Winners announced from regional science, engineering fair at WCU

Students from throughout Western North Carolina gathered at Western Carolina University recently to compete in the Western Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The theme for this year’s event was “Science in the Stars.” Several hundred people attended the Feb. 16-17 fair, with 26 schools represented in the competition. A total of 231 students participated, and 24 students (first- and second-place winners in the junior and senior divisions, and all award winners and honorable mention winners in the elementary division) earned the right to continue on to the state science fair that will be held in April at Meredith College in Raleigh.

The panel of judges for the two days of competition included WCU faculty members and graduate students along with scientists from the area.

Each day of the event, staff from Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute gave morning interactive programs on telescopes and the electromagnetic spectrum using earth and spaced-based optical and radio telescopes, highlighting some of the many secrets of the universe these instruments have revealed.

The winning students are listed, including placement, names of the students competing, the school represented and the name of the project:

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (Grades 3-5)

First, Cari Orr, Old Fort Elementary, “Craft-a-Mania.” Second, Autumn Hinton, Cullowhee Valley School, “Tensile and Shear Strength of Duck Brand Duct Tape.” Third, Avery Hester, Cullowhee Valley School, “Launching Different Lengths of Paper Airlines with a Catapult.” Honorable Mentions: Matthew Brown, Cullowhee Valley School, “Coagulation Station”; Anna Pechmann and Addison Holt, Cullowhee Valley School, “Does a Greater Leaf Litter Depth Have More Critters Underneath It?”; Taylor Conklin, The Learning Community School, “Bounce! On Which Surface Will a Ball Bounce the Highest?”; Carmen Friel, The Learning Community, “Breathe Chicky Breathe”; Erik Fitzgerald, Cherokee Elementary, “Peanut Power.”

SPECIAL AWARDS: ELEMENTARY DIVISION

Prizes from WCU: Kimmel School Special Prize in Engineering and Technology  Fisher McPherson, West Marion Elementary, “Operating Electricity.” Special Award in Biology  Anna Pechmann and Addison Holt, Cullowhee Valley School, “Does a Greater Leaf Litter Depth Have More Critters Underneath It?” Special Award in Chemistry and Physics  Solomon Hartman, The Learning Community School, “Over the Top: Vinegar and Baking Soda.” Special Award in Environmental Science  Carly Hester, Cullowhee Valley School, “What Type of Water Grows Beans Fastest?” Project of Promise Award Recipients  Suzannah Raynor, Cullowhee Valley School, “Take a Closer Look at Your Germy Hands”; Mica Tiger-Harlen, Smokey Mountain Elementary, “Sugar Acid…Tooth Decay”; Liam Tormey, Cullowhee Valley School, “The Earthquake Experiment”; Emma Wike, Cullowhee Valley School, “What is pH and How Does It Relate to our Daily Lives?”; Haylie Woodard, Cherokee Elementary, “Energy Drink vs. Red Meat.”

Prizes from other organizations: Highlands Biological Station and Nature Center  Anna Pechmann and Addison Holt, Cullowhee Valley School, “Does a Greater Leaf Litter Depth Have More Critters Underneath It?” Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute  Dasgigidi Denili Hill, New Kituwah Academy, “Counting Stars.” Water Environment Federation – Carly Hester, Cullowhee Valley School, “What Type of Water Grows Beans Fastest?”; Tyce Hogner, New Kituwah Academy, “Thirsty?”

JUNIOR DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

Junior Biological Science A – First, Bode Lizarralde, Asheville Christian Academy, “To Soil or Not to Soil.” Second, Parker Stiles, The Learning Community, “Memory Cells, The More the Merrier?” Third, Johari Baschnagel, The Learning Community, “Attack of the Cabbage Clones.” Honorable Mentions: Ella Davis, The Learning Community, “Which Commercial Cleaners Kill Bacteria Most Effectively?”; Bea Perez, The Learning Community, “Coke…Safe Drink?”

Junior Biological Science B – First, Kayla Graham and Lanie Pittman, Asheville Christian Academy, “Memory: Eyes vs. Ears.” Second, Katie Rudins, Asheville Christian Academy, “E-Book vs. Tree Book.” Third, Jane Jackson and Mayla Hetzel, Asheville Christian Academy, “Your Nose Knows for Sure.” Honorable Mentions: Courtnee Tate, West McDowell Middle School, “That’s Just Gross”; Brianna Norris, Macon Middle School, “Music and Memory.”

Junior Chemistry – First, Mallory Michalets and Celia Sandoval, Asheville Catholic School, “It’s Basic: Dissolve and Solve.” Second, Elaina Rampey, East McDowell Middle School, “Hot and Cold: What is the Reaction.” Third, Reece Collie and Jonathan Andrews, Asheville Christian Academy, “Rubber: It’s a Stretch.” Honorable Mentions: Maggie Vaughn, East McDowell Middle School, “Abrasive or Not”; Sophie Luna, Rachel Lanter and Caroline Sikkink, Asheville Christian Academy, “Catastrophic Cookie Cooking.”

Junior Earth/Environmental Science – First, William David, Asheville Catholic School, “In Search of Invaders: Walnut Twig Beetle Detection Trapping on Glenn’s Creek Greenway.” Second, Lauren Gay, Enka Middle School, “What is the Effect of Qual-4 in Comparison to HabiTubes on Monitoring Water Quality?” Third, Riley Shuman, Asheville Christian Academy, “Leafing Oil Behind.” Honorable Mentions: Frank Parsons, Brevard Middle School, “Mysterious Microclimates”; Jayla Kaylor, Macon Middle School, “Could Your Haircut be a Lifesaver?”

Junior Engineering – First, Liz Zabloudil, Enka Middle School, “Turbines and Hydroelectric Power.” Second, Callie Owen, Rosman Middle School, “Will the Meat Meet the Standards?” Third, Zak Jobe, Macon Middle School, “Walkways of the Future.” Honorable Mentions: Liam McNeely, Christopher Weemhoff and Jackson Reese, Rosman Middle School, “Hydro-Electric Power”; Whitley Sumpter, Madison Logan and Amanda Gibson, Hayesville Middle School, “‘The’ Rocket.”

Junior Physics and Mathematics – First, Caroline Jones, Brevard Middle School, “How Did They get It Wright?” Second, Logan Westphal, The Mountain Community School, “Measuring Sugar Content of a Liquid with a Laser.” Third, Coleman Lewis and Carter Pastorious, Cullowhee Valley School, “The Mushroom.” Honorable Mentions: Alex Rudins and Samuel Stashenko, Asheville Christian Academy, “Load, Launch, and Land”; Samantha Robinson, West McDowell Middle School, “Grab the Track or Track the Grab.”

Junior Technology – First, Jarrod Hedden, Macon Middle School, “The Infinity Mirror.” Second, John Carswell Haynes, The Mountain Community School, “Can You Trust YouTube?” Third, Mason Lamb, East McDowell Middle School, “Test for Continuity.” Honorable Mention: Andrew Walker, East McDowell Middle School, “Energy to Realize.”

SPECIAL AWARDS: JUNIOR DIVISION

Prizes from WCU: Special Award in Chemistry and Physics  Cameron Fox, Morning Star Academy, “The Burning Question.” Special Award in Environmental  William David, Asheville Catholic School, “In Search of Invaders: Walnut Twig Beetle Detection Trapping on Glenn’s Creek Greenway.” Special Award in Forensic Science – Chloe Coss and Tia Bartlett, The Mountain Community School, “The Death of an Orange-Forensic Science at Work.” Special Award in Geosciences  Ellie Duffell, Macon Middle School, “Killer Rain.”

Prizes from other organizations: Dr. Bryan Woosley Award, U.S. Navy – Katie Rudins, Asheville Christian Academy, “E-Book vs. Tree Book”; Jayla Kaylor, Macon Middle School, “Could Your Haircut be a Lifesaver?”; Brianna Norris, Macon Middle School, “Music and Memory.” Highlands Biological Station – William David, Asheville Catholic School, “In Search of Invaders: Walnut Twig Beetle Detection Trapping on Glenn’s Creek Greenway.” North Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association-Water Environment Federation – Lauren Gay, Enka Middle School, “What is the Effect of Qual-4 in Comparison to HabiTubes on Monitoring Water Quality?” PARI Astronomy Award – Whitley Sumpter, Madison Logan and Amanda Gibson, Hayesville Middle School, “‘The’ Rocket.”

SENIOR DIVISION (Grades 9-12)

Senior Biological Science A – First, Emma Blythe and Lille Ferguson, Swain County High School, “Medicine Man vs. Man’s Medicine.” Second, Emma Dauster, Kylie Evans and Cullen Duval, Brevard High School, “The Effects of Pesticides on Terrestrial Tardigrades.” Third, Brett Treadway and Hunter Cook, Swain County High School, “Which #2 is #1.”

Senior Biological Science B – First, Katharine Murray and Tessa Brendle, Swain County High School, “Do You See What I See?” Second, Hannah Carver and Madison Bradburn, Swain County High School, “Hungry, Hungry Caterpillars.”

Senior Chemistry – First, Parker Chatham, Jenna Cruchfield and Eliza Watson, Swain County High School, “The Effects of pH on Elodea Canadensis.” Second, Brooklyn Brown, Swain County High School, “A Project to Dye For.”

Senior Earth/Environmental – First, Hanna Field, Aidan Spradlin and Sam Lemel, Brevard High School, “Biosorption of Heavy Metal Contaminated Water Utilizing Mucor Figilis and Trichoderma Species.” Second, Lauren Tooley and Bryce Spradlin, Brevard High School, “Analysis of Enzyme Production of Naturally Isolated Consortia.” Third, Mary Helmer, Swain County High School, “Salamanders…They Grow on You.” Honorable Mention: Gabrielle Lane, Swain County High School, “What’s the Dirt on Eco-Friendly Detergents?”

SPECIAL AWARDS: SENIOR DIVISION

Prizes from WCU: Special Award in Biology – Emma Dauster, Kylie Evans and Cullen Duval, Brevard High School, “The Effects of Pesticides on Terrestrial Tardigrades.”

Prizes from other organizations: Dr. Bryan Woosley Award, U.S. Navy – Brooklyn Brown, Swain County High School, “A Project to Dye For”; Gabrielle Lane, Swain County High School, “What’s the Dirt on Eco-Friendly Detergents?”; Mary Helmer, Swain County High School, “Salamanders…They Grow on You.” Highlands Biological Station – Mary Helmer, Swain County High School, “Salamanders…They Grow on You.”; North Carolina Section of the American Water Works Association -Water Environment Federation – Hanna Field, Aidan Spradlin and Sam Lemel, Brevard High School, “Biosorption of Heavy Metal Contaminated Water Utilizing Mucor Figilis and Trichoderma Species.”