The Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges hosted an annual Science Fair for middle and high school students from Romulus and Geneseo School Districts. Sponsored by the Genesee Chapter of the New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA), the event brought 40 students to campus to present their independent research in topics ranging from water quality contaminants, plankton communities, animal biodiversity and differences in soil nutrients.
“Middle school and high school students conduct their own environmentally-focused research to learn about the natural environment and present their results here on campus,” says FLI Education Program Manager Nadia Harvieux. “Designing and deploying an experiment that is typically outdoors is great exposure to environmental field work and something that makes the FLI Science Fair unique.”
The winning project at the high school level, “Response to Arabidopsis to Aphid Attacks,” was conducted by Carolyn Jessop. The second place project by Olivia Morse was the “Microscopic Organisms of Seneca Lake in Spring.” The winning middle school project, “The pH of Fruits Compared to the pH of their Soil,” was conducted by Brynn Vedetti, Jessie Kelly and Tess Reilly. Runners up were “Open Field Versus Forest Humidity” conducted by Zoe Niederbach and Izzy Kernan and “pH of Different Sized Bodies of Water” by Tessa Salatel and Megan Robinson. The winners were presented with cash prizes sponsored by the Genesse Valley Chapter of NY Water Environment Association (NYWEA).
This year’s judges included members of NYWEA Wayne Dodsworth of Koester Associates, as well as Lauren Spink and Lexie Hackford of OBG. Representing Delta Environmental as a judge was Kaeti Stoss.
The next FLI Science Fair will be held on June 2, 2020.