An eleventh grade student at Hopewell Valley Central High School took the top prize this week at the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF) at Rider University. The event, which has been held for more than 50 years, is run by the Mercer Science and Engineering Club and is open to Mercer County students in grades 4 through 12.
Sonja Michaluk, an 11th grade student at Hopewell Valley Central High School received top awards and recognitions for “A Novel Method of Monitoring the Health of our Global Fresh Water Supply using DNA Barcoding of Chironomidae (Diptera)”, which included the Mercer Science and Engineering Fair Grand Prize — an award that also includes an all-expense paid trip to compete at the global level at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. This year, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, in which high school students from over 75 countries compete, will be held in Phoenix, AZ.
Additional awards that Sonja received include:
- Rider University Award for Most Superior Senior Project;
- The Office of Naval Research Naval Science Award;
- Stockholm Junior Water Prize Regional Award;
- New Jersey Water Environment Association (one of five people statewide who will be recognized at the annual conference in Atlantic City);
- Theobald Smith Society (branch of the American Society for Microbiology) First Place Award;
- Mercer Science and Engineering Fair First Place Award for Environmental Science and Engineering;
- Association for Women Geoscientists Student Award for Geoscience Excellence;
- Friends of the Abbott Marshlands Outstanding Wetlands Project Award; and
- Intel International Science and Engineering Fair 2019 Finalist.
Hopewell Valley Regional School District had two more big winners:
Charlotte Michaluk, a 7th grade student at Timberlane Middle School, received five awards for “Saving Sinking Ships: Mitigating the Risk of Bulk Cargo Liquefaction” — Rider University Award for Most Superior Junior Project; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory First Place Award in Engineering and Science for Challenging Problem Solving and Research; The Office of Naval Research Science Award; Mercer Science and Engineering Fair Superior Achievement Award in General Science – First Place; and a nomination to compete in 2019 Broadcom MASTERS
Lucas Zapata-Sanin, a 7th grader at Timberlane Middle School, received five awards for “Developing and testing a color identification system for people who have difficulty identifying colors” – Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Runner Up in Engineering and Science for Challenging Problem Solving and Research; The Office of Naval Research Science Award; The Lemelson Early Inventor Prize; Mercer Science and Engineering Fair Outstanding Achievement in General Science – Second Place; and a nomination to compete in 2019 Broadcom MASTERS.
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