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CRMC rewards RI students for science fair projects
April 1, 2021, WAKEFIELD – The RI Coastal Resources Management Council has awarded gift cards to five Rhode Island junior, middle and high school students for their winning projects in the 2021 Rhode Island Science and Engineering Fair.
This year’s science and engineering fair was held virtually because of the pandemic, and showcased engineering, science and environmental projects from students from grades 6 through 12. This year students showed a total of 200 projects, and the CRMC awarded VISA gift cards for projects on solar energy/efficiency, micro plastics, water quality, and wind turbine technology. There was no science fair in 2020.
The 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 Alexandra Crowshaw of South Kingstown High School for her project, “The Power of Green Energy,” where she created a small-scale wind turbine out of easily accessible and inexpensive materials. Crowshaw stated in her project that because wind turbines and solar panels are generally cost-prohibitive for many individuals, she wanted to see if one could be created using inexpensive materials.
Timothy Rapoza of Bishop Hendricken High School was awarded the second place prize of a $50 gift card for his project, “Optimization of a Wind Turbine Blade.” Rapoza built a wind tunnel so he could test at which angle different-sized wind turbine blades would produce the most energy.
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 Matthew Sullivan of St. Margaret School for his project, “How can Solar Panels be More Efficient?” Using different materials placed over solar panel cells, Sullivan evaluated which increased solar energy output.
Two second place gift cards for $25 (teams split the award) went to Avery Amarelo and Leah Ahmed of St. Luke’s School for their project, “Too Many Plastics! How Many Plastics are in Our Environment/How Much Microplastic is in Sand?” which tested the amounts of microplastics in sand samples taken from a number of beaches and coastal areas all over Rhode Island.
Colin Lally of Our Lady of Mount Carmel School received third place and a $25 gift card for his project, “Fell the Wind.” Lally created wind turbines from objects found at home and then tested which angles of the blades produced the most wind energy.
Sophia Siddiqui of the Islamic School of Rhode Island received an Honorable Mention for her project, “Ocean State or Acid State!” She tested water quality – acidity and salinity – at seven locations in Rhode Island, including beaches, rivers, ponds and lakes.
The Council has been giving out special awards for the science fair for 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.