Island scientists young and old converged at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School on Saturday to hear student presentations at the 25th annual science and engineering fair.

Trifold posterboards lined tables at the cafeteria as judges, parents, teachers and visitors perused the projects ranging from measuring bacterial growth to developing a new formula for chapstick.

Sustainability was a major priority for students this year, some of whom worked to develop new, environmentally friendly materials.

Elliot Stead and David Bouck — Mark Alan Lovewell

“The catalyst for my project was, human population keeps on growing but the amount of fertile soil on the earth is not increasing,” said Shevaun Brown of his project, titled Best Peat Free Seed Soil Starter For Soil Blocks.

Other projects took to the skies. Elliot Stead programed a small flight computer for a backyard rocket.

“The range of topics is just amazing,” said Nicola Blake, one of 24 judges participating in the fair this year.  “The quality is really impressive.”

Ellie Tomkins and Holden Brew. — Mark Alan Lovewell

While freshmen and sophomores competed in the investigative and engineering project categories on one side of the cafeteria, upperclassmen competed in a new miniature wind turbine competition on the other.

“We had to build a wind turbine using a motor and PVC, and we had to make our own blades,” said Annabelle Metell, one of the competitors.

Students tested their creations in a makeshift wind tunnel powered by six fans. Competitors placed their turbines into the tunnel, hooked up the motors to a computer with alligator clips, and measured the electrical output as the fans began to whir.

Kyle Levy studying the effect of bacterial growth. — Mark Alan Lovewell

After the judges had tallied up their results, fair organizers and science teachers Anna Cotton and Natalie Munn gathered the attendees to announce the results.

“It’s amazing to have this opportunity to have students create these incredible projects and share them with an unbelievable community of judges from all over the Island,” Ms. Cotton said to the crowd.

Ms. Cotton also thanked the many sponsors who had contributed to the event, including Tisbury Waterways Inc, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, Vineyard Power, Marine & Palaeobiological Research Institute, Island Grown Initiative, MV Surfcasters, Lagoon Pond Association, Vineyard Conservation Society, the Munn Family, Sweet Bites Bakery, MV Shellfish Group, Vineyard Conservation Society, Humphrey’s Bakery and the Friends of Sengekontacket.

“This community is always so incredible, and thank you all for coming,” she said.


Overall Winner:
Molly Crawford

Investigative Category:
1. Kyle Levy
2. Talia Young and Hydee Turner
3. Jonah Mafcher

Engineering Category:
1. Elliot Stead
2. Shevaun Brown
3. Alison Gatchell

Special Awards:

Technology Award; Jacksun Engler, Syius Rivera and Kaua Deassis
Chemistry Award; Hanna McCormick and Grazina Biskis
Physics Award; Senique Wilson, Sawyer Shaeffer
Biology Award; Holden Graczykowski, Sophia Alves
MV Shellfish Group Award; Elaina Cacchiotti and Madison Mello
Lagoon Pond Association Award; Aedan Coogan
Sustainibility Award; Ella Ehrman and Grace Bennett-Rock
MV Surfcasters Award: Kyle Levy
Marine Paleobiological Research Institute Award; Samilly Guimaraes and Julia Caldwell
Island Grown Initiative Award; Shevaun Brown, Emse Colon and Sydney Brugiere
Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation Award; Talia Young and Hydee Turner

Wind Turbine Awards

Direct Drive Category:
1. Josh Salop and Broden Vincent
2. Annabell Metell
3. Camille Brand and Sophia Arroyo

Geared Turbine Category:
1. Quinlan Slavin, Kyle Levy and Vytas Alexander
2. Maia Donnelly, Joao Simoes, Reese McCracken and Kaitlin Fingado