The annual Finger Lakes Institute (FLI) science fair brought middle and high school students to the HWS campus in May to present original research on the environment in the Finger Lakes region. The fair gave students the opportunity to participate in a professional research conference in a college environment, and encouraged them to investigate STEM research in the future.
“Students participating in the FLI Science Fair worked hard on their independent research projects,” said Nadia Harvieux, the FLI Education Program Manager and coordinator of the event. “We were excited to have them share their results with the judges, FLI staff and fellow Science Fair participants.”
Students presented their research in a half-day poster session and competed for monetary prizes. The projects included water quality studies, pollution impact surveys and biodiversity analyses. Science Fair judges, from a variety of environmental career fields from the Finger Lakes region, determined winners in middle school and high school divisions based on their presentation and content. This year’s judges included Kaeti Stoss, from Delta Environmental; John Berry, Ontario County and New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA) member; Mike Herschelman, from the City of Rochester; and Eliza Crane, past FLI Science winner from Honeoye Falls-Lima High School and current FLCC environmental studies student. The prizes are sponsored by the Genesee Chapter of the New York Environmental Association, Inc.
Seventeen projects were presented from Geneva, Honeoye Falls-Lima, Romulus and Geneseo school districts. Averaging several weeks of research on each project, the hard work that each group put into their research showed in stellar presentations and thoughtful poster boards.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” said Natalie Northrup, the winner of the high school division from Honeoye Falls-Lima, “It’s nice to be in a research environment and be acknowledged for it.” Northrup’s study, “Composting of Supermarket Wastes: Determining the Ideal Composition,” involved analysis of organic waste from her local supermarket over several weeks.
The middle school competition winners from Geneseo Middle School — Rowan Boughton, Joseph DeBell and Jack Rubeck — completed the project, “Animal Habitat Showdown: Front Yard Versus Back Yard Which Gets More?” The students used data from a trail camera to find the answer.
With a focus on community outreach and economic development, the FLI is dedicated to the promotion of environmental research and education about the Finger Lakes and surrounding environments. In collaboration with regional environmental partners and state and local government offices, the Institute fosters environmentally-sound development practices throughout the region, and disseminates accumulated knowledge to the public.
The event was sponsored by The Wyckoff Family Foundation and ITT Goulds Pumps, and NYWEA awarded the prizes.
Read more about last year’s FLI Science Fair here.