Earth Month STEM Fair a Major Success

On Saturday, April 6th, Earth Day Network presented the Earth Month Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Fair at Union Station in Washington, DC. Open to all DC students in grades 6-12, the STEM Fair showcased 34 impressive projects. In the end, twelve winners were chosen to receive awards in what was an exciting and successful event!

The students were divided into two age divisions—junior division (6th-8th grade) and senior division (9th-12th grade). Their projects were evaluated by an expert panel of judges and advisory panel members representing NASA, Grant Thornton, Union Station, and Earth Day Network. After a thorough judging process, including talking with the students and learning about their projects, the judges deliberated and awarded six projects in each age division— one Grand Prize winner, two First Prize winners, and three Second Prize winners, as well as some honorable mentions.

The Grand Prize in the junior division was awarded to Emma Buzbee of Alice Deal Middle School for “Heat, Color, and Temperature.” Emma’s project explored the effect of color on a material’s ability to insulate. By exposing colored boxes to different conditions and recording the temperatures inside the boxes, she determined that darker-colored materials were more effective insulators than light-colored materials.


Junior Division Grand Prize winner Emma Buzbee receiving her tablet.

The First Prize in the junior division was awarded to Kayla Rosemond of Charles Hart Middle School for “Oil Hide ‘N’ Seek” and Antonio De Leo of St. Peter School for “Air Quality: Is Air Quality Better at Ground Level or Up in the Sky.” The Second Prize winners were Lauryn Donahue of Alice Deal Middle School for “Whether Gio Gonzalez Pitches Better in Different Weather,” Shannon Matthews and Monique Chamber of Jefferson Middle School for “Reducing School Tardiness,” and Ashley Harris of Stuart-Hobson Middle School for “Supercooling.”

In the senior division, the Grand Prize was awarded to Olivia Persons of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School for “Color Perceiving Arthropods.” Using rigorous experimental methods, she tested the ability of ants to perceive color. She offered each ant the choice between four different colors of sugar water and monitored the ants’ preferences. Her findings confirmed that the ants preferred the yellow-dyed sugar water by a considerable margin.


Senior Division Grand Prize winner Olivia Persons celebrates with her teacher Mandi Jacobson.

The First Prize in the senior division was awarded to Emma Johnson of School Without Walls for “The Effects of Pesticides on Indicator Species in Aquatic Environments” and Anthony Green of Friendship Collegiate Academy for “Life Saver.” The two Second Prize winners were Ngoze Burrell, Armonte Butler, and Johanna Gomez of Benjamin Banneker Academic High School for “Aloe-W Me To Grow,” Catherine Mary Barr of Georgetown  Visitation Preparatory School for “’Electrifying Exercise’: Generating Electricity with a Bicycle,” and Lauryn Mitchell of School Without Walls for “Can Allura Red Cause DNA Damage?”

The Grand Prize winners in each division were awarded Washington Nationals tickets, a Samsung tablet, and a set of tablets for each student’s science class. The First Prize winners in each division were awarded Washington Nationals tickets, Nike FUEL bands, and graphing calculators. The Second Prize winners were awarded Washington Nationals tickets, Nike FUEL bands, and $25 gift cards to BuyGreen.com. All the students who received honorable mentions were given Washington Nationals tickets. All award winners also received educational resources from NASA.


Students speak with judges and the general public in the East Hall of Union Station

“Earth Day Network is committed to advancing STEM education here in DC and in schools around the world,” said Christine Robertson, Education Director at Earth Day Network. “It is essential that we continue to prepare our young people for the challenges of tomorrow, and STEM education is a big part of that process. Today’s participants should be commended for all their hard work. It was truly a great event.”

The Earth Month STEM Fair is a part of the Earth Month festivities happening at Union Station throughout the month of April. Some other events include an environmental film festival on April 17th and 18th, a Green Fashion Show hosted by the District Department of the Environment on the 18th, and exciting presentations and activities on Earth Day, April 22nd. For more information, please visit http://www.earthday.org/earthmonth.

The STEM Fair was underwritten by NASA, Grant Thornton, Chobani, and Copia. School supplies and prizes were provided by Chobani, Copia, Honeywell , the Washington Nationals, NASA, and BuyGreen.com. Ward’s Science donated science supplies for participating D.C. science classrooms. Chipotle provided lunch.

Earth Day Network would like to thank all the students who participated in the Earth Month STEM Fair!

Junior Division: Lealem Aderie, Nia Anderson, Daniel Blackeney, David Blackeney, Emma Buzbee, Monique Chamber, Antonio De Leo, Samuel Debrow, Ramses Denis-Cooper, Lauryn Donahue, Daud Gantt-Bey, Ashley Harris, Ellie Hart, Shannon Matthews, Mamalee Milton, Ayan Neupane, Destiny Nieves, Jasmin Perrier, Olivia Pineda, Kayla Rosemond, Bojrn Shockey, Megan Simeone, Bazin Sineshaw, Khyia Smallwood

Senior Division: Catherine Mary Barr, Ngozi Burrell, Armonte Butler, Shaneice Childs, Annie Dayton, Jia Li Dong, Johanna Gomez, Anthony Green, David Hernandez-Pineda, Emma Johnson, Jennifer Li, Lauryn Mitchell, Olivia Persons, Malik Robertson, Deborah Secular