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RI Coastal Resources Management Council preserve, protect, develop, and restore coastal resources for all Rhode Islanders

CRMC rewards RI students for science fair projects

March 18, 2019, WAKEFIELD – The RI Coastal Resources Management Council has awarded gift cards to six Rhode Island junior, middle and high school students for their winning projects in the 2019 Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair.

This year’s science and engineering fair took place March 16 at the Community College of Rhode Island’s Knight Campus in Warwick, and showcased engineering, science and environmental projects from 25 schools and232 students from grades 6 through 12. This year students showed a total of 174 projects, and the CRMC awarded VISA gift cards for projects on water quality, micro plastics, oil and oil spills, coral reefs, and fish populations.

The six students were winners of the individual science fairs at their schools; teachers are allowed to send as many as 15 winners per school. The CRMC awarded prizes in the special awards category, which allows organizations and groups to set their own criteria and choose their own winners.

In the Senior Division, for students in grades 9-12, the first place prize of a $100 gift card from the CRMC was awarded to Brooke Newbury of St. Mary Academy Bay View for her project, “Using Aloe Vera to Purify Water,” where she theorized that aloe could be used to precipitate metals out of water. She chose aloe due to its abundance in Africa, tested it with three most common metal pollutants, and showed it was the most effective with copper.

Sydney Hammer of Coventry High School was awarded the second place prize of a $50 gift card for her project, “Where do fish swim? A correlation study between fish population and water viscosity.” Using an instrument to measure water viscosity, Sydney ran tests at various temperatures seen in fish migration.

Third place and a $25 gift card went to Jarel Marcelin of Times2 Academy for the project, “The Abundance of Micro-plastics in Water.” Jarel took samples from different sources, including tap and bottled water, added dye to see the micro-plastics, and filtered them and counted them with a microscope.

Bhavya Chatragadda of Lincoln High School received Honorable Mention for her project, “Oil Spill Remediation.” Bhavya used aquatic plant leaves to clean up oil spills. Zachary Hammer of Coventry High School also received an Honorable Mention for his project, “The Effect of Sunscreen (Oxybenzone) Has on Coral Reefs.” He filled tanks with corals and varied sunscreens to see the effects.

The CRMC also awarded three gift cards in the Junior Division for students in grades 6-8. The winner of the first place $100 gift card was Angelina Deschenes of St. Luke’s School for her project, “The Effect of Fertilizer on Water Quality in the Kickemuit River.” She inundated pieces of sod with different types of fertilizer, and then collected and tested the runoff.

A second place gift card for $50 went to Aasiya Malik of the Islamic School of Rhode Island for the project, “Effects of Oil on Aquatic Plants,” which tested the difference in growth rates in plants due to the impacts of oil.

Finley Stock-Guild of St. Mary Academy Bay View received third place and a $25 gift card for her project, “Micro-plastic: How Location Affects Concentration.” Finley collected water samples from different locations, and studied and counted the plastic fibers and pieces with a microscope.

Daniel Vittoria of Our Lady of Mount Carmel received an Honorable Mention for his project, “It All Goes Down the Drain!” He surveyed local drains to see what trash was inside, studied drain shapes, and using models, tested the effectiveness of drains. Ryon Black of St. Philomena School also received Honorable Mention for his project, “The Effects of Acidic Substances on Clam Shells,” where he studied the effect of different acidic water mixes on clam shells.

The Council has been giving out special awards for the science fair for almost 20 years. Special awards were established as a way for local businesses and organizations to promote what they do and get students interested in science and engineering-related research. The top two winners of the Rhode Island fair’s general awards category will go on to compete in the international science fair later this year.


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Suite 116, 4808 Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879-1900
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