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Regional Science and Engineering Fair Senior Division Winners Announced


The Sixth Annual Fauquier Regional Science & Engineering Fair, senior division (9th-12th grades), was held on Saturday, March 2 at Fauquier High School. The fair hosted 19 of the top high school competitors from Fauquier County. This year two new directors coordinated the fair - Regional Fair Director, Erica Deane from Highland School and District Fair Director Kara Reffitt from Kettle Run High School. 

Winners of the senior division fair were as follows:

  • 1st Place: Laura Thompson, MVGS 11th grader, $500 prize for “The Effect of a Genetic Algorithm on Traffic Efficiency.” As the top senior division prize winner, Thompson will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, AZ from May 12-17.
  • 2nd Place: Lauren Petty, MVGS 11th grader, $350 prize for “ An Epidemiological Approach to Studying the Flu”
  • 3rd Place: Helen Lohr, MVGS 11th Grader, $200 prize for “Strength of #2 HB Woodcase Style Pencils’ Graphite”
  • Honorable Mention: Nathaniel Ribeiro, FHS 9th grader, $150 prize for “The Iron Chef System: Making Your Kitchen Safer One Byte at a Time”

Other State Qualifying Winners

In addition to the four top winners in the senior division, two other projects were selected to advance to the Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair competition in Roanoke, VA on April 6. They are as follows.

  • Nick Goudeau, MVGS 11th grader for “The Effect of Companion Plant Species on the Mass of Fruit Produced by Solanum Lycopersicum var. Cerasiforme”
  • John Tocheny, LHS 11th grader for “Winning the World Series: A Numbers Game”

Private donors and community businesses provided sponsorships starting at $150 per student to cover the registration costs of the Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair (VSSEF), travel, lodging and meals for these students who will compete at VSSEF with over 250 high school students throughout the Commonwealth. Core sponsors providing cash prizes for this year’s regional fair were Linda and John Suter, the Patricia and David Vos Foundation, Fauquier Excellence in Education Foundation, and Fauquier County Public Schools.

In addition to the science and engineering fair winners, a number of other awards were presented; project names are listed here only if they were not previously listed above:

ASM Materials Education Foundation Award – Daniel Otten, KRHS/MVGS 11th grader for “Saving Space and Resources by Engineering Foldable Origami Structures.”

Association for Women Geoscientists Award – Gwendolyn Verity, MVGS 11th grader for  “The Effects of Cohesive and Flow Properties of Soils on Natural Disasters”

Intel Excellence Computer Science Award – Laura Thompson

Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Honor Society Award – Brigham Stacey, KRHS/MVGS 11th grader for, “The Effect of Violin Bow Material on the Harmonics Produced”

NASA Earth System Science Award – Claire Duckworth, MVGS 11th grader for, The Effect of Seagrasses on Ocean Acidification”

NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award – Claire Duckworth

U.S. Air Force Award – Daniel Otten

U.S. Air Force Award – Laura Thompson

U.S. Office of Naval Research Naval Science Award – Sophia Hernandez, MVGS 11th grader for, “The Effect of Red Bull Consumption on the Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster”

U.S. Office of Naval Research Naval Science Award – Seth Patterson, MVGS 11th grader for, “The Effect of Instruction Set on Code Size, Instruction Count, and Average Deleted Symbols and its Relation to Direct-Mapped Caching”

Virginia Dental Association Certificate of Merit – Lauren Petty

Virginia Dental Association Grand Prize Award – Savannah Snider, FHS 11th grader for,  “An Onion a Day”

Yale Science and Engineering Association, Inc. Award – Laura Thompson

The Junior Division (6th-8th grade) Regional Science Fair will be held on March 16 at Fauquier High School and will host a vendor fair from many local businesses. The vendor fair will be open from 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. Public viewing of projects will occur from 1-2 p.m. and will be followed by the awards presentations. The top ten winners from the Junior Division will qualify to apply for the Broadcom Masters competition. Several special awards will also be available for students to win.