Fewer Participants Equals Forward Progress: 2014-2015 Conestoga Valley Science and Engineering Fair 

By Jack Kinsey ’16 and Mai Le ’16

The 2014-15 Conestoga Valley Science and Engineering Fair had far fewer projects than in previous years due to a change in the expectations for submission, 31 projects as opposed to the usual 80 projects, however, that did limit the level of scientific research performed by the students. The projects presented at the science fair enabled students to apply problem-solving skills to real-life problems outside of school, fostering scientific curiosity and creativity.

Dan Daneker, supervisor of the district science and technology education department, explained the change, “We had less projects because we only took those of sophomores, juniors, seniors, and interested freshmen.”

New this year, freshmen were not required to go through the experimentation process of the science fair, but would instead complete research during ninth grade and perform the experiment in tenth grade.

“Students were showing that it was too big of a jump to go from not doing a project at all in eighth grade to doing a full-blown project in ninth grade,” explained Daneker. “Doing this is a positive step forward.”

2014-2015 CVHS Science Fair Winners

Grand Champion

Mitchell Daneker: Pantothenic Acid and Retinol’s effect on the bioavailability of Ascorbic Acid

Reserve Champion

Kaitlyn Whipple: Can Pawpaws be Commercialized Based on Ripeness and its Effect on Nutritional Value

Physical Science

1st Place

Anna Egan-Hess: Do silver nanoparticles infused in commercially available socks have the potential to infiltrate our water systems?

Honorable Mention

Derek Thrush: The Effect of Dimples on Putting Accuracy

Rachel Pfennig: Energy for $ale: Spectral Analysis of Energy Drinks with Acceptable Caffeine Levels for Teenagers’ Consumption

Biological Science

1st Place

Elizabeth McCombs: Adults, Children and Adolescents Interpreting Emotions Through Photographs of Eyes

Honorable Mention

Vijay Rathod: What Microorganisms are Found on Cell Phones?

Storm Zink: Axolotl Growth

Engineering, Earth, and Environmental Science

1st Place

Quinn Fox: Designing a Better Spoon for Parkinson’s Sufferers

Honorable Mention

Mai-Phuong Le: How does bioplastic derived from bananas compare to conventional plastic in performance?

Ben Cutler: Assistance Belt for the Visually Impaired