Mad Scientists from Greenwich High School Star in Science Fair at the Beach

Tod’s Point was packed on Sunday and the science fair featuring Greenwich High School science students of Mr. Bramante drew quite a crowd to Bruce Museum’s Seaside Center.

Mark Stitch, Teresa Zheng and Science teacher Mr. Bramante

Mark Stitch, Teresa Zheng and Science teacher Mr. Bramante gather for the announcement of winners of the Science Fair at the Bruce Museum Seaside Center on Sunday. Credit: Leslie Yager

There was a tie for the People’s Choice Award between Teresa Zheng and Mark Stich.

The second place prize was also a tie between William Yin and Derek Woo.

The first place prize went to Margaret Cirino whose project was a synthesis of an electromagnetically-controlled corn-starch/PVA Bipolymer microbe for extended and targeted drug delivery.

“Basically I created a drug delivery device that dissolves over time and is motorized via magnetic fields. It means that you can have localized drug delivery and extended release at the same time,” Margaret explained.

Daniel Ksepka, Curator of Science

Daniel Ksepka, Bruce Museum’s Curator of Science with a fan at the Seaside Center on Sunday. Credit: Leslie Yager

science fair

Left to right, the six science fair participants: Teresa Zheng, Margaret Cirino, William Yin , Derek Woo, Mark Stich, and Paul Hansel. Credit: Leslie Yager

“The titles are all very challenging,” said Cynthia Ehlinger of the six projects. “Byt this is a great opportunity to go up to the students to ask them what, in layman’s terms, they did.”

Theresa Zheng

Teresa Zheng, a rising senior at GHS, explained her project: Production of Cellulosic Biofuel via Enzymatic Saccharification of Perennial Wheatgrass by Cellulase Produced by Trichoderma Reesei. Credit: Leslie Yager

Teresa Zheng, a rising senior at GHS, explained that the goal of her project was to find an improved, alternative bio fuel. Although corn based ethanol is most popular alternative fuel, Teresa said it’s costly and gobbles up a lot of land.

“I found a fungus, trichoderma reesei, that had the ability to release enzymes that breaks down the cell walls,” Teresa said, a desirable feature for scientists who want  to use plant cells to make bio fuel for cars, for example.

“What I did was choose perennial wheatgrass. It’s a better alternate to corn-based ethanol because it has more biomass than corn which has to be planted and harvested. Wheatgrass is already abundant, which makes it more efficient and less costly.

Mark Stich

Mark Stich explained his research science project, an investigation of bacteriorhodopsin-Pt/TiO2 Hybrid System for Enhanced nanophotocatalytic production. Credit: Leslie Yager

Mark Stich, also a rising senior at GHS, said he knew he wanted to work on an energy related topic. “In the future the most important thing is to find the energy source.”

“Look all around the world,” Mark said. “People are fighting for limited resources.”

Mark’s project was an investigation of a Bacteriorhodopsin-Pt/Ti)2 Hybrid system for enhanced Nanophotocatalytic Production.

science fair

Top of stairs to bottom: Derek Woo, Paul Hansel, William Yin, Mark Stich, Margaret Cirino, Teresa Zheng, Andrew Bramante and three judges Dr. Don Hoffman from John Jay College (expert in forensics and chemistry), Ray Hamilton, who started the science research project at GHS before retiring, and Dr. Jang Kyun Kim (UConn marine biology researcher) Credit: Leslie Yager

Seaside Center

The Bruce Museum Seaside Center at Tod’s Point. Credit: Leslie Yager

See also:

Greenwich High School Research Scientists: Unprecedented Awards Sweep


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