Students recognized for research at TCRSF


Melissa Nie

Junior Maya Choi presenting her project at her poster. ““We’re pretty shocked because we didn’t think our projects were up to this caliber. We worked hard on them, obviously, but it’s not what we expected,” Choi said.

On Feb. 28, 12 students competed at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair, spending about nine hours discussing their research projects through the Advanced Science Research class with judges.

“It was really fun to actually present my research that I’ve been working on for like the past six or seven months, and to figure out for myself exactly what I have accomplished, and then talk to other people about that,” senior Aidan Lanz said.

Lanz, who did his project on organic contaminants and mycoremediation, found engaging other people in his research to be an enjoyable experience.

“I thought it was really interesting to see how people got interested in my topic and how I kind of found my flow in presenting it and I emphasized the points that I wanted to, like having a conversation with them rather than just a presentation,” he said.

We’re pretty shocked because we didn’t think our projects were up to this caliber. We worked hard on them, obviously, but it’s not what we expected.”

— Maya Choi

Senior Paige Indritz agreed that the judging process was more of a conversation rather than an intense grilling session.

“Being judged, I was a little nervous at the beginning, but it actually went really well because the judges weren’t here to criticize your work. They were here to give you suggestions and have a discussion with you. So, I actually enjoyed the judging part and being able to talk to people, especially people who cared a lot about my project,” Indritz said.

Judging results came out on Feb. 29. Ten projects made it to the next round, and they will be competing at the State Science and Engineering Fair at Benilde-St. Margaret’s School in St. Louis Park on Mar. 27. In addition, six research papers qualified for the Junior High School Symposium, which will be taking place during the same weekend.

Students also won a total of 16 individual awards from 11 different sponsors for the competition.

Finally, two students—juniors Maya Choi and Anthony Chen—were named first and second alternates respectively for the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, recognizing their projects on the degradation of microplastics with bacteria and the effects of radiation on the photosynthetic productivity of diatoms.

“We’re pretty shocked because we didn’t think our projects were up to this caliber. We worked hard on them, obviously, but it’s not what we expected,” Choi said.

Both Choi and Chen will be going to ISEF, held in California this year, as student observers.



Below is a list of participating students, project titles, and individual awards won.

Junior Noel Abraham: The Night Sky of our Intergalactic Neighbors: Creating a Library of Star Maps. Awards: US Air Force Award, Yale Science and Engineering Association Award.

Senior Helen Bartlett: Associations Between Sexual Risk Behavior and Adverse Childhood Experiences Among Minnesota High School Students. Awards: American Psychological Association Award.

Senior Richard Chang: Magnetometers as a Navigational Tool: A Correction Algorithm for External Magnetic Fields. Awards: 3M Inventor Award, US Air Force Award.

Junior Anthony Chen: The Effects of Short Term Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Radiation on Diatom Photosynthetic Productivity. Awards: Regeneron ISEF 2nd Alternate, City of St. Paul Youth Fund Award.

Junior Maya Choi: Degradation of Microplastics: The Efficacy of Various Bacteria in Breaking Down Microplastics in the Environment. Awards: Regeneron ISEF 1st Alternate, 3M Display Materials and Systems Division Award, Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Microbiology, NOAA – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award, Society for In Vitro Biology Award, Stockholm Junior Water Project Award.

Senior Paige Indritz: The Effect of pH on Bioremediation of Acid Mine Drainage

Senior Aidan Lanz: Mycoremediation of Organic Environmental Contaminants. Awards: Minnesota Chapter of the American Society of Microbiology, Stockholm Junior Water Project Award.

Junior Mina Mandic: Exploring the Wonders of the Early Universe: Green Pea Galaxies and Luminous Flux.

Seniors Ananya Narayan and Pia Schultz: The Influence of Positive vs. Negative Moral Motivations on Sustainable Decision-Making in Middle Schoolers.

Senior Sydney Therien: Testing Bacillus subtilis for estrogen degrading ability using zebrafish as a model organism. Awards: DuPont Water Solutions Award, Stockholm Junior Water Project Award.

Senior Liam Will: Physiological Stress and Internet Addiction in Adolescents. Award: ASM Materials Education Foundation Award.