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April 10, 2018

10 county students advance to state science fair

Contributed photo
Fauquier’s regional science fair winner, Heather Wooton with science/health supervisor Nikki Jenkins. Heather won $500 an will advance to the state and international science fairs.
Four Mountain Vista Governor’s School students took top honors and cash prizes at the fifth annual senior division of the Fauquier Regional Science & Engineering Fair on Saturday, March 10.

The high school students competed for $1,200 in cash prizes. Ninth- through 12th-graders won competitions in their schools to qualify for the countywide science fair in the Fauquier High School cafeteria.

Judges critiqued projects on topics ranging from health to environmental sciences, physics, engineering, math, animals and plants.

Twenty-three high school competitors from Fauquier public schools and one private school, Wakefield, exhibited projects at the senior division.

Stacie Griffin, chairman of the Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation was the keynote speaker. The fair was coordinated and directed by biology teacher Chandra Wilkemeyer.

Senior division (grades 9-12) top projects:

• First place, $500, Heather Wotton, senior, Mountain Vista Governor’s School, “Comparison of the Strength of Experimental Chestnut Hybrids to Functionally Extinct American Chestnut (Castanea Dentata).”

• Second place, $350, Mark Zitzmann, junior, Mountain Vista Governor’s School, “A Genetic Approach to Connect-4 Playing Algorithms.”

• Third place, $200, Joe Barrett, junior, Mountain Vista Governor’s School, “The Effect of Vibrations on Microbial Growth.”

• Honorable mention, $150, Ethan Jakum, junior, Mountain Vista Governor’s School, “The Cost-Efficacy of Bactericides on E. coli K12.”

As the top senior division prize winner, Heather will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pa., May 13-18.

In addition to the four top winners in the senior division, six other projects were selected to advance to the Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair competition in Roanoke April 13-14.

• “The Effect of Wing Shape on Lift Coefficient” by Josefina Krasny, MVGS 11th grader

• “The Efficacy of Triclosan on E. coli K-12 Inhibition” by Kanishk Jawdekar, MVGS 11th grader

• “Effects of In-ovo Injection of Cholecalciferol in Broilers (Cobb500); An Alternative to Antibiotics” by Angie Kim, Liberty High School 11th grader

• “Pond 2 Potable: Creating a Solar Power Water Filtration Device” by Maria Cruz Caballero and Amy Lee, Liberty High School 12th graders

• “The Relationship Between Asteroid Spectral Types and Albedo” by Joseph Rowell, MVGS 11th grader

• “The Effect of Heat-Step Temperature on the Efficiency of Escherichia coli Transformation in Chemical Induction” by Akasha Wilkemeyer, Liberty High School 9th grader

Private donors and community businesses provided sponsorships starting at $150 per student to cover the registration costs of the Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair, travel, lodging and meals.

These students will compete with more than 250 high school students throughout the Commonwealth.

Core sponsors providing cash prizes for this year’s regional fair included: Emory & Henry College, Fauquier County Public Schools, Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation, Morgan Stanley, Linda and John Suter, and the Patricia and David Vos Foundation.

In addition to the science and engineering fair winners, a number of other awards were presented:

• American Psychological Association Award: Sharayah Jackson, Liberty High School senior, “The Effect of Social Isolation on Future Interaction in Mus Musculus Domesticus.”

• ASU Sustainability Solutions Initiative Award: Maria Cruz Caballero and Amy Lee.

• Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award: Mark Zitzmann.

• Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society Award: Ethan Jakum.

• NASA Earth System Science Award: Joe Barrett.

• NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award: Lumin Edmonds, Fauquier High School sophomore, “Decomposing Plastic.”

• Ricoh Sustainable Development Award: Lumin Edmonds.

• Society for In Vitro Biology Award: Angie Kim.

• U.S. Air Force Award: Josefina Krasny

• U.S. Air Force Award: Joseph Rowell.

• U.S. Office of Naval Research Naval Science Award: Josefina Krasny.

• U.S. Office of Naval Research Naval Science Award: Joseph Rowell.

• U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Ethan Jakum.

• U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Maria Cruz Caballero and Amy Lee.

• U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Joe Barrett.

• Yale Science and Engineering Association, Inc. Award: Mark Zitzmann.


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Stacie Griffin · April 13, 2018 at 7:35 pm
Congratulations to these inspiring and brilliant students. You continue to make our county proud! I have no doubt each of you will change the world.
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