Local students win top prizes at science fair

Courtesy photoAnna Du, left, and Heidi Siegler took home the grand prize and second-place prize respectively at the Massachusetts Middle School Science and Engineering Fair at UMass Lowell.

These kids are tops when it comes to science.

Anna Du and Heidi Siegler, middle school students at Andover School of Montessori, won the grand prize and second place prize at the Massachusetts Middle School Science and Engineering Fair.

The fair was held in May at UMass Lowell. The Andover school was the only Montessori school represented among the first- and second-place winners in the competition.

Anna's project, which investigated the aggregation of marine microplastics using a low-cost machine, earned her the grand prize. Heidi's project, called Boat Drag, earned her second place.

“This experience has taught me to believe in myself and that hard work really pays off,” Heidi said.

The two projects earned the girls nominations for Broadcom MASTERS, the nation's premier science and engineering competition. The competition accepts 30 students out of more than 2,500 applicants each year.

The nomination is Anna's second. She earned first place at the Middle School Science and Engineering Fair in 2018. Her ultimate goal is to inform more people of the negative effects microplastics have on the environment and oceans.

“In the future, I’d like to be an environmental engineer because I want to combine both something I love doing, which is engineering, with something that might be able to impact the world for the better," she said.

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