Today, Sierra Love-Crayton and her fifth-grade classmates from Pat Diskin Elementary School celebrated Sierra as the winner of the 2019 Mojave Max Emergence Contest.

The field trip to Springs Preserve is just one of the prizes Sierra received for winning this year’s Mojave Max Emergence Contest.

Sierra guessed Mojave Max would emerge from brumation on March 30, 2019 at 1:26 pm, making her guess the closest to the actual time that Max emerged which was March 30, 2019 at 1:28 p.m.

Mojave Max is a live desert tortoise that lives at Springs Preserve. Like other Southern Nevada reptiles, Max enters a burrow to brumate (the reptilian form of hibernation) every winter and emerges every spring. Mojave Max’s emergence marks the beginning of spring-like weather in Southern Nevada. Warmer temperatures, longer daylight hours and an internal clock are factors that contribute to his emergence every year.

For the emergence contest, Clark County students study Mojave Desert weather, temperatures and conditions to scientifically estimate when they believe Mojave Max will first emerge from his burrow. More than 7,100 guesses were received this year.

Sierra and her class received T-shirts and Olympic-style medals as well as a pizza party as part of the field trip to Springs Preserve where they also got to meet the live Mojave Max tortoise and where Sierra received the rest of her prizes. Her complete prize package included a Springs Preserve, year-long family membership, an “America the Beautiful” year-long pass to all National Parks and Federal recreation areas, a backpack filled with outdoor goodies and a laptop computer. Sierra’s teacher, Ms. Miller, also received a laptop computer.

Congratulations, Sierra!