Great Ideas Stem from Middle School Science & Technology Projects

What do you get when you combine electric cars, bees and artificial intelligence? Project submissions to the 2021 Tri County Science & Technology Fair hosted by the Putnam Children’s Discovery Center from George Fischer Middle School students, of course!

Nine talented students participated with their unique virtual exhibits as part of this regional fair, which brings together K-12 students from Putnam, Westchester and Rockland counties to display their science, math and technology projects.

How Helpful to the Environment are Electric Cars, Really?

So, how helpful to the environment are electric cars, really? That is exactly what fifth-grade student Aarav Prasad wanted to learn with his project. Prasad researched the increased usage of electric cars to see if there was a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which stem from burning fossil fuels including gasoline and oil.

After conducting research in national databases on the usage of electric cars and levels of CO2 emitted, Prasad analyzed the data to see if there was any evidence that higher sales of electric vehicles lowered CO2 emission levels. While Prasad did not find definitive support for his assumptions, he knows his research has the potential to find ways to mitigate the effects of global warming for a cleaner tomorrow.

“My passion for designing the fastest car and my responsibility to protect our planet made this topic a perfect fit for researching,” said Prasad. “My project could not only raise awareness on this important topic but also help us create a positive impact on the environment.”

What's the buzz about bees? Sixth-grade student Kailyn Manning created quite a buzz with her exhibit, The Beautiful Bee, which highlights how bees make honey in natural and man-made hives and why bees are important to vegetation, farming and the production of many products we use every day. Finding out how much bees help support pollination of our plants and flowers was something Kailyn found most fascinating during her research.

The Beautiful Bee

“I picked the topic because bees have always interested me, and I would love to let people know how important they are for our world,” said Manning. “I wanted to share ways to help the bees and I wanted to increase my own knowledge about the bees because I want to own a farm when I am older. I think the bees are so interesting.”

Have you ever read something and wondered who wrote it? Then, seventh-grade student Xander Robinson and his AuthorAI project are here to help. Robinson’s project explores the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify the closest matching author of a sample article that a user inputs. For his research, Robinson created an AuthorAI website, where anyone can help contribute to the samples in the database. The hope is that more contributions to the database will provide better author identification results over time.

The fair submissions from George Fischer Middle School students covered a variety of topics, highlighting the distinct thinking that our students bring to the science, math and technology industries:

  • Gage Ackert (Grade 5): Volcano... But Not
  • Raina Lestigi (Grade 6): What Colors are Dogs Attracted to?
  • Kailyn Manning (Grade 6): The Beautiful Bee
  • Kai McKenzie (Grade 7): How are Fish Able to Float Up and Down on Free Will and How do They Control It?
  • Aarav Prasad (Grade 5): How Helpful to the Environment are Electric Cars, Really?
  • Jack Roberts & Noah Lessner (Grade 8): How does an Engine Start?
  • Xander Robinson (Grade 7): AuthorAI – Artificial Intelligence that can Identify Closest-Matching Author of Sample Articles
  • Parker Vanacoro (Grade 5): Making Stealth Airplanes - Experimenting with Shapes