Miramar student takes home gold at State Science Fair

Andrew Horkan

Andrew Horkan

Andrew (A.J.) Horkan of Miramar, a student at San Jose Catholic School, was the only Northeast Florida student to win his division at the Florida State Science Fair in Lakeland, March 28-30. Approximately 800 students from around the state presented their science projects at the three-day event, which included a junior and senior division and culminated in an awards ceremony.

Students from The Bolles School, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Bishop Kenny High School, Julia Landon College Preparatory School, San Jose Catholic, and Stanton College Preparatory School were among 31 students from Duval County, who took home awards, cash prizes and scholarships.

Four students from Northeast Florida – Lindsay Poulos, a San Marco resident from Episcopal, Devanik Biswas and Maanasi Garg of Stanton and James Staman, a Ponte Vedra resident from Bolles were selected to present their projects at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles May 14-19.

Bolles’ students Ann Maris Walton of Avondale and her partner Sneha Reddy of Southside earned a spot in the International Sustainable World (Engineering Energy Environment) Project Olympiad (ISWEEEP) in Houston, Texas May 3-8.

Horkan placed first in the Earth and Environmental Science category with his project “Converting Yard Waste and Paper into Clean Energy.” He also received $200 from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and a certificate and nomination packet from Broadcom MASTERS.

San Jose Catholic dominated the junior division. Other local students who attend San Jose Catholic, live in the San Marco area, and took home hardware were Izabelle Young of San Jose, Jack Brophy of Lakewood, and Juliana Namen of San Jose.

Young placed second in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category with her project, “Solving the Bioload of Xerostomia.” She also received a certificate and nomination packet from Broadcom MASTERS.

Namen placed second in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category with a project entitled, “The effect of Bioadsorbent Materials on the Concentration of Heavy Metals in River Water.” She also received a $200 cash award from the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME), Florida Section, and a certificate and nomination packet from Broadcom MASTERS.

Brophy placed second in the Physics and Astronomy category with his project, “Using Body Heat to Create Electricity.” He received a $150 cash award from the Robert and Judy Kryger Family as well as a certificate and nomination packet from Broadcom MASTERS.

In the senior division, Lindsay Poulos of Episcopal, a San Marco resident, received an $8,000 scholarship from New College and second place in the Biomedical and Health Services category for her project, “The Effects of Secondhand E-Cigarette Vapor on Drosophila melanogaster.” Of seven Episcopal students, she was the only one living in the historic districts to win an award.

Kathleen McClellan of Bishop Kenny was nominated for a half-tuition scholarship for Florida Institute of Technology, and received a $350 cash award from the Florida Association for Food Protection for her project, “Sterilization of Bacteria on Restaurant Menus to Reduce Cross Contamination,” which placed fourth in the Microbiology division.

Bishop Kenny’s MaryAlice Young of San Jose took second place in the Physics and Astronomy Division with a project entitled, “Using a System of Electromagnetic Fields to Create a Cumulative Force that Simulates the Effects of Earth’s Gravity in Outer Space.”

Meanwhile Camila Moreno of Bishop Kenny received a certificate and $25 gift card from the Seminole County Science, Math and Engineering Fair as well as a certificate and laptop backpack package from the United States Air Force for her project.

In the junior engineering division, Julia Landon College Preparatory School student John Blake Caven of San Marco placed third with a project entitled,” Athletic Drones? The Effect of Automous Algorithms on Robotic Intelligence.”

Bolles sent nine students to the state science fair, and it was the second straight year Walton and Reddy competed in the Lakeland event. They placed third in the Environmental Engineering category with their project, “Introduction of Mycorrhizae into Non-Mycorrhizal Plants: A Model to Reduce Phosphorous Fertilizer.”  The pair received a $150 cash award from Florida Agriculture in the Classroom, Inc. and a $250 cash award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Florida section.

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