Best of Fair winner Anshika Saagi at the 2023 Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair Credit: Preethi Vijay / WHS Photography Class

What a way to kick off 2023! With over 80 students participating and 55 projects entered at the Annual Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair, the 2023 organizing committee declared this year’s event “a huge success.”

The fair was made possible with the sponsorship and support of the Wilton Education Foundation and the Middlebrook PTA.

The night was filled with exuberant chatter and students eager to share their scientific findings. There was also a special showcase by Wilton’s Singularity Technology Robotics team (made up of Wilton High School students), which inspired a new generation of learners by showing them the possibilities of STEM beyond middle school.

The projects were judged by science and engineering professionals within the community and by WHS students involved in AP sciences and the National Honor Society. Projects were judged according to grade and category (Life Science, Physical Science, or Engineering). Seventh and eighth graders who won Best of Fair, and first and second places within their respective category will move on to compete in the state-level Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair, which takes place in March at Quinnipiac University.

The winners that will be attending the state science and engineering fair include:

Best of Fair: Anshika Saagi — Preventing Hypoxia Using Magnetism

7th/8th Life Science

  • First Place: Megan Dragunat — Pancreatic Cancer Treatment
  • Second Place: Nadia Khan — The Power of Your Produce

7th/8th Physical Science

  • First Place: Ishanvi Jaiswal — Discovering White Dwarf Stars with the Help of Neural Network
  • Second Place: Angela Varghese — How to See Beyond What the Eye Can See

7th/8th Engineering

  • First Place: Leonardo Kulan — Using Artificial Intelligence to Identify Skin Lesions
  • Second Place: Arav Gupta — Blind Sight

This year there were two different student-nominated awards. The first was the Teacher Award given out to a teacher who encourages and supports their students during the science fair process. This year’s Teacher Award was given to Paige Randall, who is a longtime seventh-grade science teacher at Middlebrook. The winner of the Student’s Choice Award, given to a student whose project impressed his or her peers, was Zoe Sigmond for her project, Water on Fire.

Other students recognized at the fair were:

Life Science

  • Seventh/Eighth Grade
    • Third Place: Maurya Muppalla — How Long Do Bacteria Stay in Different Types of Water?
    • Honorable Mention: Ally Phelan/Elle Riker — Which Sunscreen Brand is Most Effective?
  • Sixth Grade
    • First Place: Neil Kaoud/ Brianna Shiue — Which is Better: Seed From the
      Fruit or From the Packet?
    • Second Place: Gloria Liao — How Worms Affect Plant Growth
    • Third place: Catherine Adams/Shea Kinahan —- Go Go Goldfish Environments
    • Honorable Mention: Kanira Baskar — Mold Science


  • Seventh/Eighth Grade
    • Third place: Jackson Norful — R.O.B Remote Operated Backpack Carrying Device
    • Honorable Mention: Owen Letner — Messaging App
  • Sixth Grade
    • First Place: Ishan Chugh — Coin Battery
    • Second Place: Doug Gubner/Hunter Trichilo — Pen Rocket
    • Third place: Nevah Suman/Sejal Gupta — Solar-Powered Robot
    • Honorable Mention: Zoe Sigmond — Water on Fire

Physical Science

  • Seventh/Eighth Grade
    • Third place: Bennett Smith — How Do You Stop the Doomsday Glacier?
    • Honorable Mention: Abigail Eskanazi — Which Household Substances Are Better at Cleaning Various Stains?
  • Sixth Grade
    • First Place: Kabir Rokkam/Sushruth Balaji — Action Traction: A Study of Anti-skid Properties of Materials
    • Second Place: Jules Chapple/Elise Ayoub — Gummy Bear Osmosis
    • Third place: Alex Shiue/Alexandar Schoetz — Energy: A Sustainable Solution
    • Honorable Mention: Pip Mitchell — Can We Get Electricity From Vegetables?

Science and Engineering Fair Committee members would like to thank Middlebrook Principal Jory Higgins and all the Middlebrook science teachers, supporting staff and parents for encouraging the students and making this science fair a success. The Science Fair committee would also like to extend thanks to the WHS photography class run by Susanne Brandt as well as the Middlebrook production club for capturing these moments.