Winners at 65th Statewide Science & Engineering Fair

Posted: 18 March 2013

Filed Under: Media Releases

Contact: Bob Wisner, Fair Director • Karen Cohen, Media Director
860.395.8825 (cell) 860.455.6459 (cell)
[email protected] [email protected]
Students from Bethany, Bridgeport, Bozrah, Glastonbury, Greens Farms, Greenwich, Middletown, New Haven, Norwalk, Orange, Wallingford and Windsor And More Towns Among Winners

Winners at 65th Statewide Science & Engineering Fair
COMPLETE LIST OF ALL WINNERS FROM EVEN MORE TOWNS available online at or download Complete List as pdf
HAMDEN, Conn., March 16, 2013 – Winners of Connecticut’s only statewide sciencefair were announced earlier today. Of the 448 projects entered in the fair, nearly 200 projects earned honors.
Top overall winners as well as the top high school winner of the Alexion Biotechnology and Urban Schools categories will represent the state at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), May 12 to 17, in Phoenix, Ariz. They are:

Grade 9 to 12 Dominion Physical Sciences
First Place: Maxmillian Minichetti, a sophomore at Greenwich High School, was the top winner of the fair’s Physical Sciences category. In a project called Nanostructured C-Phycocyanin Enhanced HematiteThin-Film Photoanode Co-Sensitized with Plural Organic Dyes to Yield a Highly Efficient Solar Cell, he optimized and investigated the performance of a dye sensitized solar cell and constructed a novel dual solarapparatus that, with additional research, could be used for modern-day application alongside currenthydrogen fuel cells.
Second Place: Rebecca Murray, a junior at Greenwich High School, won second place in the fair’s Physical Sciences category. For her project, called Laser-induced Propulsion of Anticancer-DoxorubicinUsing a Combined Optical Tweezing and Radiation-induced Interface Deformation, she explored the use ofa relatively low-powered Helium-Neon laser to move complex chemotherapy drug molecules across aninterface without harming the molecules. Practical application of this method could be used to transport miniscule amounts of drug molecules across a cell membrane.

Grade 9 to 12 Pfizer Life Sciences
First Place: Kaitavjeet Chowdhary, a senior at Glastonbury High School, was the top winner of the fair’s Life Sciences category. In a project called Morphogenesis of and Chromosome Segregation in Escherichia coli Branching Mutants, Chowdhary sought to understand how certain enzymes cause a unique“y-shaped branching” of E.coli and how this branching affects chromosome segregation. Understandingthese questions will provide key insight into the fundamental processes for how bacterial cells control cell shape as well as into chromosomal dynamics. The work holds promise for applications such as antibiotic drug development.

Second Place: Emily Baczyk, a senior at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, placed second in the fair’s Life Sciences category. In a project called A Theoretical Examination of Changes in CommunityStructure due to Consumptive and Competitive Species Interactions During Climate Change, she developed a general temperature-dependent community model to predict how a climate change-induced temperature rise of 4° over the next 100 years might affect the composition of ecological communities occurring along an elevational or latitudinal temperature gradient.

Grade 9 to 12 Alexion Biotechnology
Mallory Madfes, a senior at Greenwich High School, won the Alexion Biotechnology category. In her project, called Promotion of Wound Healing via a Novel Hydrophilic Dressing, she developed a method fordelivering medicine directly to wound sites to minimize the development of infection and promote quickerhealing. This research offers an alternative to orally administered medications that can result in adversedrug reactions.

Grade 9 to 12 Urban Schools Challenge
Karim Kharbouch, a senior at Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Center, was the top high school finisher in the fair’s Urban Schools Challenge category. In a project called, Optimization of the Cellulose Algae Salt Battery, Kharbouch evaluated the effects of different types of algae cellulose in batteries andfound that the use of Kelp cellulose increased the battery efficacy by 44.4 percent over batteries that useterrestrial plant cellulose cell. Cellulose based batteries are inexpensive to manufacture, are flexible andcompletely biodegradable, making them a viable alternative to metal-based batteries.
In addition, three competitors from the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair willattend the International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering & Environment Project (I-SWEEEP) Olympiad May 8-13 in Houston, Texas. They are:

Karim Kharbouch, a senior at Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture Center, top winner of the CL&P energizeCT/eemarts Future Sustainability Award for his project: Optimization of the Cellulose Algae Salt Battery,
Andrew Ma, a sophomore at Greenwich High School, top winner of the UI energizeCT/eesmarts Alternative Renewable Award for his project: Solvent Extraction of Hydrocarbons and Hydrocarbon Derivatives from Lyththrum Salicaria Seed Capsules and
Zheni Gusho, a junior at Greenwich High School, top winner of CT Association of Commissioners ofInland Wetlands Commissions Environmental Sciences Award for his project: Sustainable Enhancement of Plant Growth & Disease Reduction Using Biochar Soil Additives.
Quinnipiac University also provided two participants with four-year, $20,000 scholarships to the university. Winners were:
Jonathan Siveyer, an 8th grader at Six to Six Magnet School in Bridgeport for his project: An investigation into the use of pyrocystis fusiformis as an early indicator of acidic pollution and
Junior Sierra, a sophomore at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk for his project: Remote Control Glove.

Other winners in major categories:
Physical Sciences
8th Grade First Place: Ethan Novek of Central Middle School in Greenwich Project Title: Inertia Propulsion
7th Grade First Place: Katie Provost of Fields Memorial School in Bozrah Project Title: Perfect Plastic
Middle School (7th & 8th Grade) Team: First Place: Arnaaz Khwaja and Sarah Saxe of Amity Regional Middle School in BethanyProject Title: Robots as Teachers
High School TeamFirst Place: Mario Chris, Jeff Witz and John Reidy of Xavier High School in MiddletownProject Title: Adaptive Leading Edge Droop Mechanism to Increase Fuel Efficiency and Flight Safety onPrivate Aircraft
Life Sciences
8th Grade First Place: Claudia Bernstein of Greens Farms Academy Project Title: The Effects of OTC Pain Killers on Gastric Health and the Development of Ulcers
7th Grade First Place: Maya Geradi of Worthington Hooker Middle School in New HavenProject Title: Fluoride Free Water?
Middle School (Grades 7 & 8) TeamFirst Place: Batsheva Lipsker and Devora Hodakov of Southern Connecticut Hebrew Academy in OrangeProject Title: Analysis of Arsenic in Food from Natural Produce, Effect on Cell Bioavailability and Effect of Chelators on Absorption
High School TeamFirst Place: Shakeel Choudhury and Rayyan Ashraf of Madina Academy Upper School in WindsorProject Title: Effects of Caffeine and Caffeinated Beverages on Bacterial Growth
*See Complete List of ALL Winners FROM ACROSS CONN. Get News Release pdf
The Connecticut Science& Engineering Fair is made possible by a grant and through volunteer supportfrom its principal sponsors United Technologies Corporation, Connecticut Light & Power, The United Illuminating Company, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and by contributions from industrial and individual supporters.
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