Winners announced from Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Some of the participating students at the Science and Engineering Fair get together for a photo opportunity with WCU mascot Paws.

Despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions and school delays, students, parents and teachers filled the Ramsey Regional Activity Center at Western Carolina University for the 2019 Region 8 Western Regional Science and Engineering Fair on Feb. 20-21.

WCU has hosted the two-day fair for decades, and the event is coordinated by WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach.

More than 140 projects were submitted for judging at this year’s fair. Among those, 30 have been selected for participation in the state-level competition to be held in Raleigh in March.

“We are excited about the quality of the submissions and the 30 projects that have been invited to compete in the state competition,” said Kelley Dinkelmeyer, science fair director and physics instructor in WCU’s Department of Chemistry and Physics. “We look forward to another successful fair in 2020.”

Participants had an opportunity to witness an interactive presentation by the Asheville Museum of Science, several exhibits from WCU and other community organizations were on display, and WCU’s mascot Paws was seen checking out science projects and posing for pictures with the young scientists.

The Western Regional Science Fair is the largest Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (also known as STEM) event held in Western North Carolina.

A list of winners in each category:

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (Grades 3-5)

First Place: “Foreign Dust Particles,” Mihin De Silva, Cullowhee Valley; Second Place: “Is My House Water Dirtier than the French Broad River and Other Streams?” Kathleen Godfrey, Biltmore Homeschool Co-Op, Godfrey School of Lifelong Learning; Third Place: “Pumping Iron,” Matthew Thomas, Cullowhee Valley; Honorable Mentions: “Can Water Float on Water?” Ella Small, Cullowhee Valley; “Magnetic Force,” Addisen Shores and Aaliyah Voss, Smokey Mountain Elementary School; “Mood Swings: How Temperature & Humidity Affect Stringed Musical Instruments,” Abigail Fisher, Cullowhee Valley; “Racing Robots,” Lolo Hogner and Alexis Motola, New Kituwah Academy.

SPECIAL AWARDS: ELEMENTARY DIVISION

Prizes from WCU
Special Award in Chemistry & Physics WCU: “Foreign Dust Particles,” Mihin De Silva, Cullowhee Valley; Special Award in Biology: “Can you Hack the Fight or Flight Response?” Adeline Coan and Maleigha Lambert, Cullowhee Valley; Special Award in Forensic Science: “Rethink Your Drink,” Reagan Adams and Colbie Corn, Hendersonville Elementary School; Kimmel School Special Prize in Engineering: “Ski Slope Slide Stand Off,” Lexie Ford, Hendersonville Elementary School; WCU Project of Promise: “Can You Teach An Old Dog A New Trick?” Jordan Doyle, Hendersonville Elementary School.

Prizes from other organizations
Highlands Biological Center: “Counting Living Things,” Madison Rogers, Kaden Stephens and Ajalah Locust, New Kituwah Academy; UNCA Department of Atmospheric Sciences: “Foreign Dust Particles,” Mihin De Silva, Cullowhee Valley School;

JUNIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE A DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Bacterial Resistance,” Lauren Wilkie, Classical Scholars; Second Place: “You Make Me Sick!” Heidi Patterson, Summit Preparatory School; Third Place: “Does Orange + Yellow Make Green?” Margaret Cowan, The Mountain Community School; Honorable Mentions: “Mighty Mites,” Ezylphia Rollins, The Mountain Community School; “Wanted Dead or Alive,” Mary Elizabeth Koppin, Koppin Homeschool.

JUNIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE A DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU
Special Award in Biology: “Will it Crack?” Lauren Denton and Macey Hannah, Asheville Christian Academy.

Prizes from other organizations
Highlands Biological Center: “Mighty Mites,” Ezylphia Rollins, The Mountain Community School; Navel Science Award: “Plants, Which Can Hold the Most CO2,” Sayre Read-Smith, The Learning Community School; “Proof in the Prints,” Courtney Williams, Enka Middle School.

JUNIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE B DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Are you dressed to impress?” Natalie Messer, Enka Middle School; Second Place: “React and Respond: A Mindful Decision,” Riley Waites, Kaylee Hutzler and Rowan Minor, Asheville Christian Academy; Third Place: “How Music affects Reaction Time,” Bailee Brandon, Enka Middle School; Honorable Mentions: “Video Games: The New Painkiller?” Cassidy Bricker, French Broad River Academy for Girls; “The effect of caffeine on reaction time,” Abigail Przynosch, Enka Middle School.

JUNIOR CHEMISTRY DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Burn Maybe Burn,” Sam Rasku, Jesse Patet and Hayden Stubbs, Asheville Christian Academy; Second Place: “Fueling the Future,” Holden Rosse, Joaquin Diaz and Luke Bonesteel, Asheville Christian Academy; Third Place: “Sip All Day Get Decay,” Cecilia Young and Laycee Aguia, Asheville Christian Academy; Honorable Mentions: “How to make a Battery with Metal, Air and Saltwater,” Wynter Brown, Homeschool; “To kill a chlorophyll,” Ryn Riley, Tree of Life Academy.

JUNIOR CHEMISTRY DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU

Special Award in Chemistry & Physics: “The Milky Way,” Kate Wilson and True McCall, The Learning Community School.

JUNIOR EARTH/ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Getting Enthusiastic About Bio-Plastic,” Peyton Hightower, Reese Fillipek and Aizlinn Douglas, Asheville Christian Academy; Second Place: “Weather, You Can Predict It?!” Kathryn Figliozzi, Grace Academy; Third Place: “Ground Level Ozone,” Taylie Payne and Fatimah Patel, Macon Middle School; Honorable Mentions: “The ph of H2O, the Compound in your sink from Sri Lanka to the USA,” Sayumi De Silva, Cullowhee Valley School; “What is the Effect of Different Organic Matter on Energy Released?” Emma Warren, Enka Middle School.

JUNIOR EARTH/ENVIROMENTAL SCIENCE DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU
Special Award in Geosciences: “The ph of H2O, the Compound in your sink from Sri Lanka to the USA,” Sayumi De Silva, Cullowhee Valley School.

Prizes from other organizations
NC AWWA-WEA: “There Must Be Something in the Water,” Hannah Malloy and Laci Patton, Asheville Christian Academy; UNCA Department of Atmospheric Sciences: “Weather, You Can Predict It?!” Kathryn Figliozzi, Grace Academy.

JUNIOR ENGINEERING DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Tilt that House,” Grace Field, Laurel Green and Katelyn Kerns, Asheville Christian Academy; Second Place: “H2O: Splitting up Can be Hard to do,” Zane Moore, Enka Middle School; Third Place: “Level of Comfort Among Backpacks,” Callie Roper and Samantha Rowland, Macon Middle School; Honorable Mentions: “Does the Size of a Wheel on a Car Affect How Far it Will Go?” Aleah Rowe, French Broad River Academy for Girls; “Wimshurst Machine,” Walker Compton and Solomon Hartman; The Learning Community School.

JUNIOR ENGINEERING DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU
Kimmel School Special Prize in Engineering and Technology: “H2O: Splitting up Can be Hard to do,” Zane Moore, Enka Middle School.

Prizes from other organizations
NC AWWA – WEA: “H2O: Splitting up Can be Hard to do,” Zane Moore, Enka Middle School; “Water you Drinking?” Avery Blankenship, Cameron Davis and Christian Peele, Asheville Christian Academy.

JUNIOR PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Magnetic Propulsion,” Hyde Carolan, Enka Middle School; Second Place: “The Solar Solution,” Stratton Black, Roman Coxie and Edward Hoornstra, Asheville Christian Academy; Third Place: “Making Music with Liquid-Filled Glasses,” Sean Craton, Arrow Academy; Honorable Mentions: “Finding Algorithms to Solve Rubik’s Cube,” Thomas Tackett, Providence School; “Bending Spears,” Waushila Grant, Naomi Taylor and Hailee Velazquez-Lossiah.

JUNIOR PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU
Special Award in Forensic Science: “Blood Splatter On A Crime Scene,” Natalie Bailey and Lily Grindstaff, Enka Middle School.

Prizes from other organizations
Naval Science Award: “Magnetic Propulsion,” Hyde Carolan, Enka Middle School.

JUNIOR TECHNOLOGY DIVISION (Grades 6-8)

First Place: “Fruit Ninja,” Ivy Anderson and Jesse Smith, The Learning Community School.

SENIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE A DIVISION (Grades 9-12)

First Place: “Antifungal activity of bacteria isolated from the Endangered Green Salamander, Aneides aeneus,” John Nguyen and Nicole Rideout, Brevard High School; Second Place: “A Novel Method of Utilizing Martian Regolith Simulant and Urine Simulant in a Hydroponics Plant System,” Isaiah Lefler, Brevard High School; Third Place: “Harmful Herbicides: Herbicides and their Effects on Crickets,” Hope Long, Dallas Bennett and Julie Zwick, Swain County High School.

SENIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE A DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Prizes from WCU
Special Award in Biology: “Antifungal activity of bacteria isolated from the Endangered Green Salamander, Aneides aeneus,” John Nguyen and Nicole Rideout, Brevard High School.

Prizes from other organizations
Highlands Biological Center: “Antifungal activity of bacteria isolated from the Endangered Green Salamander, Aneides aeneus,” John Nguyen and Nicole Rideout, Brevard High School; Naval Science Award: “A Novel Method of Utilizing Martian Regolith Simulant and Urine Simulant in a Hydroponics Plant System,” Isaiah Lefler, Brevard High School.

SENIOR BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE B DIVISION (Grades 9-12)

First Place: “The Sixth Sense: Evaluation of Magnetoreception in Culex quinquefasciatus for Potential Mosquito Control,” Hunter Bishop and Fritz Ruppert, Brevard High School.

SENIOR EARTH/ENVIRONMENTAL DIVISION (Grades 9-12)

First Place: “The Effectiveness of Local Photosynthetic Aquatic Microorganisms in Biophotovoltaic Cells,” Marli Cohen and Ada Weaver, Brevard High School; Second Place: “The Clouds of Urbanization Across Western North Carolina,” Elijah Bassett, Jackson Cooper and Colby Taylor, Swain County High School; Third Place: “Enhanced Degradation of Plastic via Locally Sourced Bacteria,” Sabra Freeman and Johnathan Gibson, Brevard High School; Honorable Mention: “A Great Storm Made Fossilz Form,” Katherine Grady, Classical Scholars.

SENIOR EARTH/ENVIRONMENTAL DIVISION SPECIAL AWARDS

Stockholm Junior Water Prize: “The Clouds of Urbanization Across Western North Carolina,” Elijah Bassett, Jackson Cooper and Colby Taylor, Swain County High School.

SENIOR ENGINEERING (Grades 9-12)

First Place: “Enhanced Sol-Gel Production and Robocasting for Artificial Photosynthesis,” Ben Caroway and Frank Parsons, Brevard High School.

For more information about the Western Regional Science Fair, visit sciencefair.wcu.edu or contact WCU’s Division of Educational Outreach at 828-227-7397.