The St. Louis Science Fair Awards were recently announced and Middle Schoolers have a lot to celebrate! Check out the Science Fair video overviews from 5th through 8th grades as well as the list of ribbons and awards earned by our MICDS Rams. Read on to learn from the MICDS participants directly about what they did for their projects and about the process of participating in the Science Fair this year.
A big thank you to Ms. Michelle Hrastich, Middle School Science Teacher, for guiding our 2021 Science Fair participants to make the experience so seamless!
- Ric Jain ’25 – Blue Ribbon, St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society Award, Bayer Outstanding Middle School Scientist Award, Broadcom MASTERS Certificate
- Arjun Puri ’25 – Blue Ribbon
- Yash Malhotra ’25 – Red Ribbon
- Saivi Gadi ’25 – Blue Ribbon
- Aniket Joshi ’25 – Blue Ribbon
- Abhinav Katyal ’25 – Blue Ribbon, The Lemelson Early Inventor Prize
- Arjav Jain ’26 – Red Ribbon
- Yusuf Zayed ’26 – Blue Ribbon, East Central District/Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri Inc. Award
- Isha Ahuja ’27 – Blue Ribbon
- Kaviya Senthilkumar ’27 – Blue Ribbon, Broadcom MASTERS Certificate
- Siva Ram ’27 – Red Ribbon
- Maahi Saini ’27 – Blue Ribbon
- Priyasha Munshi ’28 – Red Ribbon
- Samuel Muthuraj ’28 – Red Ribbon
Science Fair Projects & Recaps from Students:
Ric Jain Examines Achilles Tendon Tears
“My Science Fair project was about Achilles tendon tears. I tried to find exercises for the Achilles tendon that can be done easily and can help increase Achilles tendon flexibility; that way, you have a lesser chance of tearing it. Tearing your Achilles is one of the worst sports injuries ever. So, I researched to find the best exercise and the proper amount of time you should take per rep when doing these exercises. I then got 10 of my classmates to test these exercises, and I was able to measure how flexible their tendons were before and after the exercises. This data helped to conclude my findings.
“This was my first time doing the Science Fair in about four or five years, but this year was definitely different. We had to upload a slideshow and have a virtual logbook. The hardest part was that our Slides were limited to 10, including the title slide. Normally, if you were presenting with a poster board, you would be able to fit 15-20 slides on it. I had to go from 35 down to 10 slides.
Arjun Puri Evaluates Side Effects After 1st and 2nd Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine
“My project was about the side effects experienced by adults after receiving the first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. I created a survey and sent it to participants in my study in order to find out what side effects were experienced and the severity of these side effects. Based on my data, I created graphs and analyzed them to come to a conclusion, answering my original question: Do subjects experience more adverse effects after receiving the first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine?
“The process for participating in the Science Fair was very good this year. Mrs. Hrastich (who was helping run the MICDS Fair) was always approachable and helpful whenever I had questions. The final submission process for our projects was also very organized and the directions were very clear on how to do so.”
Yash Malhotra Observes Daylight Saving Time Preparation
“For my Science Fair project this year, I chose to do an observational project. I explored if adults prepare themselves and/or their children for the Daylight Saving Time change and if so, how they prepare. With the help of my Science Fair teacher Mrs. Hrastich, I sent out a survey to all of the faculty and staff at MICDS and received about 60 responses. I then made graphs and charts to share my findings that only 25% of adults prepared for the time change and 27.6% of adults prepared their kids for the ‘loss’ of one hour of the night. This year, everyone had to submit an online project, but luckily this was not something new to me because I have done an E-Fair project every year in the past. Participating in the Science Fair is a great experience because it allows me to learn about something that interests me in a fun, organized way. Thank you to Mrs. Hrastich for her guidance!”
Saivi Gadi Measures Impact on Electronic Waste Educational Module
“This year, for my Science Fair project, I did a social experiment. I tested if students in 8th grade were exposed to an educational module about electronic waste, they would become more aware of the effects of e-waste and understand what they can do about the problem.
“I asked the students in my grade questions about their knowledge on e-waste. I then created an educational module that educated students about the e-waste problem and what we can do about it as a community. After presenting the educational module, I was able to organize an e-waste collection drive at MICDS with the help of many teachers. Many items such as laptops, desktops, tablets, and even a hairdryer were collected. Finally, I sent out a final survey to see if students had improved in the knowledge of e-waste and had understood what they can do with their e-waste. I found that yes, the educational module did help. There was a significant increase in correct answers on the second survey!”
For the full story on Saivi’s e-waste collection drive, check out this previous story!
Abhinav Katyal Invents Reusable, COVID-19-Safe Bed
“My Science Fair project was an invention. I had noticed during the start of the pandemic that there were bed shortages everywhere. Even now, there are still some shortages in countries like India, which are going through a tough time. I also noticed that in places like migrant detention centers, children are sleeping on the floor. I felt like I should at least try and make something that would help these people. So for my Science Fair project, with my problem identified, I decided to make a bed that was reusable, cost-effective, easy to transport, and COVID-19 safe.
“COVID-19 only lasts on cardboard for 24 hours, so I saw this as the best material to use. With housing foam as a backing, I was able to build a bed that could support up to 170 pounds, a person of up to 6 feet, 5 inches. This bed has storage and is easy to move around.
“My first prototype had three supports, two end supports and one main support in the middle of the bed. I saw what needed to be changed and then made improvements in a second prototype. The second prototype was stronger and had many more features like a removable mattress frame since the mattress frame foam was not recyclable and a sandbag weight system in the supports to weigh everything down (making sure the bed would be stable). Also, the second prototype had the same mattress frame, but the support system was a bit stronger with five supports instead of three.
“This year was quite different than most of the years I have done the Science Fair. It was all virtual, but there were some good extensions added to the Science Fair. For example, I noticed that there were new project categories and a lot more guidance on what to do. Despite all this, I still am looking forward to completing a physical project. Normally, you would get a Science Fair presentation board to present and have your logbook in a binder. This year, my project was on PowerPoint and my logbook was a Word document, so it was quite the difference.”
Arjav Jain Measures the Time of Day's Impact on Body Temperature
“My project was an investigation on how the time of day can affect body temperature. The trials were executed by taking me and a test subject’s temperature every hour, recording them, and compiling and analyzing them in a graph, shown in the picture below.
“The process for participating and submitting work operated by sending the presentation in the form of a PowerPoint, submitting a log, and attaching the safety form to the log. The presentation had to be submitted with at least 10 slides, fitting into different categories such as background research, process, and reflections, as well as a bibliography for research.
“One thing to know is that it was incredibly difficult to execute this project because the field I was working in was not experimented on often, and there have been almost no in-depth studies. This project was also difficult to execute because it was difficult to fit the temperature testings into both my and my subject’s schedules.”
Isha Ahuja Uses Potatoes to Light Up LED Bulbs
“My science project was called The Electric Potato Experiment. This was an experiment to see how many potatoes it would take to light up an LED bulb. I tested this with two different potatoes, sweet potatoes and rustic potatoes. My experiment ended up by having an average of four sweet potatoes light up an LED bulb. For the rustic potato, it had an average of 5 potatoes to light up an LED bulb.”
Kaviya Senthilkumar Tests Windmill Effectiveness
“My science project was on windmill electricity and it was an experiment to find out if a three-bladed propeller would produce more electricity than a four-bladed propeller. The four-bladed propeller actually produced more electricity.”
Siva Ram Automates Cleaning
“My science project was something called the MoM-vac and it was created to clean things automatically. Participating in the Science Fair was really fun because I learned a lot of coding and robotics skills that I would have not known without me doing this.”
Maahi Saini Explored if People Want to Get the COVID-19 Vaccine or Not
“For my project, I wondered if people wanted to take the COVID-19 vaccine or not. It was a very, very fun project and I enjoyed working on it! Everything about it was challenging but fun! I also encourage everyone to consider participating in the Science Fair next year! It’s very fun!”
Priyasha Munshi Sees How Dogs React to Different Colors
“The name of my project was ‘How do different colors affect my dog’s behavior?’ The purpose of my project was to understand the behavior and body language of the dog for different types of colors.
“The behaviors observed were:
- Dog wagging its tail
- Moving the ear position
- Color selected among different colored objects
“I observed that my dog selected blue- and yellow-colored toys more than the pink-colored toy and was happy to see toys.”