Featured Article March 31, 2022

2022 Maine State Science Fair Winners

The 2022 Maine State Science Fair

The 76th annual Maine State Science Fair (MSSF), organized by The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA), took place on March 26, 2022. The annual event was held both in-person at Colby College and online.

157 students representing 21 schools (including two home schools) in 10 Maine counties presented research or engineering projects to panels of 145 STEM subject matter experts from higher education, government and the private sector. High school students from across the state competed for prestigious state titles and over $800K in scholarships and awards.

The winners were announced during an award ceremony Saturday night, which was broadcast live via Zoom. 

Maine State Science Fair 1st place winner Cuthbert Steadman
Maine State Science Fair 1st Grand Award winner Cuthbert Steadman

The top three projects at the Maine State Science Fair were named Grand Award winners and will travel to Atlanta, Georgia in May to represent Maine at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair. The 2022 Grand Award winners are:

  • 1st place - Cuthbert Steadman, Bangor High School. “Creating a Low-Cost Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring and Automatic Insulin Injection System with an Artificial Neural Network and Raspberry Pi." Steadman developed and tested a low-cost and non-invasive way to measure blood glucose in diabetes patients and a companion device to deliver an automated insulin injection. Steadman's non-invasive platform was 90% accurate when compared to glucose measurements from blood samples taken from standard finger pricks.

  • 2nd place - Emma Markowitz, a home-schooled student from Boothbay, “A Non-Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Equine White Line Disease using Poly-wrap and Manuka Honey Topical.” Markowitz developed a novel treatment for equine hoof disease that pairs polywrap (a standard material used in orthopedic casts) with a Manuka honey paste as a possible antibacterial agent. The polywrap material alone reduced signs of infection, including hoof fissures, by 65% over a ten-week course of treatment.

  • 3rd place - William Xu, Bangor High School. “Developing a scalable neural network model using medical imaging to better diagnose Alzheimer’s." Xu's project uses a computer-based decision-making process to analyze MRI images for early signs of Alzheimer's Disease. Using actual brain MRI images from a national research database of Alzheimer's patients, Wu's neural network accurately predicted the stage of an individual patient's disease progression.

“The students who participated in the Maine State Science Fair this year demonstrated creativity in the range of science questions they asked, persistence in completing their projects when things did not go as they had thought, and enthusiasm for teaching the judges what they had learned," said Laura Muller, Program Director for STEM and Undergraduate Education at The Jackson Laboratory and a co-Director of the Maine State Science Fair. “Even more inspiring was the way many of the participants looked at questions related to their experiences living in Maine." 

Damon Yarnell, dean of student and global advancement at Colby, welcomed the students during his opening remarks at the event, and urged them to "follow and explore their authentic interests” through research.

This Year’s Award and Scholarship Winners

The Grand Award winners were:

Maine State Science Fair 2nd place winner Emma Markowitz
Maine State Science Fair 2nd Grand Award winner Emma Markowitz
  • 1st Grand Award – Cuthbert Steadman, Bangor High School. “Creating a Low-Cost Non-Invasive Blood Glucose Monitoring and Automatic Insulin Injection System with an Artificial Neural Network and Raspberry Pi”

  • 2nd Grand Award – Emma Markowitz, “A Non-Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Equine White Line Disease using Poly-wrap and Manuka Honey Topical”

  • 3rd Grand Award – William Xu, Bangor High School. “Developing a scalable neural network model using medical imaging to better diagnose Alzheimer’s”

Scholarships

University of Maine

Full-tuition scholarships, renewable for up to four years; includes mentor and annual research budget:

  • Sam Ahola, Bangor High School

  • Will Caron, Bangor High School

  • Jamie Fogg, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Ruth Havener, Medomak Valley High School

  • Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Mackenzie Jones, Nokomis Regional High School

  • Roland Ladd, Bangor High School

  • Jacob Levesque, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Emma Markowitz, Homeschool

  • Aishwarya Rajan, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Amber Stokes, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Patrick Wahlig, Falmouth High School

$2,000 scholarship for a student who enrolls in the UMaine School of Forest Resources:

  • Rhys Cadigan, Falmouth High School

Maine State Science Fair 3rd Grand Award winner William Xu
Maine State Science Fair 3rd Grand Award winner William Xu

University of New England

$5,000 scholarships, renewable for up to four years:

  • Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Mia Khavari, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Patrick Wahlig, Falmouth High School

  • Amber-Rae Pesek, Hancock County Technical Center

  • Emma Markowitz, Homeschool

University of Southern Maine

Full-tuition scholarships, renewable for up to four years:

  • Will Caron, Bangor High School

  • Cody Chretien, Nokomis Regional High School

  • Ella Donaghy, Medomak Valley High School

  • Mia Khavari, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Lucy Rayback, Cape Elizabeth High School

University of Maine at Augusta

$1,500 scholarship, renewable for up to four years:

  • Emma Markowitz, Homeschool

  • Patrick Wahlig, Falmouth High School

 Husson University

$2,500 scholarship:

  • Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Lucy Rayback, Cape Elizabeth High School

Central Maine Community College

Semester of tuition and fees for a student who enrolls in CMCC’s Life Sciences program:

  • Bridget Lambert, Bonny Eagle High School

Southern Maine Community College

Semester of tuition and fees for a student who enrolls in SMCC’s Marine Sciences or Biotechnology program:

  • Bridget Lambert, Bonny Eagle High School

Washington County Community College

Semester of tuition and fees for a student who enrolls in WCCC’s Coastal Fisheries / Marine Technology program:

  • Michael Willard, Maine Coast Waldorf School

Category Awards

Animal Sciences

  1. Emma Markowitz, Homeschool

  2. Uyen Nguyen, John Bapst Memorial High School

  3. Patrick Wahlig, Falmouth High School

Behavioral & Social Sciences

  1. Will Barmby, Maine Coast Waldorf School

  2. Camellia Guzzi, Nokomis Regional High School

  3. Hannah Pease, Nokomis Regional High School

Biological Sciences

  1. Cuthbert Steadman, Bangor High School

  2. Abigail Gardner, Baxter Academy for Technology and Science

  3. Celia Kehl, Meredith McGonigle, Robert W. Traip Academy

Biomedical Sciences

  1. Natalie Logan, John Bapst Memorial High School

  2. Albert Bai, John Bapst Memorial High School

  3. Coco Xu, Falmouth High School

Chemistry & Materials

  1. Ogechi Obi, Bangor High School

  2. Robert Smith, Medomak Valley High School

  3. Ruth White, Orono High School

Computer Science

  1. William Xu, Bangor High School

  2. Quan Le, John Bapst Memorial High School

  3. Maia Pietraho, Brunswick High School

Engineering

  1. Brady McQuaid, Brunswick High School

  2. Yujie Yang, Gould Academy

  3. Roland Ladd, Frederick Oldenburg, Bangor High School

Environmental Sciences

  1. Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

  2. Aishwarya Rajan, John Bapst Memorial High School

  3. Dorothy Barron, Bangor High School

Environmental Sciences – Water

  1. Quinn D’Alessio, Bangor High School

  2. Ginny Hunt, Bangor High School

  3. Alexander Busko, Bangor High School

Physics, Energy, & Astronomy

  1. Ziyu Huang, John Bapst Memorial High School

  2. Will Caron, Bangor High School

  3. Jacob Levesque, John Bapst Memorial High School

Plant Sciences

  1. Leah Muentener, Maine Coast Waldorf School

  2. Elias Pluecker, Medomak Valley High School

  3. Anh Vo, John Bapst Memorial High School

Special Awards

The Algae Foundation ($200 prize)

  • Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

American Meteorological Society

  • Uyen Nguyen, John Bapst Memorial High School

  • Eli Shifrin, Gould Academy

American Psychological Association

  • Will Barmby, Maine Coast Waldorf School

ASM Materials Education Foundation

  • Ogechi Obi, Bangor High School

Association for Women Geoscientists

  • McKayla Kendall & Maya Elkadi, Bangor High School

GENIUS Olympiad

  • Quinn D’Alessio, Bangor High School

  • Samantha Ismail, John Bapst Memorial High School

JAX Future Innovator ($100 prize)

  • Makili Matty, Robert W. Traip Academy

  • Sophie Yates-Paul, Lincoln Academy

  • Audrey Farnham, Falmouth High School

  • Elivia Mandani, Frances Burke, Robert W. Traip Academy

Mu Alpha Theta

  • Boden Retherford, Falmouth High School

NASA Earth Systems Science Award

  • Amber Stokes, John Bapst Memorial High School

National Geographic Society ($100 prize)

  • Maia Pietraho, Brunswick High School

NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award

  • Ginny Hunt, Bangor High School

Naval Science Award

  • Ogechi Obi, Bangor High School

Reach Award ($100 prize)

  • Alexander Benton, Maine Coast Waldorf School

  • James Fowler, Maine Coast Waldorf School

  • Benjamin Chonko, Ararat High School

  • Eli Girouard, Fryeburg Academy

  • Maggie Johnson, Washington Academy

Regeneron Biomedical Science Award ($500 prize)

  • Simon Socolow, Bangor High School

U.S. Stockholm Junior Water Prize

  • Quinn D’Alessio, Bangor High School

  • Ginny Hunt, Bangor High School

  • Alexander Busko, Bangor High School

US Agency for International Development

  • Natalia Rothwell, Noble High School

The Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance is a non-profit organization that partners with educators to find inspiring new ways to get our youth excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math today so that they can become the innovators, problem solvers, and workforce of tomorrow.

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.