and crossed their fingers. There was a bright flash and project Sunburn started.

SciFiWri is a science-fiction writing contest for 4th and 7th graders sponsored by STEMscopes™ to help students prepared for the writing STAAR™ in a fun, creative way with prizes for both students and sponsoring teachers. If you missed SciFiWri this year, get your creative gears in motion for our second-ever SciFiWri Contest in early 2014!