SPRINGFIELD — When a Pope Francis student from Russell won the grand prize award at the Area IV Science Fair at Western New England University on March ten, Westfield Higher College students also fared incredibly nicely, with 1 initially spot award, 1 second spot, and six third spot winners.

The Sanofi Specialty Grand Prize Award went to Elizabeth Hanechak of Russell, a sophomore at Pope Francis Preparatory College in Springfield. Hanechak’s biochemistry project, “The Deletion of a Disulfide Bridge by means of Web site-Director Mutagenesis to Adapt Cutinase to the Biodegradation of Polyethylene Terephthalate,” earned her a slot in the International Science and Engineering Fair at Dallas, Texas, in May possibly.

Placing her project in plain English, Hanechak explained that she was mainly focused on attempting to uncover a sensible answer to the plastic disposal trouble. She stated recycling does not truly perform, simply because significantly less than four% of the 51 million tons of plastic in the U.S. gets recycled annually. Incineration also does not perform, as it is nicely identified that burning plastic releases toxic chemical compounds. Hanechak stated biodegradation utilizes naturally occurring microorganisms to degrade the plastic, but is incredibly slow and requires a extended time, generating that answer also impractical.

“My analysis was attempting to enhance an enzyme shown to degrade plastic, to make it perform more quickly and much more effectively,” she stated, adding that the experiment went quite nicely, “beyond what I was hoping for — my mutations degraded the samples 55% far better than [others]. One particular degraded an complete plastic sample inside 24 hours.”

Hanechak stated considering that Pope Francis does not have a higher college science fair, she did the analysis on her personal, reading scientific journals for months prior to coming up with the concept for the analysis proposal. She worked with a microbiology professor at Westfield State University on the project as an independent analysis student, funded by her mother, she stated.

Hanechak stated Pope Francis has been incredibly supportive, providing her access to most scientific journals, and time off to go to the lab. They will also give her a week off to go to the International Science Fair in Dallas.

“Science is my every thing,” Hanechak stated. Relating to the plastic trouble, she stated, “It’s truly scary to feel about in the future, but it is thrilling to see individuals operating on it. It offers you new hope, that all is not lost.”

Earning a initially spot award in biology was Westfield Higher College junior Milana Camilleri with a reprise of her award-winning project from final year’s science fair on “Testing the Effectiveness of Celebrity-Endorsed vs. Dermatologist-Authorized Facial Cleansers (Aspect two).”

For Camilleri, exposing misleading advertising and marketing was as significant as rating the effectiveness of facial cleaners. In the description of her project, she writes: “The advertising and marketing method of celebrity-endorsement is becoming much more prominent in society, enabling for goods like facial cleansers to be bought at rates by customers, unaware of their value inflation or effectiveness. They think that working with these celebrity-endorsed goods will reflect their socially accepted and appealing capabilities onto themselves. This experiment strives to examine celebrity-endorsed and dermatologist-authorized facial cleansers when eliminating K-12 E. coli. This information will eradicate the prospective misinformation behind glorified facial goods when delivering the most price-effective and strongest cleanser against acne bacteria (Propionibacteriumria).”

Camilleri won a National Geographic “That’s Geography” award for her project at final year’s science fair, and continued to discover the exact same subject this year.

“I’ve generally had an interest in math and biology, which sparked my interest in medicine,” stated Camilleri, who is beginning to tour potential colleges and finalizing her list primarily based on schools with the most effective pre-med and “BS-MD” applications — tracks that lead straight into health-related college from undergraduate classes.

Camilleri stated portion of what drew her to this project was wanting to discover a distinct health-related specialty, which could aid her decide on a study and profession path inside medicine.

“The 1 I explored [last year] is dermatology primarily based,” she stated. In this year’s continuation project, she integrated two new components — ingredient proportions, which she stated have been not measurable due to the variation in the top rated 5 components of the goods and the unit value, or value per fluid ounce, to measure their price efficiency.

Final year, Camilleri also participated in the regional and state contests, though she stated she did not go any additional in the state contest.

“I hope to do far better this year,” she stated.

Other Westfield award winners integrated second spot biology award winner Wunnyuriti Ziblim with his project, “Maximizing Microbial Metabolism in the Rhizosphere to Produce Electrical Existing.” Ziblim also won a New England Branch of the American Society for Microbiology Award.

Winning third spot have been the following Westfield Higher College students:

Luke Bulan for “Inventing a Low cost and Comfy However Helpful Phototherapy Blanket for Babies.”

Teagan Chisholm-Godshalk for “Thriving Harvest with Thrifty Supplies: The Comparison of Solanum Iycopersicum Development Amongst Every day Developing and Hydroponic Developing.”

John Doyle for “Using Transportable Solar Power to Energy Electronic Devices in Remote Places.”

Sydney Drugan for “Does the Presence and Concentration of Volcanic Ash in Soil Impact Plant Development?”

Ciara Johnson-Corwin for “Finding Which Worm Biodegrades Polystyrene Quicker.”

Nora Scott and Alexis Masciadrelli for “How Do Disinfectants Perform Against Germs/Bacteria/Viruses?”

Doyle also won a Westfield Gas &amp Electric Energy Plus Award. All of the award winners certified to compete in the state science fair at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologies on May possibly six.

By Editor

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