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NCDS News

Newton Country Day Holds 24th Annual Science and Engineering Fair
Girls in Grades 7 and 8, and participating Upper School students in Independent Research, presented their projects to over 60 judges. Both individual and group projects were exhibited. Seventh grade students focused their research on life science, while eighth grade girls presented on engineering. The judging panel was made up of members of the math and science community including Newton Country Day parents, alumnae, and teachers.

Grade 7
For their projects, Grade 7 girls followed the scientific method to complete experiments that involve biology, life, consumer, and general sciences. First place was awarded to M. Hickey ’24 and A. Tsanotelis ’24 for their project “Too Hot To Handle, Too Cold to Hold.” The girls tested five water bottles at various price points and analyzed how well they retained the temperature of the liquid.
 
Second place went to T. Parsons ’24 and N. Pearl ’24 for their project, “Preference of a “Pill Bug.” The girls researched and tested how pill bugs react to organic and non-organic food sources and if they have a preference.
 
Third place was awarded to E. Prucher ’24 and C. White ’24 for “What will the pill bugs call home?" The girls sought to answer the question of whether pill bugs would prefer an acidic or neutral environment. They exposed them to choice chambers that had two sides: one with a neutral pH and one with a more acidic pH.  
 
Grade 8
Grade 8 girls used physics experiments and engineering challenges presented in the Physical Science curriculum in advanced levels individually or in a team. The emphasis on each project revolved around the evolution of a design through several iterations in an attempt to meet the project’s goal.
 
S. Chow ’23, J. Cressotti ’23, and D. Woolbert ’23 came away with first place for their project “Back on Track.” The girls designed a device that identifies bad posture with 99% accuracy using a companion data tracker program.
 
Second place was awarded to K. Busby ’23, L. Kennedy ’23, and R. Treacy ’23 for their project “It’s Written All Over Your Face.” Busby, Kennedy, and Treacy created an app that helps people with autism identify four different base emotions and practice responding appropriately to the emotions.
 
M. Iwicki ’23 and E. Nero ’23 placed third for their project “Extra Help for an Extra Chromosome 21.” Iwicki and Nero designed an app that will help children with Down Syndrome to learn letters, numbers and words.
 
The top five winners in the Middle School move on to the Massachusetts Region V Middle School Science & Engineering Fair on Saturday, April 6 at Regis College.
 
Upper School
E. Hartman ’19 won first place with her research on “Identifying EEG Correlates to Intentional Motor Movement.” Through a homemade Electroencephalography (EEG) Machine, Hartman put subjects through a series of EEG tests meant to mimic the action of typing on a computer keyboard. She evaluated the data to analyze how our brains process tasks like typing and grabbing. The research can be applied to the development of more advanced brain-machine-interfaces and myoelectric prosthetics.
 
K. McGauley ’20 was awarded second place with her project “The Parallel Between Rising Shark and Seal Populations off the Coast of Cape Cod.” McGauley reviewed and analyzed published literature in order to evaluate the cause for the increasing shark population off the coast of Cape Cod.
 
Third place went to M. de Luis ’21 for her research on “Isolating and Identifying Fungal Probiotics in Seaweed.” At Solarea Bio in Cambridge Mass., de Luis isolated and cultured fungal endophytes from seaweed samples. She compared the isolated DNA from her sea lettuce culture to sequences of known fungal strains.
 
At the fair, E. Kelly ’19 made a presentation on the protocol she developed for sectioning and observing live mouse ovarian tissue. Kelly and her research team hope that this new protocol will help them observe the fallopian tube interface and how the oviduct allows the transport of an egg from the ovary to the fallopian tube. Kelly will present her project at the upcoming Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on March 28 at Boston University.
 
Several Independent Research projects are registered for the Massachusetts Region V Science & Engineering Fair at Bridgewater State University on Saturday, March 16. Additionally, the first and second prize winners from our fair will move on to the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair at MIT on May 3.