Ana Humphrey and Leslie Lytle advance to the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair (courtesy photo)

Two T. C. Williams’ juniors, Ana Humphrey and Leslie Lytle, will compete at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair in Roanoke on April 13-14. Both advanced from the Northern Virginia Regional Science Fair where they competed against eight other public and private high schools in Arlington, Alexandria and Falls Church.

Ana has also been selected as the ACPS Science Fair grand prize winner and will be attending the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA on May 13-18.

If Ana seems familiar to you, she should! Ana was the winner of last year’s science fair. Her project, “Finding Exoplanets by Assessing the Dynamical Packing of Kepler Three and Four-Candidate Systems,” analyzed distant solar systems to determine if they are capable of hosting additional Earth-massed planets beyond what has already been identified with data from the Kepler telescope. This is an evolution of Ana’s project from last year when she built the computer program used to identify the exoplanets. This year she is using it to process data from the Kepler telescope to find Earth-massed planets that are currently missing in the data.

Leslie Lytle’s project, “Developing a Biodegradable Bioplastic,” explained how she produced a cellulose-based bioplastic that could be broken down in a home composting system to alleviate plastic pollution. 

Middle School Students Advance

Congratulations also to four students from our middle schools who have been nominated to participate in the Broadcom MASTERS competition, the premier science and engineering competition for middle school students. The students will submit their projects online for a chance to present in Washington, DC in October.

George Washington Middle School

  • Ameila Jones investigated which moisturizer was the most effective using Jell-O as a model for skin in her project, “Find an Ally in the Fight Against Dry Skin.”
  • Bodie Lauinger demonstrated how an electromagnetic field can make an object (magnetic train) move from one point to another without using polluting fuels in his project, “Electromagnetic Propulsion.”

Francis C. Hammond Middle School

  • Varun Parekh investigated how to boost the speed of a common Wi-Fi router with simple do-it-yourself techniques, “What is the Best Way to Boost Wi-Fi Speed?”
  • Mya Lopez’s explored the relationship between gender and reflexes by asking middle school students to take a simple online reflex test in her project, “Battle of the Reflexes.”