Eight Westside Middle School students take top prizes in CT Science and Engineering Fair

Eight Westside Middle School students take top prizes in CT Science and Engineering Fair
Posted on 03/20/2018

Eight students from the Westside Middle School Academy STEM program took home prizes at the CT Science & Engineering Fair held March 11 at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

 

For the past three years, WSMSA, led by science teacher and theme coach Jon Neuhausel, has been one of the top three middle school in the state in terms of winning entries. The WSMSA students were among the 647 students from 120 middle and high schools from Connecticut, Fishers Island and New York competing in the 70th annual fair for more than $200,000 in prizes.

 

The following eighth-grade students at Westside and their prizes:

 

Timothy Chen, “Effect of Spiral Spacing on Conversion Efficiency of Horizontal Axis Spiral Wind Turbine”:

* Lockheed Martin Physical Sciences Awards --2nd Place- Physical Sciences 8th Grade Ind. - $200 & trophy,Invite to compete Broadcom MASTERS

* UTC Aerospace Systems Engineering Awards --- 1st Place- Engineering Middle School- $400 & trophy and Invitation

Paloma Lenz, “Stormwater Pollution: The Effectiveness of Zeolites in Decreasing Levels of Nitrates in Runoff”:

* Lockheed Martin Physical Sciences Awards ---3rd Place- Physical Sciences 8th Grade Ind, - $100 & trophy, invite to compete Broadcom MASTERS

* Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Awards --- Middle School Finalist - Medallion

* CASE • PepsiCo Urban School Challenge Awards with IBM --- 2nd Place Middle School - $200 and Trophy, Medallion

* Environmental Sciences Awards with CACIWC --- 2nd Place MS- $200, Trophy, CACIWC gifts

* UTC Aerospace Systems Engineering Awards --- 2nd Place- Engineering MS- $200 & trophy and Invitation Compete in Broadcom MASTERS

* Alexion Biotechnology Awards --- 1st Place- Biotechnology 8th grade- $500 & trophy and Invitation Compete in Broadcom MASTERS

* Association for Women Geoscientists --- Certificate, $25 gift card to Amazon given by CSEF, possible advance to further competition 2525

Mathew Mathew, “Impact of Natural and Chemical Preservatives to Extend the Shelf Life of Apple Cider”:

* Pfizer Life Sciences Awards

*4th Place- Life Sciences 8th grade- trophy and Invitation Compete in Broadcom MASTERS * Institute of Food Technologists, Nutmeg Section --- $100 award + invitation to dinner

Khushi Parikh, “Image Recognition to Diagnose Lyme Disease”:

* Lockheed Martin Physical Sciences Awards --- 1st Place- Physical Sciences 8th Grade Ind.- $300 & trophy, invite to compete Broadcom MASTERS * People’s United Bank Mathematics Awards - with ATOMIC --- 1st Place Middle School- $150 from ATOMIC, and Trophy, $300 from People’s United Bank

* Petit Family Foundation Women in Science & Engineering Awards -

-- 1st Place- Middle School $300 / trophy

* CASE • PepsiCo Urban School Challenge Awards with IBM --- 1st Place Middle School - $300 and Trophy, Medallion

* Computer Science Awards --- 2nd Place Middle School - $200, Trophy and Medallion

* United Technologies Corporation Awards --- $500 in UTC Common Stock, Plaque, Backpack, and Annual Report

* Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering Middle School Urban School Challenge Award --- Urban School Challenge 1st MS- $250 Cash Award, Invite to attend CASE’s Annual Meeting

* Connecticut Science Teachers Association's Marty Tafel Student Research Award --- Physical Sciences 8th Grade - $500 and invite to CSTA Award Banquet

* Urban School Challenge 1st Place Middle School Awards --- Highest Placing 8th grader- GENIUS-Olympiad Competition -$500 travel stipend * GENIUS Olympiad --- GENIUS Olympiad Competition for Highest Placing USC 8th grade Project

* Maplesoft Awards for Applied Mathematics and Modeling --- Maple software - For Excellence in Mathematics

Stephanie Queiroz, “How Does Bacteriophage Phi x 174 affect with E. coli Differently than Bacteriophage MS2?”:

* Alexion Biotechnology Awards --- Finalist - Biotechnology 8th grade - CSF Medallion

Vincent Trombetto, “A Study on Angiosperm Xylem Based Sucrose Filtration Systems”:

* CASE • PepsiCo Urban School Challenge Awards with IBM --- 5th Place Middle School - Trophy, Medallion

* Environmental Sciences Awards with CACIWC --- MS Finalist - CACIWC gifts, CSF Medallion

* Alexion Biotechnology Awards --- Finalist - Biotechnology 8th grade - CSF Medallion

Alex Morquecho, “How Can Forest Fires Help Soil Regain Nutrition and Let the Plants Grow Taller?”:

* American Meteorological Society --- Certificate & $25 Amazon gift card given by CSEF

* Connecticut Nurserymen’s Foundation, Inc. --- $200 Cash Award & paid registration to the CT Nursery and Landscape Summer Meeting

Stella Walker, “The Effect of Barometric Pressure on the Speed of WiFi”:

* J.A. Augustine Award --- $100 for excellence in physical sciences

 

Vincent said through his project, he learned that trees can be used someday to filter contaminants from water; he is eager to learn more about a natural process. His classmate Mathew’s project also included natural solutions to problems: “I want to spread awareness about the dangers of using chemical preservatives – natural ones are just as a good.”

 

Stephanie used different methods to determination whether a particular bacteriophage was more effective over another. Since her laboratory work involved working with potentially more dangerous substances, she worked in a supervised lab at the school with precautions for safety and disposal.

 

“The hardest part was counting the plaque because there were so may, and it was hard to take a picture,” Stephanie said.

 

Alex simulated forest fires in pots set outside on his home’s back deck. He had originally wanted to investigate how dry trees are using robotics to prevent forest fires, but didn’t have enough available resources. By igniting fires with burn times of 80, 100, 120 and 140 minutes, Alex learned that the longer fires left behind more nutrient soil.

 

“Our students’ success at the CT Science & Engineering Fair demonstrates how dedicated-learning in a project-based environment can lead to high levels of success,” said WSMSA principal Dr. Frank LaBanca. “Having worked directly with the students on these projects, I can confidently say that they are being prepared well for the responsibilities of college, career and civic life. They are true innovators.”