Students from throughout the San Lorenzo Valley and Scotts Valley gathered March 18 at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium to hear the results of the Santa Cruz County Science Fair.
While many projects by local students took home a mighty haul of accolades from the previous week’s event in Watsonville — along with a date at the upcoming California State Science Fair — it was a duo of San Lorenzo Valley High School sophomores, Connor Lydon and Natalie Gallagher, who took home top honors.
Their project, titled “Vertical Meteorological Measurements in San Lorenzo Valley,” was chosen to participate in the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix.
Also recognized was Hunter Avilla, a Bonny Doon Elementary School student, whose “Is Dark Better in the Dark?” project was awarded first in the fourth- and fifth-grade age category.
Below is a listing of the awards won by local students.
San Lorenzo Valley High School
n Natalie Gallagher and Connor Lydon, first place, senior Earth Science division: “Vertical Meteorological Measurements in San Lorenzo Valley”*
n Adrian Miller and Michaela Sanchez, first place, senior Microbiology division: “Fecal Coliform: A Study of Water Contamination in the San Lorenzo River”
n Anna Maxwell and Adela Weigel, second place, senior Botany division: “Sudden Oak Death, Part II”
n Johann Prambs, second place, senior Environmental Sciences division: “Only in the Water”
n Mikayla Peterson and Lauren Smith, project of merit, senior Zoology division: “Bird Biodiversity: The Sequel”
n Terra Andrade and Brittany Venlet, project of merit, senior Earth Science division: “Seabright Beach Profiling”
Scotts Valley Middle School
n Rishi Chandiramani, second place, junior Cognitive Sciences division: “Do People Question Information Sources?” (Chandiramani was also recognized with a Broadcom Masters award.)
n Emma Schaefer-Whittall, second place, junior Zoology division: “What’s on the Menu?”
n Megan Gurer, third place, junior Physics and Astronomy division: “Light Benders”
Baymonte Middle School
n Eli Bjorklund and Parker Hite, first place, junior Environmental Engineering division: “Cactus Clean-up” (Bjorklund and Hite were also recognized with a Broadcom Masters award.)
Vine Hill Elementary School
n Joelle Andrews and Katelyn Branagan, third place, elementary Environmental Sciences division: “Is Carbon Dioxide Really Responsible for Global Warming?”
n Lillian Thorington, third place, elementary Zoology division, “Goldfish vs. Betta”
n Solange Charlet and Gabby Nedney, third place, elementary Product Science division: “Does Packaging Influence the Evaluation of what is in the Package?”
Brook Knoll Elementary School
n Madisyn Hein, third place, elementary Chemistry division: “What Makes Garlic Turn Blue-Green? Science in the Kitchen”
San Lorenzo Valley Elementary School
n Quinn Bourret, project of merit, elementary Mathematics and Software division: “How do you use Scratch?” (Bourret’s project was also recognized with a special award from The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.)
Boulder Creek Elementary School
n Ena Maxson, second place, elementary Earth Science division: “How Clouds Form”
n Megan Phillips and Maddy Solve, third place, elementary Microbiology division: “What Type of Water Has the Most Living Things in It?”
n Connor Nolan, project of merit, elementary Energy and Power division: “Battery Trials of Time”
Bonny Doon Elementary School
n Hunter Avilla, first place, elementary Medicine and Health division, “Is Dark Better in the Dark?”
n Maya Clarkson, first place, junior Chemistry division: “Coastal or Mountains”* (Clarkson’s project was also recognized with a special award from the Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society and with a Broadcom Masters award.)
n Benjamin Williams, third place, junior Zoology division: “Birds Versus Pterosaurs: A Battle for Survival”
* Indicates the project was selected for the statewide fair scheduled April 15 and 16 in Los Angeles.