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Young Scientists Impress Judges

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Locust Valley Intermediate School and Locust Valley Middle School students participated in the first virtual science fairs hosted by their respective Parents’ Councils. Brainstorming ideas, writing hypotheses, running experiments and reporting the results were all part of the fun.

Middle school students worked for months preparing video presentations in which they demonstrated their findings and research process for a panel of judges. The projects submitted covered a wide variety of scientific disciplines, and all of the participants displayed deep understanding of the scientific method. In the end, however, three projects stood out to the judges.

Third place went to eighth grader Henry Kappel-Skopek for his project on the impact of playing video games on one’s heart rate.

Second place went to sixth grader Liam Reilly. Liam decided to innovate rather than investigate, building a balloon-powered model car to demonstrate the power of balloon propulsion.

Three talented seventh graders took the first-place prize for their group entry. Justin Kwok, Marcus Matinez and Rowand Shenoy investigated auditory cortex processing. The research team gave four different reading comprehension exercises to willing participants to see how the participants would perform with and without distractions. One particular aspect of the project that impressed judges was the potential that this project has for future research. The team took the time to outline how they may expand this project in the future, a truly underappreciated aspect of the scientific method.

At Locust Valley Intermediate School, students also worked diligently to conduct experiments and create videos showcasing their findings. Students chose projects that interested them, therefore enjoying the process. First-, second- and third-place winners were chosen in each grade, judged by a panel that included the high school science research students.

Fifth grader Kevin O’Mahony took first place for his experiment to determine whether his mother should allow his dog to sleep in his bed. Using a variety of tools and samples, he set out to discover if his dog had bacteria that could transfer to his bed.

Fourth grader Lily Thompson took first place for her project which required volunteers to play the game Simon under a variety of conditions. Lily wanted to determine if these conditions affected how well they played the game.

Third grader Corniglia Baran based her first-place experiment on one of her favorite things – ice cream. She set out to discover the effects of salt on the melting of ice cream. She came up with the idea based on the use of salt during snowstorms.

Congratulations to all of the winners!



Locust Valley Intermediate School Grade 3:
First Place – Corniglia Baran: “Ice Cream...Don’t Melt on Me!”

Second Place – Charlize Pierro: “Blow Up Balloons”

Third-Place Tie – Liam Hoban: “Whatever Floats Your Boat”; Alison Kelly: “Magnetic Shields”

Locust Valley Intermediate School Grade 4:
First Place – Lily Thompson: “Simon Says: Test Your Brain”

Second Place – Jackson Spurchise: “How Fast Can You React?”

Third Place – Tristan Amparo: “What Set of Properties Make the Best Slime?”

Locust Valley Intermediate School Grade 5:
First Place – Kevin O’Mahony: “Should My Mom Let My Dog Sleep in My Bed?”

Second Place – Logan Moran: “Kick it! How Does Where You Kick the Ball Determine the Distance and the Speed?”

Third Place – Marwa Erwin: “Sound Pollution”