On Thursday, February 22nd, Falmouth Academy rolled out a new name for its annual science fair in honor of its 30th year. The 2018 Falmouth Academy Science and Engineering Fair featured 202 projects presented to a contingent of judges comprised of over 100 scientists, engineers, physicians, researchers and other experts –including several Falmouth Academy alumni. The excitement in the room was palpable as scientists and students exchanged ideas. Middle-school student Madeleine Balser of Mashpee, new to Falmouth Academy this year, said, “I was nervous at first but then I appreciated talking with the judges. They helped me think in new ways about my project.” Madeleine was awarded an honorable mention for her study of the effect of oil on plants.
The fair is the culminating event of five months of independent research by all students in grades 7-11. It is a unique cross-curricular endeavor where students are mentored by faculty and regional professionals in the process of scientific inquiry and research as well as writing and presentation.
Scientists from the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole Research Center, NOAA, Sea Education Association, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Geological Survey, Cape Cod Healthcare, Visiting Nurses Association, and Mass. Audubon served as judges and mentors. The panel of judges also included faculty from major research universities such as Harvard, MIT, Rochester Institute of Technology, Tufts, the University of Chicago, the University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. Other judges represented area schools and colleges, municipal government and businesses.
Sixty-five prizes, scholarships, and onorable mentions were awarded to middle and upper school students. Fifteen upper-school projects will advance to the Southeastern MA Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Bridgewater State University on March 10th. The top prize winners for upper school are:
Charlie Fenske ’18 of Edgartown was awarded the A. Lawrence Peirson III Scholarship given by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) for “Analysis of Morphing Wings to Enhance Aircraft Efficiency.” Charlie also holds a patent on this unique design and garnered a lot of interest at the public viewing from visiting engineers.
Emma Keeler ’19 of Rochester placed first for “Bioprospecting for Benthic Fungi and Their Bactericidal Antibiotics” and received the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) scholarship.
Rebecca Cox ’18 of Falmouth and Sarah Lott ’18 of Mashpee placed first and received a scholarship awarded by Sea Education Association (SEA) for “Exploring Life in One of the Last Remaining Frontiers on Earth: the Lower Oceanic Crust.“
For the full list of 2018 award winners, please see the FA Science Fair page.