Madison Meredith is on a mission to spark more interest in science.
The Monache High student knows science isn't for everyone. But she got hooked on it at an early age, and she now wants to motivate others to do the same through an after-school science program that she developed.
The program, Question It, takes students in the fifth grade through the scientific method: the question, hypothesis and project.
She and other Monache students used the program with a diverse group of students at Roche Elementary School in Porterville.
Madison feels it is the responsibility of her generation to educate those who value a scientific mind.
"I started at a young age," she says. "It's my constant want to question everything, and that translated into science for me."
Along with her 4.2 GPA, she also is building a résumé.
Her project on increasing nitrogen efficiency in agricultural crops through micro-organisms took fourth place at the 2014 California State Science Fair at the Science Center in Los Angeles and second place at the 2014 International Sustainability World Project Olympiad.
School principal Richard Smithey says: "Madison is a very inquisitive young woman who goes beyond the normal confines of traditional high school and seeks out knowledge and information of interest to her."
School: Monache High
Parents: Ben and Jacqueline Meredith
Eilleen Eduardo, 17, Sanger
School: Sanger High
Parents: Armando and Nicolasa Eduardo
Achievements: Ranked No. 1 in her junior class with a 4.33 GPA, she is a member of the California Scholarship Federation, the public affairs department head for the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps unit at school and secretary of the Spanish Club. She also is involved in Apache Closet, a school club that focuses on helping those who are less fortunate. She is in the Ivy League program, a leadership program based on the development of educational opportunities for low-income students.
Christopher Estrada, 16, Fresno
School: Clovis West High
Parents: Chris and Yolanda Estrada
Achievements: He has earned a 4.4 GPA while taking four AP classes this year. He has been on the Principal's Honor Roll every semester. He was a member of the Science Olympiad team that won the Fresno County competition. At the Bakersfield Math Field Day, he helped Clovis West score higher than any other Fresno County team. He also served as president of the MECHA Club. As a member of the school's multicultural advisory committee, he organized Human Relations Day. He has been selected to attend prestigious summer camps at Stanford in Palo Alto and Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., both in June. He also was elected Associated Student Body Commissioner of Clubs and Performing Arts for 2014-15.
Brandon Hirata, 17, Reedley
School: Reedley High
Parents: Arthur and Dinah Hirata
Achievements: He has earned a 4.57 GPA while taking three AP and two honors classes. He has served as president of the Asian Club and vice president of the Academic Decathlon team. He has been involved in the Academic Decathlon for three years, excelling in the speech and interview competition. Amber Hunt, a teacher, says: "He is an amazing public speaker. He is confident, self-aware and understands the value of telling a story the audience can connect with." He also has played on the football, basketball, tennis and golf teams. The golf team has earned two North Yosemite League titles. Outside of the classroom, he has served as a volunteer coach for youth football and basketball camps. He volunteers at Community Food Bank and for Toys for Tots. He also is involved in the Junior Young Buddhists Association through Reedley Buddhist Church.