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MPISD – News

MPHS Varsity Winter Guard


Kelly Cowan

Mount Pleasant High School Winter Guards compete in Austin.

To be among the best, you have to compete with the best. And that is what the MPHS Varsity and JVA Winter Guards set out to do at the Winter Guard International (WGI) Austin Regional at Glenn High School in Leader on March 4-5. The competition featured 42 teams in the Scholastic A division, with most coming from Central and South Texas. In addition, most schools were large 6A programs from the Austin, Houston, and San Antonio area. Both the Varsity and JVA competed in the same classification.

In prelims, they divided Scholastic A division into four groups called rounds. The 15 highest-scoring teams would advance to finals. Varsity placed second in their round and ninth overall to advance to finals as one of only six 5A schools. All the rest were 6A programs. JVA placed seventh in their round, 25th overall, and was the top-scoring JV team in the competition, outscoring 14 varsity teams and three other JV squads from Hebron, Round Rock, and Georgetown. MPHS Varsity ultimately placed 10th overall in the finals.

Varsity and JVA will rechallenge themselves at another WGI contest over Spring Break when they travel to Coppell High School for the WGI Dallas Regional. The Mount Pleasant High School Colorguard program is under the direction of Cristian Gomez.

MPJH participants in the Region 8 Science and Invention Fair (L to R): Marley Broach, Makayla Mather, Rubi Gutierrez, Rey Munoz, Jesus Mata

Mount Pleasant Junior High’s students’ place at Region 8 Science Fair.


Six Mount Pleasant Junior High students, competed in the Region VIII ESC Science and Invention Fair in early February. They moved the Fair to a virtual format due to the inclement weather. Students set up their displays and recorded them giving their presentations, which they then submitted for judging. In addition, they awarded four MPJH students certificates for their projects.

In the seventh-grade Behavioral/Biological category, Marley Broach placed 6th with her project “How Different Types of Water Affect Plant Growth.” Broach watered plants with three different types of liquid, including tap water, filtered water, and sanitizer. She found the plant watered with tap water grew more than the one wet with filtered water, while the sanitizer killed the plant.

In the 8th-grade Behavioral/Biological division, Rylie Mendez took home 2nd place with her project “Music Soothes the Soul.” She sought to discover what genre of music was best for calming anxiety. After careful online research and polling MPJH students and faculty, she concluded that classical music was the most relaxing.

Also, in the eighth-grade Behavioral/Biological division, Makayla Mather placed 5th by searching for the truth behind “the five-second rule,” which believes that if you drop a piece of food, it is safe to eat if it is picked it up within five seconds. She experimented with popcorn dropped on various surfaces around the house and outdoors and tested them for bacterial growth over time to confirm or refute her hypothesis.

In the Middle/High School Inventions category, seventh grader Rey Munoz earned sixth place for his greenhouse built from recycled water bottles. Munoz found an innovative way to reduce, reuse, and recycle plastic water bottles to help grow plants and replenish the earth.

Also participating for MPJH were seventh graders Rubi Gutierrez and Jesus Mata. Gutierrez researched which room in the school contained the most bacteria. She dropped a strawberry on the ground in various rooms and grew bacteria in Petri dishes over two months. Mata sought to discover how age affects reflexes. First, he tested the reflexes of students and adults in the school by dropping a meter stick and measuring how many centimeters it took to catch it. Next, Mata measured visually by dropping it without warning and audibly by having the participant close their eyes and listen for an audible signal to detect. He discovered that with age, audible reflexes improved while visual decreased.

Student science projects could be Behavior/Biological, including studying plants, molds, fungi, bacteria, and human and animal responses to the environment, or Chemical/Physical, which would review the physical and chemical changes in matter. Students could also submit an invention that could solve a real problem or satisfy a need.