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Geoscience Earn Awards at GKCSEF

Olathe Seniors Earn Top Awards at Greater Kansas City Science Fair 

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Four Olathe Public Schools seniors earned top prize in the 70th Greater Kansas City (virtual) Science and Engineering Fair and will be awarded the opportunity to participate in the virtual Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in early May. All four Olathe Grand Award winners participate in 21st Century Academies at Olathe North High School.

Also, all five Pioneers in Science Awards given at the fair went to Olathe students. Eight division awards, for having the top score in that subject matter division, were awarded to Olathe students.

“Students in the Distinguished Scholars Science Academy and the Geoscience Academy conduct and submit authentic research to the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair,” said 21st Century Academies Coordinator Angela Epps. “The guidance by their teachers is excellent in their high expectations and research quality. The success of this year’s group of young scientists is phenomenal with all four Grand Award winners from the Olathe Public Schools.” 

Hundreds of fourth grade through senior high school students from across the metro Kansas City area participated and competed for nearly $7,000 in awards and honors. Only the best senior-level projects that meet rigorous requirements are named Grand Award winners.

Grand Awards:

  • Demetrius Bush, a Geoscience Academy student, The Impact of Various Liquids on the Mobility and Energy Absorption of a Rotating Solar Tracker, also won division, Pioneers in Science Award, Science City Maker Award, and Linda Hall Library Project Display Award
  • Andrew Paget, a Geoscience Academy student, A Comparison Between Merycoidedontodiea Skull Morphology and the Skull Morphology of Miniochoerous, also won division and Pioneers in Science Award
  • Khushi Kohli, a Distinguished Scholars student, Dynamics of Brain Metastasis in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, also won division, Pioneers in Science Award, and Society of Women Engineers Award
  • Samuel Liu, a Distinguished Scholars student, The Influence of Conductivity and Mechanical Properties on the Neurogenic Differentiation of Dental Pulp Stem Cells, also won the division, Pioneers in Science Award, and ASM Materials Education Foundation Award

Twenty-seven other students from Olathe North earned high honors at the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair.

Gold Level Awards:

  • Madelynn Burnett, The Effects of Phosphates in Laundry Detergents on Plant Growth, also was runner up for an award from the Society of American Military Engineers
  • Isabella Ceruzzi, Using Seismic Data to Measure the Earth’s Core, also won U.S. Air Force Award
  • Arthur Conley, The Effect of Green Algae on Bluegill Weight Gain
  • Noah Cuejilo, The Effect of Acid Rain on Soybean Germination, also won division
  • Jacob Hite, The Effect of Naproxen in Runoff on Coral Growth, also won the United States Association of International Development award
  • Alexander Lanter, The Relationship Between Peak Ground Acceleration and Time of Day as a Result of a Railroad
  • Waldo Margheim, Impact of Green Algae on Dissolved Ash Filtration in Freshwater Sources, also won the NASA Earth System Science award
  • Emma Mensen, The Effect of pH on Phytoplankton Population, also division winner
  • Anna Miller, The Effects of Population Density and Moon Phases on Light Pollution, also won the Science City Ad Astra Award and Linda Hall Library Project Display Award
  • Makaila Nouth-Chea, The Effectiveness of Commercial Water Filters on the Removal of Lead, Copper, Cadmium from Water Supplies, also won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize
  • Wade Boohar, Mood Identification by Facial Speckle Correlation, also won Linda Hall Library Project Display Award
  • Savindu Buluwana, Anthropause and the Effects of Lockdown on the Environment, also won Linda Hall Library Project Display Award
  • Arjun Garapaty, Design of a Novel Inhibitor for the Cdc14 Enzyme in Fusarium Oxysporum, also won division, Pioneers in Science Award, Linda Hall Library-Shipman Award, and Regeneron Biomed Award
  • Sara Holscher, Frequency of Pullover Rates of Different Car Types in the Kansas City Area, also won Society of Women Engineers Award
  • Caleb Lim, computer Vision for Sports Analysis
  • Tasmin Sangha, Hybrid Quantum Mechanics Methods with Electron Embedding for Chemical Reactions, also won the division
  • Austin Shoemaker, The Effect of Temperature on the Shock-Absorbing Properties of the Industrial Polymer D30, also runner-up for the ASM Materials Education Foundation Award

Silver Level Awards:

  • Samantha Flynn, The Effects of Motor Boats on the Water Quality of Fresh Water Lakes, also won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize
  • Evan Harrison, The Effect of Water Temperature on Creek Organisms
  • Isabel Orr, The Impact of Blue Plating Sponges on Biodiversity in a Marine Environment
  • Elizabeth Schuler, The Effectiveness of Turkey Tail Fungus in Filtering Estradiol from Water
  • Tegan Von Der Heyde, The Effect of Mycorrhizal in Addition to Fertilizer on Radish Growth Rate
  • Safa Ansari, Developing a pH Indicator for Skin Care Products
  • Gurekpal Bhullar, Development of an API That Monitors Engagement in an Online Chat Tool
  • Keegan Fischer, The Effect of Temperature on Magnetic Field Strength
  • Amrith Samuel, Mouse-INtraDuctal (MIND: An Invivo Model to Recapitulate the Full Spectrum of Human DCIS Pathology to Cancer Research

Bronze Level Awards

  • Jacob Layman, The Impact of Water Quality on Biodiversity in Freshwater Systems, also won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize

Middle School Award:

  • Mahi Kohli of California Trail Middle School, The Anatomy of an Earworm: What Makes a Song Catchy?, earned first place in the Computational Science, Bioinformatics and Math junior division, and the Broadcom Education Foundation coding with Commitment Award

In addition to dozens of student honors, Geoscience Academy instructor Marsha Skoczek received the Howard Gadberry Educator Award. This honor recognizes a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher who shows outstanding effort in motivating students to explore science. Skoczek will receive $1,000 and a plaque.

“I am so honored to be recognized by the Greater Kansas City Science and Engineering Fair as well as the Gadberry family,” said Skoczek about her honor. “I believe the science fair provides my students with an opportunity to develop and carry out their own research which means learning problem-solving and time-management skills as well as resilience and perseverance when things don’t go as planned. They gain real-life skills that will help them no matter what field they decide to go into. I’m so proud of all the hard work that my students have put into their projects this year.”

“Congratulations to our students! I know this takes a great amount of time, effort, dedication and hard work in preparing for the Greater Kansas City Science Fair,” said district science coordinator Julie Miller. “Best wishes to the students who are moving on to the International Science and Engineering Fair.”