Saxons Shine in Regional Science Fair

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Langley junior Conor Maddry receiving one of the ten Grand Prize awards at the Fairfax County Regional Science Fair alongside assistant principal, Mr. Meier and FCPS Superintendent, Dr. Garza.

Nik Popli, Sports Correspondent

Saxons shined in every category at the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair held at Robinson Secondary School from March 14-16. All twenty Langley high school projects received award certificates.  Junior Conor Maddry wowed the judges with his Pneumatic Electromyographic Exoskeleton receiving the most organizational awards in the entire fair which included cash prizes in addition to being selected both a First Place and a Grand Prize winner in the Electrical & Mechanical Engineering category.  Maddry will now compete in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, CA from May 11-16 along with fellow Grand Prize winner, Senior Jason Cui, who was presented with a special $2000 college scholarship award from Northrop Grumman, sponsors of the fair. Cui’s project, Optimized Droplet-Based Microfluidics Screening, also received First Place in the Materials & Bioengineering category. The ten Grand Prize winners at the Regional County Fair will receive an all expense paid trip to LA to represent Fairfax County at Intel ISEF.

Langley’s First Place winners are eligible to compete at the Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair on March 28-29 at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington. First place winners at the state fair then advance to the ISEF competition in LA as well. First place teams of juniors Neel Gupta and Tyler Minushkin were recognized in the Plant Sciences category; Ali Burk, Meredith Hargroves and Fiona Meir in Medicine & Health; and Emaad Paracha and Andrew Ton in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering. Winning first place for individual projects were juniors Ethan Zell in Microbiology and Eryney Marrogi in Cellular & Molecular Biology; sophomore, Jonathan Grow in Energy & Transportation, and freshmen PJ Smith in Chemistry, and Brendan Lohmar and Sara Scherping in Environmental Analysis. Scherping was also a Grand Prize nominee for her project, What’s on Your Apple?

Saxons awarded Second Place certificates in their categories were freshman Nik Popli in Microbiology; juniors Rachel Kim in Medicine & Health; Sahib Sohal in Biochemistry; and the team of Olga Kukudzhanova and Veda Nagubandi in Physics & Astronomy.  The junior team of Nora Dell and Shailly Shah was awarded Third Place in Plant Sciences along with freshman Ronna Tahan. Honorable Mention awards were given to sophomore Ananya Hegde in Chemistry and the junior team of Rachel Ennis and Caroline Potteiger in Physics & Astronomy. Langley students won numerous organizational and professional awards recognizing their innovative talents and forward thinking in science. The full list of winners is at www.fcps.edu/is/science/sciencefair/winners.

FCPS Superintendent, Dr. Karen Garza, school board members and assistant superintendents of each county cluster were in attendance to present all first place and grand prize winners with awards. Clearly, the student’s favorite presenter was At- Large school board member, Ryan McElveen, a former Regional science fair winner himself, who received the loudest applause in the gymnasium.  He graciously posed for pictures with participants and continued to tweet during the ceremony. Assistant Principal Meier was present to congratulate Langley HS student participants along with science teachers Mary Landis, Betsy Jones, Sarah Ell and Jeromy Gilman.