Local students excel at science fair

Students from Danbury, Newtown, Bridgeport, Greenwich, Orange, Plantsville, Putnam, Stratford and Windsor were among the top winners in the state's annual Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair.

The area students who won prizes included, in the physical sciences division, Sarah Johnson, a student at Westside Middle School Academy in Danbury who won first place in the seventh-grade competition. Her project was titled "Opening a Garage Door with Raspberry Pi."

In the life sciences division, Catherine Herrick, a student at St. Rose of Lima School in Newtown, won first place for eighth-graders. Her project was titled "An Investigation of the Ingestion of Microscopic Plastic Particles by the Blue Mussel, Mytlus edulis."

Awards were handed out Saturday at a ceremony at Quinnipiac University in Hamden. The top high school life and physical science winners, as well as the Urban School Challenge and Alexion Biotechnology winners, will go to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, to be held in May in Pittsburgh.

Other winners from the fair will represent Connecticut and compete for cash and scholarships at competitions such as the International Sustainable World Engineering, Energy & Environment Project Olympiad, Genius Olympiad and the Broadcom Masters competition.

Grades 9-12

First place: Ethan Novek, of Greenwich High School, for his project, Low Grade Waste Heat Recovery and Carbon Sequestration using an Innovative Reverse Electrodialysis and Pressure Retarded Osmosis system.

Second place: Margaret Cirino, of Greenwich High School, for her project, Synthesis of an Electromagnetically-Controlled Corn-Starch/PVA Biopolymer Microstructure for Extended and Targeted Drug Delivery.

Grade 8

First place: Emily Fedor, St. Mark School in Stratford, for Using Induced Wind Force to Increase the Efficiency of an Electric Vehicle Battery.

Life science winners

Grades 9-12

First place: Olivia Hallisey, Greenwich High School, for Temperature-Independent, Portable, and Rapid Field Detection of Ebola via a Silk-Derived Lateral-Flow System.

Second place: Reid Radulovacki, Greenwich High School, for Chocolate's Theobromine, and not Caffeine, significantly reduces sleep in Drosophila.

Third place: William Yin, Greenwich High School, Hybridized Manganese Dioxide & Gold-Iron Oxide Nanoparticle Inhibition of Tumor Growth via Radiosensitization and Tumor Microenvironment Control.

Grades 9-12 Team

First place: Jamie MacFarlane, Nick VanBelle, and Eric Ganshaw, Brunswick School in Greenwich, for Target Identification: Frequency of the PV92 Alu Insertion within a Given Population.

Alexion Biotechnology

First place: Olivia Hallisey, Greenwich High School, for Temperature-Independent, Portable, and Rapid Field Detection of Ebola via a Silk-Derived Lateral-Flow System.

Urban School Challenge

First place: Eunsun Hong, Bridgeport Regional Aquaculture School, for Development of Non-toxic Photostabilized Phycoerythrin for Application in Dye Sensitized Solar Cells.