2021 Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science & Engineering Fair: Los Alamos County Results

2021 REGIONAL SCIENCE & ENGINEERING FAIR News:

This year the science fairs are online rather than in-person posters and presentations. The 2021 Northeastern New Mexico Regional Science and Engineering Fair Results were held Saturday, March 27.

This is a regional event including Los Alamos and Taos schools among others. Top projects from all regions of New Mexico will meet later this year at the State science fair. Turnout this year was down from previous years, but the competition was healthy.

Three students, Robert Strauss (Computer Science) and the Team of Daniel Kim and Andres Interregui (Engineering), were designated as candidates for the International Science Fair. Additionally, the team of Phillip Ionkov and Anthony Lestone (Physics) were designated as alternates if the former students happen to also be designated as finalists for the International Science Fair by the State Science Fair.

Full list of winners from Los Alamos County:

Best in Show (Senior)

Daniel Kim and Andres Interregui; Los Alamos High School
Developing the Technology for a Combat Drone

Daniel Kim and Andres Interregui examined the potential to launch rockets from drones. They assembled drones and model rockets as well as custom Arduino test harness to measure rocket thrust, they designed and populated their own PC boards, and profiled their field performance analytically, determining the drone could lift the rocket. (The FAA however prohibits actually launching rockets from drones.)

Best in Show Runner-up (Senior)

Robert Strauss; Los Alamos High School
Neuromorphic Simulation of the Visual Cortex

Robert Strauss simulated the performance of an ultra-low power alternative to digital computing and was able to train a spike based processing network analogous to the electrical signals of the neurons connections in the brain. He showed it could learn to recognize objects and capture still images from moving targets. Silicon Retinas which are a photon event camera rather than standard framing video cameras,  produced neural pulses analogous to those in the human Visual Cortex.

Best in Show Alternate #1 (Senior)

Phillip Ionkov and Anthony Lestone; Los Alamos High School
Nondestructive Analysis of Geological Sites Through Muon Transmission Imaging

Phillip Ionkov and Anthony Lestone built a gimbal mounted muon detector, developed a data acquisition system, and applied this to sensing muon absorption and scattering through the Tuff Cliffs around Los Alamos, potentially revealing internal density changes within. They mathematically modeled the expected muon flux for different source sizes and confirmed that certain sources agreed with their model.

Best in Show (Junior)

Aislynn Marshall; Mountain Elementary School
Pick Ups

Aisylynn Marshall built a model of an electric guitar and then studied how pickups measure the vibrating string. Using an oscilloscope, she measured how the signal varied with coil windings and examined ways to reduce unwanted electrical noise.

In addition to the best in show placements each subject matter also has placements.

ANIMAL SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

William Borovina (AS-2J); Los Alamos Middle School
Fishy Business: How Strong is that Bite?

ANIMAL SCIENCE – SENIOR

*First Place:

Karin Ebey (AS-1S); Los Alamos High School
Climate Change on Crocodilians: Modeling the Effects of Phenological Shifts

Second Place:

Julian Singell and Veronica Parra (AS-3S); Los Alamos High School
Predicting Future Polar Bear Populations in Different Ecosystems

BEHAVIORAL and SOCIAL SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Matthea Fung (BS-1J); Los Alamos Middle School
Tune It Up!

Third Place: 

Sarah Sullivan (BS-3J); Barranca Mesa Elementary
A-MAZE-ING

CHEMISTRY – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Wilson White (CH-8J); Los Alamos Middle School
Extracting Bismuth From Stomach Relief Tablets

Honorable Mention:

Diego Pacheco (CH-7J); Barranca Mesa Elementary
What Substance Makes Ice Melt the Fastest?

CH-Senior

CHEMISTRY – SENIOR

*First Place (tie):

Aaron Philip (CH-2S); Los Alamos High School
Calculating Energy Levels in Copper and Chromium Ions and Comparing with Experimental Data

COMPUTER SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Hyunoo Kim (CS-2J); Los Alamos Middle School
Agent-Based COVID-19 Modeling and Impact of Human Personalities

COMPUTER SCIENCE – SENIOR

*First Place:

Robert Strauss (CS-1S); Los Alamos High School
Neuromorphic Simulation of the Visual Cortex

EARTH SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Aditya Viswanathan (ES-1J); Barranca Mesa Elementary
Modeling How Climate Change Affects Polar Ice Caps

ENERGY and TRANSPORTATION – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Emmitt Tibbitts (ET-1J); Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
The Water Flow

Second Place:

Zoe Bent (ET-2J): Los Alamos Middle School
Solar Energy Recovery System

ENGINEERING – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Aislynn Marshall (EG-4J); Mountain Elementary School
Pick Ups

Second Place:

Brayden Allen (EG-3J); Los Alamos Middle School
Can I Find the Most Efficient Propeller for an RC Plane Electric Motor?

Third Place:

John Pulsipher (EG-2J); Los Alamos Online Learning Academy
Inverted Bridge Trusses

ENGINEERING – SENIOR

*First Place:

Daniel Kim and Andres Interregui (EG-5S); Los Alamos High School
Developing the Technology for a Combat Drone

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Penelope Barry-Hoffman (EV-1J); Los Alamos Middle School
The Long-Term Impact of Forest Fires on Local Weather

*Second Place:

Malaika Philip (EV-2J); Los Alamos Middle School
Analysis of Silver Nanoparticles Effects on Aquatic Plants

MATHEMATICS – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Kieran Gattiker (MA-2J); Los Alamos Middle School
Visualizing Complexity

MEDICINE and HEALTH SCIENCE – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Angus Smith (MH-4J); Mountain Elementary School
Face Mask Comparison

PHYSICS and ASTRONOMY – JUNIOR

*First Place:

Annie White (PA-6J); Los Alamos Middle School
Refraction of Different Wavelength Light Through Different Substances

*Second Place:

Lilia Viteva (PA-3J); Mountain Elementary School
Effects of Gravity on Projectile Trajectory

*Third Place:

Tate Plohr (PA-4J); Mountain Elementary School
How Are Electricity and Magnetism Related?

PHYSICS and ASTRONOMY – SENIOR

*First Place:

Phillip Ionkov and Anthony Lestone (PA-1S); Los Alamos High School
Nondestructive Analysis of Geological Sites Through Muon Transmission Imaging

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