Photo:  CT Science & Engineering Fair

Varun Vadhera, a 7th grader at Middlebrook Middle School, won first place in the Grade 7 Lockheed Martin Physical Sciences category at the 70th CT Science & Engineering Fair. The event was held March 12-18 at Quinnipiac University.

For his project, The Buzzing Eye–Helping the Blind, Vadhera developed a prototype of a “smart” walking stick that utilizes ultrasonic sensors to warn blind people of an object in their path. For placing first, Vadhera won $200 and a trophy, and he was invited to compete in the Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), “the premier science and engineering competition for middle school students.”

Vadhera also won several other awards for his project:  first place in the Barnes Aerospace Applied Technology (Middle School) category ($300, trophy and medallion); the United Technologies Corporation Award ($500 in UTC Common Stock, plaque and backpack); the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) CT Section’s Honors Award–Junior ($250); and the Zepke Award for the best use of electronic Circuitry–Middle School ($100).