Middle School Science Fair Highlights Students’ Research Interests
The ponderings of young scientists at George Fischer Middle School were highlighted at the annual science fair over the weekend. Tables lined the gymnasium space as students presented scientific wonders, interesting experiments, and amazing findings on diverse topics including soil erosion, the power of light, the weathering of limestone, mold growth and others.
More than 60 projects were submitted for this year’s science fair by students in grades 5-8 in the categories of Biology, Earth and Space, Physical Science, Technology and Mathematics.
Sixth-grade students Lucas Hauptner and Jack Sutherland entered their project, an infinity mirror, in the Technology category. An infinity mirror uses parallel mirrored surfaces to create the illusion of an endless space through reflection. Their project earned first-place honors.
During their demonstration for the judges, Hauptner and Sutherland pointed out the importance of constructing the mirror perfectly to showcase the wonder of the illusion.
“For the judging, we wanted to show that if the mirror and the plexiglass are not perfectly parallel the illusion won’t work,” said Hauptner.
The idea for their project was born out of some internet research as well as Hauptner’s personal experience with an infinity mirror on a family vacation.
“I saw an infinity mirror, and everyone kept stopping to look at it. So, I thought it would be a good idea for us to try to create one,” he said. “We researched it, and, once we saw it, we were set.”
Fifth-grade students Kayla Ramos, Emily Lockhart and Alissa Castrovinci researched and compared the eyes of dogs, cats and humans for their project, which earned third-place recognition in the Biology category. Their pets at home helped serve as inspiration for their project.
“We were going through ideas, and one was about how eyeglass lenses are made, and I immediately thought of cat eyes,” said Ramos. “I was going to use my pets for the experiment, but I never got a chance to. But I did love them a little more during the process.”
Ramos has both dogs and cats at home but focused on the dog eye research portion for the group.
“I just thought the whole topic sounded interesting,” said Castrovinci, who focused on the human eye research.
The group created a display box that used a mirror and a flashlight to show how light reflects on the different eyes.
Sixth-grade student Emelia Delamere submitted a project that compared the effects of playing music on plants in her house.
“I play music a lot, and I noticed that my plants would grow more when I kept them in the room that I play my flute in,” said Delamere.
For her experiment, she compared plants exposed to her music to one kept in another room where music was not played. All plants had the same amount of water, sunlight and other nutrients. The plants that were exposed to the music thrived while the one that was not exposed eventually died.
Fifth-grade student William Suppa entered a research project on the science of avalanches. He earned first place in the Earth and Space category for his grade.
“It was the first thing that came to my mind, because avalanches are such an underrated topic, and I wanted to study something unique,” said Suppa. He studied the triggers and what causes avalanches and the different layers of snow.
“The thick, packed snow is made of flour; the weak loose layer is made of sea salt; and the strong layer is made of kinetic sand,” he said while demonstrating the movement of the various layers by banging a kitchen mallet against his display.
Student submissions were reviewed by a panel of volunteer guest judges, including students in the Carmel High School Science Research Program and teachers. First, second and third place awards were presented in each category in each grade, with the three top scores overall across the grades earning best-in-show awards and trophies.
All first-place category winners in the George Fischer Middle School fair will have the opportunity to enter the Tri-County Science & Technology Fair which brings together K-12 students from Putnam, Westchester and Rockland counties to display their science, math and technology projects.
“The young scientists in this room learned something very valuable while they were working on their projects, and they were in this to improve their knowledge in some area of science,” said Principal John Piscitella during the award ceremony. “I think all of you did that, and we recognize you for that effort, and that should really feel good. You had a passion for something, you explored that passion and you improved and gained knowledge in a field of science.”
2022 Science Fair Winners
- First Place: “How Harmful Substances Affect the Body” by Nathan Wertz and Vincent Piazza
- Second Place: “Can a Pig Heart be Used in a Human Body?” by John Fink and Daniel Rodden
- Third Place: “Comparison of the Dog, Cat and Human Eye” by Kayla Ramos, Emily Lockhart and Alisha Castrovinci
Earth and Space
- First Place: “Avalanche Science” by William Suppa
- Second Place: “Can Plants Stop Soil Erosion?” by Avery Escaravage
- Third Place: “Deforestation” by Kayla Nisbett and Sophia Makely
- First Place: “Soap v. Sanitzer” by Olivia Farney and Ashlyn Murphy
- Second Place: “The Can Crusher” by August Ardisana
- Third Place: “The Eggsperiment” by Nalani Franky and Anisha Siewrattan
- First Place: “The Power of Light” by Emily Nerys and Lyndsey Cargain
- First Place: “Germs are Everywhere” by Stanley Smith
- Second Place: “Cardiology and Caffeine” by Olivia Biundo
- Third Place: “The Migration of White Sharks” by Shane Fisher
Earth and Space
- First Place: “The Long Flyer” by Clara Vulijevic
- Second Place: “Beyond the Unknown” by Lilliana Fagant and Mahee Deshpande
- First Place: “The Making of Fossils” by Anders Follet and Briget Festo
- Second Place: “What do Sugary Drinks do to Your Teeth?” by Aiden Forcheney
- Third Place: “A Rainbow of Density” by Anne Whalen, Lili Ryszka and Ysabel Bumbery
- First Place: “Infinite Gateway” by Lucas Hauptner, Jack Sutherland
- Second Place: “Cardboard” by Ryan Mariluz and Calvin Stockfield
- Third Place: “Video Games: Helping or Hurting You?” by Jackson Palmieri
- First Place: “Heart Rate Investigation” by Calen Anderson
Earth and Space
- First Place: “Oxidizing Glass, Stone and Metals with Dirt” by Cassidy Greene
- First Place: “Finding Electrolytes” by Iker Munoz Sanchez and Connor Scalzitti
- First Place: “How are you Feeling? Can my A.I. model tell?” by Aarav Prasad
- Second Place: “Pros and Cons of Technology” by Nicole Fields and Mia Perez
- First Place: “Do you Believe in Magic?” by Levi Robinson and Michael Cecchini
- First Place: “Get in Motion to Save our Ocean” by Karissa Escaravage and Alison Zeman
Earth and Space
- First Place: “Plants Rock” by Colin Weindel
- Second Place: “Influences on Cratering During an Impact Event” by Samantha Cargain
- Third Place: “Weathering - Effects of Hurricanes and Tsunamis” by Kayden Delamere
- First Place: “Turn Milk into Plastic” by Keira Hansen and Jaiden McNally-Occhino