Press Release March 24, 2019

Maine State Science Fair showcases high school STEM talent

Maine State Science Fair winners
The winners of the 73rd Annual Maine State Science Fair stand on stage with their awards at Bowdoin College. From left are Tyler Delargy from Bangor High School, Artem Laptiev and Antonina Zakorchemna from Fryeburg Academy, and Amara Ifeji from Bangor High School. JAX photo by Grace Scott.

 

The 73rd annual Maine State Science Fair (MSSF), organized by The Jackson Laboratory and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance, was held on March 23, 2019, and included 250 students representing 36 schools in 13 Maine counties. Each high school student presented their original research and engineering project to a state-wide audience of peers and mentors, in competition for coveted state titles and over $548,000 in scholarships and awards.

This year’s winners include:

  • 1st Grand Award – Tyler Delargy, Bangor High School, “Developing Three-Dimensional Spatial Cognition for the Visually Impaired Using Computational Depth Mapping and Vibro-Tactile Display”
  • 2nd Grand Award – Antonina Zakorchemna and Artem Laptiev, Fryeburg Academy, “Product Development of an Alternative Low-cost Braille E-reader”
  • 3rd Grand Award – Amara Ifeji, Bangor High School, “Testing the Effectiveness of Mycorrhizae in the Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals from Stormwater”

Delargy, Zakorchemna, Laptiev, and Ifeji will represent Maine at the prestigious Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Ariz. The Intel ISEF is the premier global science competition for students in grades 9-12, and provides a forum for 1,700 students from 70 countries, regions, and territories to display their independent research.

“As a nonprofit biomedical research institution, we understand the importance of excellent STEM education, and we’re so proud to support the MSSF and students across the state of Maine,” said S. Catherine ‘Katy’ Longley, J.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, The Jackson Laboratory (JAX).  “On behalf of JAX, I would like to congratulate every one of these bright teenagers for their ingenuity and creativity.”  

MSSF is one of the largest high school STEM programs in Maine. STEM professionals from 48 Maine companies, non-profit organizations, higher education, and governmental organizations volunteered to interact with students, provide feedback on their projects, and select the top projects in categories including Behavioral Sciences, Biological Sciences, Energy, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, and Physics.

In addition, over $548,000 in scholarships, including several full-tuition scholarships, from The University of Maine, College of the Atlantic, University of New England, University of Maine at Augusta, and Husson University were distributed to students who demonstrated creativity, innovation, aptitude and great scientific potential. In addition to scholarships, students were awarded spots in summer STEM enrichment programs at the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership and in the Keller BLOOM program at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences.

“Science fairs are really cool, they give young people an opportunity to demonstrate their competence, but mostly, they give people the opportunity to follow their imagination, to do research, to have the fun of discovering things,” said U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME). “This is really important for Maine and our country.”

The following students received full tuition scholarships from the University of Maine:

  • Leila Davids, Bangor High School
  • Ijeoma Obi, Bangor High School
  • Rowan Andrews, Bangor High School
  • Madeline Ahola, Bangor High School
  • Madison Momenee, Noble High School
  • Emma Fitzpatrick, Greely High School
  • Amara Ifeji, Bangor High School
  • Connor Noddin, Bangor High School
  • Anthony Caccese, Bangor High School
  • Blake Erhard, Boothbay Region High School
  • Lily McLaughlin, Bangor High School
  • Marina Mohawass, Bangor High School

The following students received a $20,000 yearly scholarship from the College of the Atlantic, renewable for four years.

  • Jennifer Noyes, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Jordyn Miller, Bangor High School

The following students received a $5,000 yearly scholarship from the University of New England, renewable for four years:

  • Sarah Dorey, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Adelaide Valley, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Shannon O’Roak, Dexter Regional High School
  • Madison Momenee, Noble High School
  • Alyssa Ellis, Nokomis Regional High School

The following students received a $1,500 yearly scholarship from the University of Maine at Augusta, renewable for four years:

  • Lauren Underhill, Nokomis Regional High School
  • Jordyn Miller, Bangor High School

The following students received a $1,000 scholarship from Husson University:

  • Shannon O’Roak, Dexter Regional High School
  • Beau Briggs, Nokomis Regional High School
  • Madison Hopkins, Nokomis Regional High School
  • Vanessa Scott, Deering High School
  • Taya Wood, Washington Academy

The following students earned experiential awards for STEM enrichment programs in Maine:

  • Keller BLOOM at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences: Jordyn Miller, Bangor High School
  • Hurricane Island Advanced Marine Biology Camp: Wade Wahlig, Falmouth High School
  • iXplore STEM Summer Program: Swetha Palaniappan, Cape Elizabeth High School
  • UNE Health Careers Exploration Camp: Alya Theriault, Caribou High School

Additional winners from the Maine State Science Fair

Future Innovator Award for outstanding research and engineering projects by 1st year students, given by The Jackson Laboratory

  • Sirohi Kumar, Mount Desert Island High School
  • Alden Wilcox, Caribou High School
  • Quinn D’Alessio, Bangor High School
  • Noah Coyle, Bangor High School
  • Lily Millard, Bangor High School

Reach Center Award for outstanding research and engineering projects by students from schools new to MSSF

  • Dexuan Tang, Hebron Academy
  • Antonina Zakorchemna and Artem Laptiev, Fryeburg Academy
  • Blake Erhard and Lilley Harris, Boothbay Region High School
  • Erica Schlichting, Gray New Gloucester High School

Intel Computer Science Award for the most outstanding project in computer sciences

  • Ryan Kinney, Bangor High School

Society for Science and the Public Community Innovation Award for a project that will better humanity and improve conditions in the local community

  • Ibrahim Saleh, Greely High School

Stockholm Junior Water Prize, recognizing the most outstanding project in water and watershed research

  • Merline Feero, Waterville Senior High School
  • Lily McLaughlin and Rowan Andrews, Bangor High School

Judges Fund Award for Excellence in Genetics

  • Brandon Aponte, John Bapst Memorial High School

Naval Science Award

  • Leila Davids, Bangor High School
  • Tyler Delargy, Bangor High School
  • Anthony Caccese, Bangor High School
  • Luke Conroy, Noble High School

Mu Alpha Theta

  • Samanthak Thiagrajan, Bangor High School

MSSF Category winners

  • Animal Sciences, general – Logan Eckmann, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Animal Sciences, marine sciences – Vetri Vel, Bangor High School
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences, sociology – Micah Pietraho, Brunswick High School
  • Behavioral and Social Sciences, clinical, neurological, physiological, cognitive studies – Sirohi Kumar, Mount Desert Island High School
  • Biological Sciences and Engineering – Yu Dong, Gould Academy
  • Biomedical and Health Sciences – Blake Erhard, Boothbay Region High School
  • Chemistry and Materials – Marina Mohawass, Bangor High School
  • Computer Science and Mathematics – Ijeoma Obi, Bangor High School
  • Energy – Frederick Oldenburg, McKayla Kendall and Roland Ladd, Bangor High School
  • Engineering Mechanics – Tyler Delargy, Bangor High School
  • Environmental Sciences, general studies – Andrea Grossmann, John Bapst Memorial High School
  • Environmental Sciences, water quality – Maddie Brookings, Bangor High School
  • Physics and Astronomy – Lindsay Cote, Nokomis Regional High School
  • Plant Sciences – Amara Ifeji, Bangor High School

Maine State Science Fair is further supported by R.H. Reny, Inc., Texas Instruments, ON Semiconductor, Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Poland Springs, and Mölnlycke.

The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance supports educators to teach STEM in more meaningful ways through professional development resources for K-12 educators, research and evaluation of STEM learning experiences, and building relationships and networks to sustain systemic statewide improvement.

The Jackson Laboratory offers educational programs for scientists throughout their careers — from STEM education for high school students and training for science and math teachers to courses and conferences for experienced researchers defining the cutting edge of genomics research and specialized training for physicians interested in incorporating genetics and genomics into their practices.