Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

June 6, 2013

West Middle shines at science fairs

The Andover Townsman

---- — West Middle School students have returned from the state Science and Engineering Fair with plenty to be proud of.

Two teams — the duos of Ved Ahuja and Andreas Steenbergen and also Eric You and Shawn Khetarpal — placed second at the fair, which was held Saturday, June 1 at Worcester Technical High School.

Steenbergen and Ahuja, who had won first place at the Regional Fair on May 4 at UMass Lowell, focused their project on the effect of wind turbine on electric output. You and Khetarpal highlighted the solar oven.

Brooke Lenes, who placed second at the Regional Fair, scored an honorable mention at the states for an individual project on roofing materials.

Based on the results of the regional and state fairs, Khetarpal and You, Ahuja and Steenbergen, and Lenes can apply to compete in the National Middle School Science and Engineering Fair.

Meanwhile, two teams — Andrew Kazmer and Faolon Curtin-Orsmond (graphene project) as well as Will Raphael and Jack Murray (solar-powered algae growth inhibitor) — and individual competitor Matthew Davidson (effect of drag on aerodynamics) all earned third-place finishes at the state competition.

Other students who competed at the May 4 regionals against 15 other middle schools from the area were individuals Aditi Kannan (energy consumption), Michael Kelly (solar phone charger) and Charlotte Guterman (designing a stronger flat roof) and the team of Ananda Kao and Jackie MaGinnis (solar-powered refrigerator).

West Middle’s alternates to the regionals were Meredith Stewart (water impurities and the Mpemba Effect), Kate Freeland (testing desalination methods), Kaamil Lokhandwala (waste decomposition), Michael Slattery and Owen Mosher (testing pesticides), Sophie Bardetti and Lindsay Williams (decomposing spoons) and Jason Yundt (maglev testing).

The students qualified for the regionals and states at the fifth annual West Middle School Science and Engineering Fair on April 10. The school fair featured 165 projects judged by 50 community members.

West Middle received a GEMS (Gelfand Endeavor in Massachusetts Schools) grant, allowing the teachers and students to use inquiry-based learning to expand their knowledge in science and engineering and fund the fair.