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Science students recognized

Several Skaneateles Central Schools students competed last weekend at the 37th Annual Central New York Science and Engineering Fair. The Syracuse Museum of Science and Technology (MOST) hosted the event at the SRC arena at Onondaga Community College on Sunday March 20, 2016. Over 200 public, private and home-schooled students in the 11-county central New York area exhibited their work.
Three Skaneateles High School students competed in the senior division (grades 9-12) of the event: Calvin Blackwell, Alex Van Riper and Alexander Wulff. Calvin Blackwell earned highest honors and was chosen to attend the New York State Science Congress in June for his project entitled The Comparisons of Mercury Concentrations in Fish in Fort Pond, Big Moose Lake and West Caroga Lake. He also won several awards: The Stockholm Water Prize, NASA Earth Systems Science Award and the American Meteorological Society Award.
Junior Alexander Van Riper earned high honors for his project called Effects of Calcium Materials in the Neutralization of Soils Acidified by Acid Rain. He also won two awards: American Chemical Society Award and American Meteorological Society Award.
This was junior Alexander Wulff’s fifth year competing at this regional science fair. He earned highest honors for his project: CastMinder: Embedded Smart Sensors and Companion Software to Detect the Onset of Conditions Associated with Cast Complications. His was one of two projects awarded the grand prize, an opportunity to compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, to be held in Phoenix, Arizona in May.  He also took home the Lockheed Martin Science and Technology award.
Calvin Blackwell and Alexander Van Riper worked under the supervision of Dr. Charles Driscoll, Syracuse University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering. Alexander Wulff received feedback on his project from engineering teacher Matthew Slauson.
Two Skaneateles Middle School students also displayed projects at the event. Eighth grader Hannah Boyer won High Honors for her project Brown is the New Green: Utilizing MFC’s to Convert Organic Matter into Energy. She also won several awards: the SUNY ESF Best Environmental Science Project Award, Honeywell Summer Science Week at the MOST Scholarship, and Broadcom MASTERS Award. Seventh grader Nicolas Galbato also presented a project called The Watched Pot: Is There a Faster Way to Boil Water?.
Students formally presented their posters to several of over 100 volunteer judges in the morning of the daylong event. In the afternoon, the exhibit floor was open to the general public and the students stood by their projects and answered questions. While the results of the judging were being tabulated, Syracuse University professor Mark Povinelli gave a keynote speech titled Play, Passion, Purpose and Practice. Finally, TACNY Vice President Diane Plumley was the master of ceremonies for the awards. It was a long day, but the Skaneateles team was pleased with their success and inspired by meeting other student scientists. All Skaneateles Central School students in grades 4-12 are eligible to enter - and encouraged to visit - the annual regional science fair.  Information about the event is posted year-round on the MOST web site:

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Lynda Quick
45 East Elizabeth Street
Skaneateles, NY 13152