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D.C. Students Participate in Science Fair at Union Station

Contact: Bryan Buchanan (202) 518-0044 x 14 [email protected]

D.C. Students Participate in Science Fair at Union Station 12 Winners Chosen from Diverse Pool of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Projects During Earth Month Event

 WASHINGTON – Earth Day Network hosted its inaugural Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair on Saturday as part of Earth Month at Union Station. Dozens of DC middle and high school students participated, with twelve projects earning special recognition.
Olivia Persons, from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, received the Grand Prize in the senior division for her project “Color Perceiving Arthropods.” Using rigorous experimental methods, Persons 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. In the junior division, Emma Buzbee of Alice Deal Middle School received the Grand Prize. Buzbee’s project—entitled “Heat, Color, and Temperature”—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. Both Grand Prize winners were awarded Samsung tablets, as well as a set of tablets for their science classrooms. The tablets were equipped with Copia Interactive’s digital content platform and a selection of science e-books. The Earth Month STEM Fair was organized by Earth Day Network—in partnership with Union Station and D.C. Public Schools—as part of its ongoing commitment to green schools and environmental education. “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 STEM Fair was open to all DC students, from grades 6-12. The entries were evaluated by a pool of judges and advisory panel members, which included representatives from NASA, Grant Thornton and Earth Day Network. Emma Johnson, of School Without Walls, and Anthony Green, of Friendship Collegiate Academy, were each awarded First Prize in the senior division. Second Prize winners in the senior division were Lauryn Mitchell, of School Without Walls; Catherine Mary Barr, of Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School; and Ngozi Burrell, Armonte Butler, and Johanna Gomez, of School Without Walls. In this division, seven Honorable Mentions were awarded. In the junior division, the two First Prize winners were Kayla Rosemond, of Charles Hart Middle School, and Antonio De Leo, of St. Peter School. Second Prize winners included Lauryn Donahue, of Alice Deal Middle School; Ashley Harris, of Stuart-Hobson Middle School; and Monique Chamber and Shannon Matthews, of Jefferson Middle School.  Five Honorable Mentions were awarded in the junior division First Prize winners received Washington Nationals tickets, Nike FUEL Bands, and graphing calculators. Second Prize winners received Nationals tickets, Nike FUEL Bands, and $25 gift cards. All award winners also received educational resources from NASA. The event was underwritten by NASA, Grant Thornton, Chobani and Copia. School supplies and prizes were provided by Honeywell , the Washington Nationals, and Ward’s Science donated science supplies for participating D.C. science classrooms. Chipotle provided lunch.
To learn more about the STEM Fair, visit

Earth Day Network mobilizes over one billion people in 192 countries through year-round advocacy, education, and public policy campaigns to protect the environment.