Top Winners Announced at 64th Annual Statewide Connecticut Science Fair

Posted: 18 March 2012
Fair Year:

Filed Under: Media Releases, Our Fair

For Immediate Release:

Contact:
Bob Wisner, Fair Director
860.395.8825 (cell)
[email protected]
Karen Cohen, Media
860.455.6459 (cell) or 860.228.5188 (office)
[email protected]

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Top Winners Announced at 64th Annual Connecticut Science Fair

HAMDEN, Conn., March 17, 2012 – Winners of Connecticut’s only statewide science fair were announced today. Of the 446 projects entered in the fair, nearly 200 projects earned honors.

Top overall winners as well as the top high school winner of the new Urban Schools category and the winner of the Alexion Biotechnology category will represent the state at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), May 13 to 18, in Pittsburgh, Penn. They are:

Grade 9 to 12 Dominion Physical Sciences

First Place: Ryota Ishizuka, a senior at Greenwich High School, is the top winner of the fair’s Physical Sciences category. In a project called An Organic Thin Film Transistor and Elastic Organic Solar Cell Based Electronic Skin for Biochemical and Tactile Sensing, Ishizuka demonstrated flexible Organic Thin Film Transistor pressure sensors powered by reversibly elastic Organic Photovoltaic Cells, which may serve as electronic skin, mimicking tactile sensing for artificial intelligence.

Second Place: Bridget Oei, a sophomore at East Catholic High School in Manchester, who lives in Hebron, won second place in the fair’s Physical Sciences category. For her project, called Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) Piezoelectric Generator: A Novel Approach to Harvesting Vibrations from Human Respiration to Power Biological Implant Devices, Oei explored the development of a practical micro-scale device for harvesting energy for biological implants from a regular human activity – respiration.

Grade 9 to 12 Pfizer Life Sciences

First Place: John Solder, a senior at Staples High School in Westport, is the top winner of the fair’s Life Sciences category. In his project, called Optogenetic Interrogation of Prefrontal Cortex Dopamine D1 Receptor-Containing Neurons as a Technique to Restore Timing: A Novel Approach to Treat Prefrontal Disorders, he investigated optogenetic interrogation as a mechanism- and region-specific approach to treat prefrontal cortex impairments in response timing. (Note: Solder also won the Alexion Biotechnology category. He will travel to ISEF as part of that award, allowing the second and third place Pfizer Life Sciences winners to compete at ISEF.)

Second Place: Yiyuan Hu, a senior at Hamden High School, placed second in the fair’s Life Sciences category. In a project called Role of MyD88 in DNA Damage Response, Hu found evidence to suggest an unexpected and novel role for MyD88 in the cellular response and repair of DNA damage.

Third Place: Mallory Madfes, a junior at Greenwich High School, placed third in the fair’s Life Sciences category. In her project, Mycroremediation of PCB Soil Contaminants with Pleurotus Ostreatus, she researched the use of Pleurotus ostreatus, the oyster mushroom, in the mycroremediation of PCBs in a controlled soil-like environment.

Urban Schools Challenge

Genesis Garcia, a senior at Bridgeport Aquaculture School, was the top high school finisher in the fair’s new Urban Schools Challenge category. In her project, Geometrical Symmetry Analysis of the Skeletonema costatum Amorphous Cell Structure, Garcia used Scanning Electron Microscope imagery to identify patterns within S. costatum cells that could lead to achieving an improved method of harvesting the diatom’s exoskeleton as a panel for solar energy.

Alexion Biotechnology

John Solder, a senior at Staples High School in Westport, who also won the fair’s Life Sciences category, is the winner of the Alexion Biotechnology category. In his project, called Optogenetic Interrogation of Prefrontal Cortex Dopamine D1 Receptor-Containing Neurons as a Technique to Restore Timing: A Novel Approach to Treat Prefrontal Disorders, he investigated optogenetic interrogation as a mechanism- and region-specific approach to treat prefrontal cortex impairments in response timing.

Other winners in major categories: Physical Sciences

8th Grade First Place: Paul Han of Smith Middle School in Glastonbury Project Title: On the Application of Electrochemical Double Layer Capacitors

7th Grade First Place: Grace Herrick of St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown Project Title: The Investigation of the Presence of Caffeine in Groundwater and Sewage

Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Team First Place: Emily Maciejewski and Laura Koba of John F. Kennedy Middle School in Plantsville Project Title: The Windy 500: The Test of Drag and Down Force on Rear Spoilers

High School Team First Place: Christopher Muckle, Miraj Rahematpura and Mario Chris of Xavier High School in Middletown Project Title: Testing the Viability of Adaptive Winglet Technology to Improve Fuel Efficiency on Midsize Commercial Airliners using Computational Fluid Dynamics

Life Sciences

8th Grade First Place: Alex Russell of Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy in Orange Project Title: Phytoremediation: Removal of metal pollutants from contaminated soil and effect of chelators

7th Grade First Place: Katherine Fennell of The Montessori Middle School in Norwalk Project Title: Affects of Phosphorus on Growth of Azolla

Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Team First Place: Rivka Kantor and Bracha Hecht of Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy in Orange Project Title: Analysis of Omega Oils as Cancer Inhibitors and Antioxidants plus Effect on Cell Bioavailability

High School Team First Place: Tarpley Hitt and Alessandra Hogan of Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven Project Title: Brachypodium distachyon: Building a Better Biofuel

See Full List of All Winners
The Connecticut Science Fair is made possible by a grant and volunteer support from its presenting sponsor United Technologies Corporation and by contributions from industrial and individual supporters.

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