Two T.C. Williams Students Advance to State Science Fair

Congratulations T.C. Williams’ juniors Ana Humphrey and Leslie Lytle, who will compete at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair in Roanoke on April 13-14. Both advanced from the Northern Virginia Regional Science Fair where they competed against eight other public and private high schools in Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church.

Ana Humphrey

Ana Humphrey

Ana has also been selected as the ACPS Science Fair grand prize winner and will be attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pa. May 13-18.

If Ana seems familiar to you, she should! Ana was the winner of last year’s science fair. Her project, “Finding Exoplanets by Assessing the Dynamical Packing of Kepler Three and Four-Candidate Systems,” analyzed distant solar systems to determine if they are capable of hosting additional Earth-massed planets beyond what has already been identified with data from the Kepler telescope. This is an evolution of Ana’s project from last year when she built the computer program used to identify the exoplanets. This year she is using it to process data from the Kepler telescope to find Earth-massed planets that are currently missing in the data. Learn more about Ana and her love of science.

Leslie Lytle

Leslie Lytle

Leslie Lytle’s project, “Developing a Biodegradable Bioplastic,” explained how she produced a cellulose-based bioplastic that could be broken down in a home composting system to alleviate plastic pollution.

Middle School Students Advance

Congratulations also to four students from our middle schools who have been nominated to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS competition, the premier science and engineering competition for middle school students. The students will submit their projects online for a chance to present in Washington, D.C. in October.

George Washington Middle School

  • Ameila Jones investigated which moisturizer was the most effective using Jell-O as a model for skin in her project, “Find an Ally in the Fight Against Dry Skin.”
  • Bodie Lauinger demonstrated how an electromagnetic field can make an object (magnetic train) move from one point to another without using polluting fuels in his project, “Electromagnetic Propulsion.”

Francis C. Hammond Middle School

  • Varun Parekh investigated how to boost the speed of a common Wi-Fi router with simple do-it-yourself techniques, “What is the Best Way to Boost Wi-Fi Speed?”
  • Mya Lopez’s explored the relationship between gender and reflexes by asking middle school students to take a simple online reflex test in her project, “Battle of the Reflexes.”

About the ACPS Science Fair

Watch as students at the ACPS Science Fair explain their projects:

Science fairs give students an opportunity experience science in a different way. Students can pursue their own ideas to solve problems that are of interest to them. This year students endeavored to save the bees that pollinate our food supply, build portable wheelchair ramps, boost Wi-Fi signals and study the effect of rising carbon dioxide levels on plants.

More than 1,600 middle and high school students submitted science fair projects as part of their science classes. Of those, 255 individual and team projects were selected to be in the ACPS Science Fair for grades 7-12 in January.

Based on their scores at the ACPS Science Fair, 25 high school and 30 middle school projects advanced to the Northern Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Because the regional fair was canceled on March 3 due to weather, all of these students will have an opportunity to display their projects and be recognized in an open house event in April.

Students began working on their projects at the start of the school year through the fall. Winners continue to work on their projects as they advance to additional science fairs, potentially through May. Projects covered a variety of categories, including:

  • Animal Sciences – (7)
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences – (17)
  • Biochemistry – (5)
  • Biomedical and Health Sciences – (11)
  • Biomedical Engineering – 2 projects
  • Cellular and Molecular Biology – (7)
  • Chemistry – (25)
  • Computational Biology and Bioinformatics – (2)
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences – (45)
  • Energy: Chemical – (6)
  • Energy: Physical – (9)
  • Engineering Mechanics – (26)
  • Environmental Engineering – (12)
  • Materials Science – (18)
  • Mathematics – (8)
  • Microbiology – (6)
  • Physics and Astronomy – (11)
  • Plant Sciences – (24)
  • Robotics and Intelligent Machines – (4)
  • Systems Software – (10)

Thank You Volunteer Judges and Teachers!

The ACPS Science Fair was supported by a record number of staff members and community volunteer judges this year. There were 61 volunteers representing every type of STEM professional in the D.C. metro area along with about 30 teachers. Many of the judges spent extra time talking with students about projects not on their list to give encouragement and advice to students.

Congratulations to all who participated and advanced!

ACPS, Alexandria City High School, George Washington, Hammond, Highlights, Video