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Independent in Thought

Germantown Academy's Middle School hosted the annual 8th Grade Science Research Open House and Awards Ceremony on Monday, December 18. The annual event was the culmination of the 8th Grade's three-and-a-half months long independent science research project.

"The 2017 Germantown Academy Middle School Science fair was another success," said Middle School Science Department Head Cory Eklund. "We had great judges help assess our 104 Middle School projects. Our students did a great job of asking interesting questions, designing strong experiments, and analyzing their results. I am proud of the diverse topics and interests and how our students conducted themselves through this process. We awarded 44 projects and will have students represent GA at the Montgomery County Science Research Competition in March 2018."

At GA, students are given a thorough understanding of what science research is throughout the three-year science program, starting with a solid foundation in sixth grade.

"You can't just step into this project and produce some of the work you've seen," said Middle School Science Teacher Jim DiFranco. "It starts in sixth grade, understanding the fundamentals, the basics of how to even design an experiment. How do you come up with variables? How do you change variables? How do you control variables? What's a control group? All that starts in sixth grade with several projects and activities targeting science skills. That work is further developed in seventh grade and culminates in students initial experience with conducting their own independent research project. But everything we're doing in class, projects and activities, is getting students to think and act more like scientists."

Thank you to all those who volunteered their time to judge this year's competition!

CategoryPlaceNameProject Title
Biochemistry1st PlaceRiya P. '22Fruits vs. veggies: nutrients plenty
Botany1st PlaceChristine M. '22Can plants develop a "memory"?
Botany2nd PlaceChloe B. '22The effect of light color on indoor microgreen growth
Chemistry1st PlaceClara A. '22The effect of mordant and fiber type on color saturation
Chemistry2nd PlaceEmily L. '22Sugarless sugar cookies
Chemistry3rd PlaceSofia E. '22What is the best way to store oil paint?
ChemistryHonorable MentionJanel B. '22Leaching lead from pottery
ChemistryHonorable MentionHenry M. '22How does your suit hold up?
Computer Science1st PlacePerry F. '22What is the most secure hashing algorithm?
Earth & Science1st PlacePatrick T. '22The effect of shoreline structures on erosion
Engineering1st PlaceSangeetha B. '22How home construction materials weaken wireless signal
Engineering2nd PlaceCaitlin B. '22The distraction contraption
Engineering2nd PlaceSeth R. '22Wind and roof pitches
Engineering3rd PlaceJake H. '22Electromagnetic Train
EngineeringHonorable MentionHenry G. '22Got tilt? The next generation of workstations.
Environmental Science1st PlaceBrendan P. '22How the Preserve's location affects the creek's water quality
Environmental Science2nd PlaceMoforehan A. '22The effect of paint colors on indoor temperature of houses
Environmental Science3rd PlaceSydney C. '22Using a digital camera to measure skyglow
Mathematics1st PlaceMichael von Z. '22Goal scoring angles
Medicine & Health1st PlaceJuliana G. '22The effect of charcoal on stained teeth
Medicine & Health2nd PlaceJack M. '22Swim shampoo brands
Medicine & Heath3rd PlaceSaanvi B. '22Radiation evaluation
Medicine & Health3rd PlaceGabby W. '22Evaluation of the teeth whitening effectiveness of different brands of teeth whitening mouthwashes
Medicine & HealthHonorable MentionAnnabel H. '22How melatonin and caffeine affect heart rate
Microbiology1st PlaceBlythe B. '22Antibiotic potency
Microbiology2nd PlaceJeffrey C. '22Which acne medications work best?
Microbiology2nd PlaceWalker G. '22The effect of water bottle material on bacteria growth
Microbiology3rd PlaceJason W. '22Which salad bar has the cleanest salad leaves?
MicrobiologyHonorable MentionCole P. '22The effect of cleaners on bacteria
MicrobiologyHonorable MentionNicole R. '22Toilet water toothbrushes
Physics1st PlaceJoseph C. '22What material and brand of baseball bat has more pop, distance and exit velocity?
Physics2nd PlaceAlex C. '22Do substances in a baseball bat really help
Physics3rd PlaceJack L. '22Soccer ball brand and air pressure
PhysicsHonorable MentionMatthew S. '22Football gloves and their adhesive abilities
PhysicsHonorable MentionMatteo S. '22Distance effecting force, spin, and accuracy
Zoology1st PlaceWill C. '22What is the effect of sound frequencies on the movement of aquatic blackworms
ZoologyHonorable MentionQuinn S. '22Water temperature and Daphnia heart rate
Consumer Science1st PlaceSam I. '22Strengths of different fishing lines
Consumer Science1st PlaceLyndsea L. '22Determining durability of different brands and types of nail polish
Consumer Science2nd PlaceJack G. '22What iPhone case works the best?
Consumer Science3rd PlaceGrace G. '22Curly hair conditioner brands
Consumer Science3rd PlaceLucy H. '22Foggy goggles
Consumer ScienceHonorable MentionPaige B. '22How does fabric softener affect the stretch of different fabrics?
Consumer ScienceHonorable MentionOlivia M. '22The difference between expensive and inexpensive waterproof mascaras