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Ten Westside students recognized at Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair

 

WMSA highest performing middle school at fair              

 

Ten Westside Middle School Academy received awards for their science-based research projects at the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair held online last week. The fair moved to a virtual format in light of the pandemic. Westside Middle School Academy was also recognized as the highest performing middle school at the online competition.

 

The ten Westside students were among 450 competing students who submitted digital uploads of their presentations for the virtual fair. The Danbury finalists were among 120 from across the state. This is the sixth consecutive year that WSMSA has been among the top schools in terms of winning entries.

 

WSMA science teacher and STEM theme coach Jon Neuhausel has led students who participates in the fair each year said this year’s fair went smoothly, despite the new format.

 

“It was impressive to see the fair, which hosts over 600 projects, put on a virtual event in a matter of days,” Neuhausel said.

 

The online setting of the fair allowed for students to still show off in-depth knowledge of their particular topic of study with top performers taking part in virtual interviews with the judges. Neuhausel “was able to see firsthand how to help our students with their presentation and communication skills.”

 

The winning students are as follows:

 

Anoohya Allenky, Grade 7

 

Quantification of Caffeine in Coffee Using Different Brewing Methods

 

  •          2nd Honors

 

Ava Amatulli, Grade 8

 

Citric Acid Synthesis using Aspergillus niger

 

  •          2nd Honors
  •          Urban School Challenge: Middle School Finalist – Medallion

 

Ella Brown, Grade 8

 

Kombucha SCOBY Infused Hydrogels as a Natural Bandaid Stopping the Growth of Escherichia coli

 

  •          1st Honors
  •          Life Sciences: 3rd Place- 8th grade
  •          Urban School Challenge: Middle School Finalist – Medallion
  •          Biotechnology: 2nd Place- Biotechnology
  •          Meyerand Young Woman Scientist Award
  •          Invitation to compete at Broadcom MASTERS National Competition

 

Shriya Jonnalagadda, Grade 8

 

Designing an Automatic Watering Device using an Arduino

 

  •          2nd Honors
  •          Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering: Finalist – Medallion
  •          Robert Francoeur Memorial Award --- Creative or innovative project in engineering or computer science by female students

 

Ryan Lincoln, Grade 8

 

The Effect of Different Types of Water on the Efficiency of Hydrogen Energy Production

 

  •          2nd Honors

 

Maria Nascimento, Grade 7

 

The Effect of Different Preservatives on Bread Mold

 

  •          2nd Honors

 

Richard Parker, Grade 8

 

Making an Affordable Ozone Sensor and Proofing its Accuracy

 

  •          2nd Honors
  •          Urban School Challenge: 2nd Place Middle School and highest Placing 8th grader
  •          IEEE, Connecticut Section Award
  •          Dreams Unlimited Award

 

Kaitlyn Salvatore, Grade 8

 

The Effect of Habitat Loss on a Cockroaches Stress and Well Being

 

  •          1st Honors
  •          Life Sciences: 2nd Place-- 8th grade
  •          Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering: 1st Place
  •          Urban School Challenge: 3rd Place Middle School
  •          Biotechnology: 1st Place
  •          Invitation to compete at Broadcom MASTERS National Competition

 

Sabrina Serpa-Smith, Grade 8

 

Testing Escherichia coli's Resistance to Different Dilutions of Bacteriophage Coliphage T4 and Coliphage T4R

 

  •          1st Honors
  •          Life Sciences Awards: Finalist – Medallion

 

Maria Eduarda Sousa, Grade 8

 

Tumor Suppression of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in Daucus carota

 

  •          1st Honors
  •          Life Sciences Awards: 4th Place- 8th grade
  •          Urban School Challenge: Finalist – Medallion
  •          Alexion Biotechnology Awards --- 5th Place- Biotechnology 8th grade- trophy
  •          Invitation to compete at Broadcom MASTERS National Competition

 

The STEM program at WSMSA continues to grow under Neuhausel’s guidance especially thanks to a grant in February from the non-profit Society for Science & the Public which will be used to purchase new equipment and supplies.

 

“It will allow our lab to expand, allowing for not only more robust projects, but also to allow for more access to materials,” said Neuhausel. “I am very grateful that our school has received this grant.”

*Photo credit: Robin Provey. Image shows Maria Sousa at the 2019 WSMA science fair.

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