The Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair was held on Thursday, Feb. 2. It was the biggest one yet, with participation from over 120 students. The fair is sponsored by Middlebrook PTA and the Wilton Education Foundation, and brings to the table some amazing student-originated ideas in the field of Science, Technology and Engineering. Overall preparedness and enthusiasm of the children was a reflection of their hard work and the motivation and support they have received from parents, teachers, peers and staff.

Students begin planning their projects in the fall. This year, students were shown video clips of participants from last year to create interest and excitement, because according to the co-chairs, Sujata Vemuri and Ritu Malik, one of the best ways to encourage student participation in the fair is for them to hear first-hand from their peers who participated in previous years.

Also crucial is inspiration and support from their science teachers. Students submitted their Science Fair entries online, and they could access digital tools to help track the progress of their projects and ensure timely completion, Science teachers held help sessions and resources from the Middlebrook Media Center were available for students to  procure extra research material.

During the fair, the students explained their exhibits to guests and judges, who are invited from the three other Wilton schools, the Wilton community and beyond, including professionals with science or engineering backgrounds. This year there were 26 judges (including teachers, doctors, dentists, scientists, pharmacists and engineers) who evaluated the projects based on criteria determined by the CT State Science Fair committee. Projects were entered in one of three categories—Life Science, Physical Science and Engineering–and awards were given in two age group categories–6th graders and 7th-8th graders combined.

Winners were recognized with awards for ‘Best of Fair,’ and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place in each category. Winning students also receive cash prizes from the Wilton Education Foundation. Photos at the end of the award list.

2017 Science and Engineering Fair Results

Best of Fair

Anika Bhagavatula, A Novel Method for Oil Spill Cleanup Using Biomass

6th Grade Physical Science

First:  Elizabeth Lamond and Lizzie Kendra, Battery Powered Electromagnet (pictured above)
Second:  Kelsey Tangorra, Are Your Hands Really Clean?
Third:  Varun Vadhera, Do Cell Phones Give Off Radiation?
Honorable Mention:  Jake Enman, Stalagmite and Stalactite Growth; Molly Snow and Morgan Felipe, Effects of Mentos on Different Types of Coke; Luke Tottan, Which Object Will Be Thrown the Farthest using a Catapult?

6th Grade Life Science

First:  Sydney Lillis, Natural Chlorine or Regular Chlorine
Second:  Colby Loughran, The Location of Radiation: Plant Growth in the Presence of Cell Phone and Wifi Radio Waves
Third:  Riya Shah and Keerthi Vijay, Icy It Melt
Honorable Mention:  Saanvi Bathla and Grace Murphy, Does a Plant Grow Better with Hydroponics?; Samantha Mims, Is Sensitivity Heightened on your Dominate Side?; Dylan Ternheim, No Pain, More Game: Does distraction help manage pain?

6th Grade Engineering

First:  Gayathri Kaimal, Water Usage Reminder System
Second:  Samira Ayoub, What Surface Works Best?
Third: Vihan Jayawardhane and Lukas Koutsoukos, Revolutionary Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprint

7/8th Grade Physical Science

First:  Rohan Vaddiraju, Home Automation Multi-Purpose Motion Sensor
Second:  Rhea Raghavan, Sweet Refraction
Third:  Rishabh Bhandhari and Rubin Jha, Resonance

7/8th Grade Life Science

First:  Ashley Klancko, Love Me Tender
Second:  Maya Mhatre, The Effect of Soft Drinks on Tooth Decay
Third:  Aashi Yadav, Reducing Plastic Pollution One Spoon at a Time
Honorable Mention:  Dean Kaduboski, Risk It?; Dhruv Rokkam and Vishnu Duriseti, Does Stress Affect the Human Body?; Krithika Natarajan, The Homunculus of Your Skin

7/8th Grade Engineering

First:  Rahul Vallabhajosula,  Air Engine:  Can it be an Alternative to a Gasoline Engine?
Second:  Anjo Therattil, Application of Sensors
Third:  Suhani Suneja, Making Recycled Paper
Honorable Mention:  Chris May and Nathan Wang, Self Recharging Electric Car; Christopher McCann, Residential Water Based Energy Storage; Ben Connolly, Energy Generating Kite

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