Nathaniel Ribeiro with his science fair project involving bleach concentrations and LEDs.
Nathaniel Ribeiro, an eighth grade student at Warrenton Middle School, earned a “Top 300” spot in a national science fair competition, Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars) earlier this month.
Broadcom MASTERS middle school competition received 2,499 applications nationwide from 6,000 eligible students.
To qualify, each of those students were nominated by regional science fair officials after placing in the top ten percent of their middle school science projects.
A panel of distinguished scientists, engineers, and educators reviewed each student’s application three times.
Nathaniel represented one of six semifinalists from Virginia.
As a seventh grader, Nathaniel designed a bleach-based emergency lighting system in which he optimized bleach concentrations to power Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
By measuring the open-circuit voltage and internal resistance of his experimental batteries, Nathaniel established that a 50 percent concentration of commercial bleach yielded the same current capacity as undiluted bleach.
Nathaniel found that his optimal concentration of bleach, along with other household materials, could power an ultra-bright LED continuously for two-and-a-half days.
His project won first place at the Warrenton Middle School Science Fair last spring, and then placed in the Fauquier County Regional Science & Engineering Fair’s “Top Ten” middle school projects in April.
This represents the second time the Fauquier County Regional Science & Engineering Fair has produced a Broadcom MASTERS “Top 300.”
In addition to a certificate, ribbon, backpack, and solar charging device, Nathaniel received a digital subscription to “Science News” and Wolfram Desktop Software.
His prize package also included a leather-bound inventor’s journal, inspired by the legacy of Jerome Lemelson, recipient of more than 600 patents.
Nathaniel’s seventh-grade life science teacher, Mrs. Heather Reeve, will also receive a digital subscription to “Science News” and a tote bag.