10 WSMSA students compete in CT Science Fair

Ten Westside middle school students to compete in Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair
Posted on 02/12/2019

For his Science Fair project, Warrick Broecking, a seventh-grade student at Westside Middle School Academy, focused on health and safety, which he believes are important modern-day issues. His concern for health safety inspired his idea to test the temperature threshold of salmonella to explore the safety levels of the bacteria.


Warrick’s project is one of 10 students from Westside who compete in the 71st annual Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair next month. The other seventh- and eighth-grade STEM students from his school are Ella Brown, Annabella Jardim, Sharva Karthikeyan, Eliana Bentacour Nyleli Guzman, Julia Porto, Srishti Ramakrishnan, Maria Eduarda Sousa, Chase Tomaino and Jacob Williams. In 2016, WSMSA was recognized as the most successful middle school in the state at the competition after eight of ten WSMSA were selected as finalists.


The school’s Science Fair was held in the WSMSA main hallway while the panel of judges, including scientists, engineers and teachers, viewed the projects and asked questions. Started in the fall semester, the projects had to involve physical or life science, or engineering.


Maria Eduardo Sousa became interested in plants after researching project ideas last fall. In her project, “Molecular Health Indices of Kalmia Latifolia,” she tested paper chromatography with pigments to measure the light absorbed by the starch. Through her research and experimentation, she learned a lot about the topic which supplemented her classroom learning and understanding of plants.


“In science, we’re learning about cells, such as chlorophyll and chloroplasts. This [projects] helped me understand what’s inside of a plant cell,” says Maria, who plans to investigate plants further and possibly focus her Science Fair project on plant cancer next year.


Seventh-grader Ella Brown investigated SCOBY, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, more after hearing that a student of her mother, a professor at Marist College, used SCOBY-based biofilms to make a purse. In her project, “Design, testing and optimization of Kombucha SCOBY-based biofilms,” she examined its properties, such as waterproof abilities.


Student Sharva Karthikeyan, an eighth-grader at WSMSA, who is aware of the suspicion of microwaving, decided to examine the safety of certain materials by testing the difference between microwave-plastic and glass.


The Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair will be March 11 through March 16 at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.