Officials of the 2012 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair announced awards given to students. There was the highest number of high school participants in the last several years with 80 senior division projects. Officials said, "Through the dynamic recruiting efforts of the board we expect to exceed that number this year. Research in medicine, environmental science and microbiology were particularly popular with the high school students, and the head judge noted that this was the most competitive array of projects that she had seen in recent memory."
Three grand prizes were awarded to research projects judged to be most excellent across all scientific categories in the science fair. The top grand prize was won by Jerry Lawlor for his mathematics project, Aerial Navigation: A Mathematical System of Equations Capable of Navigating an Aerial Device without the Use of Satellites, in which he developed a series of mathematical equations as an efficient way of air navigation to an exact location without sustained satellite communications. Jerry’s award included an all expenses paid trip to the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. He represented Chattanooga very well, winning a $60,000 scholarship to the Florida Institute of Technology, as well as a $3000 first place award in mathematics from the United States Air Force Research Laboratory.
The second grand prize was awarded to Anjali Chandra for her medicine and health project, Teratroginicity of Aluminum Compounds on Artemia Franciscana, in which she compared the ability of chemicals in deodorant/antiperspirants to cause deformations in daphnia. Anjali also was awarded an all expenses paid trip to the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Katie Sutton won the third grand prize for her Environmental Science project, Making Water Drinkable through Bio-Remediation, which looked at natural and constructed wetlands with plants and microorganisms that can remove harmful biological agents from the water. All three of these outstanding science students also received college scholarships and prize bags from local companies for their research.
Two other excellent science projects were chosen to represent the Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair in other national and international competitions. Michael Labbe won an all expenses paid trip to the 2012 ISWEEEP – International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project Olympiad for his Engineering-Materials & Bioengineering project, Obtaining Solar Energy Using Post-Consumed Materials. Michael’s innovative solar cell development project earned him a $200 Honorable Mention prize in the energy category at ISWEEEP. Darby Schumacher’s environmental management project, A Filter Today Keeps Pollutants Away, was selected to further compete to represent the State of Tennessee at the U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition. Her project, developing a nanofiber based stormwater filter to reduce contaminants at a low cost, won the Tennessee nomination and with it an all expenses paid trip to the national competition this past summer in Boston.
Three rising middle school stars in the junior division won grand prize. First grand prize was awarded to Christina Love for her environmental science project, How Does the Wavelength of Light Affect the Photovoltaic Cell Efficiency? Andie Dorris won second grand prize for her chemistry project, Extraction of Acetylsalicylic Acid from Aspirin. Emily Yardumian’s Physics and astronomy project, Light Intensity: A “Joly” Experience, was awarded the third grand prize. Emily was recently selected as a 2012 Broadcom MASTERS Semifinalist. Each of these excellent projects earned these young scientists rosette ribbons and prize bags brimming with tickets, coupons, and items from local sponsors.
The funding for the science fair, these top awards and the many other specialty and scientific category awards was made possible due to the overwhelming generosity of the greater Chattanooga business community.
Officials said, "From prize bag donations to significant financial contributions to fund the students’ travel costs we can’t thank our sponsors enough for their support of this important, hands-on, STEM education opportunity. For more information and a list of our sponsors, visit the Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair website at www.chattanoogasciencefair.org."
Planning has already begun for the 61st annual Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which will take place March 12-15, 2013. To learn about how you can become a part of the success of next year’s science fair as a participant, volunteer or sponsor, please contact Katie Schumacher at 203 912-7470.