Front Porch: Vision Charter impresses at Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair

Front Porch: Vision Charter impresses at Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair

by Elizabeth Thomas, Idaho Press Tribune

The Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair was March 16, and while I wasn’t able to attend, I did watch footage from the awards ceremony. I tell you, it was like every other student they announced was from Vision Charter School.

An amazing 17 Vision Charter students received awards during the fair, five of which were gold, two of which were Best in Category and one of which was Best in Fair!

Here’s the lowdown, and a huge congratulations to each of you (and your teachers and parents!). Note that each project listed was an original research project.

TJ Herndon: Best in Fair, Gold Medal and the Arizona State Sustainability Solutions Award for “integrating MFC-MEC Technology into Aquaponics Systems to Increase Hydrogen and Food Yields.” MFC means “microbial fuel cell,” and MEC means “microbial electrolysis cell.”

More on TJ in a minute, because there is more exciting news, but I’m going to finish this roundup first.

Justin Allcott, Connor Messick and Dallin Vollmer: Silver Medal for research into the “plastic degrading abilities of wax worm to advance waste management.”

Isaiah Anderson: Gold Medal and the Intel Excellence in Computer Science award for a project involving artificial intelligence, a SmartWatch and integrated software.

Malachi Anderson: Gold Medal and the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award. He gave a presentation on “The Future of Bio-Toxic Water Containment.”

Erin Daniels, Sierra Daymude and Jayli Eddings: Silver Medal because they remodeled a coronary artery stent.

Gillian Hall and Jadyn Doramus: Silver Medal for their research and presentation on coronary disease treatment.

Clara Jorgensen and Breann Ouckama: Silver Medal and the U.S. Air Force Award. These two worked on the creation of a helmet that mimics a horse’s hoof. Not sure how that one works, but I’m betting the helmet is an improvement on what’s available now.

Brooklyn Legg: Gold Medal, Best in Category and the Arizona State University Walton Sustainability Solutions Award. Her project was on “integrating Medical Herbs into a Transportable Aquaponics System for the Development of Medicine for Impoverished Countries.” Last year, Brooklyn was with a group of students who took Best in Fair, so she’s being pretty consistent with her levels of awesomeness.

David Snow and Ben Collins: Silver Medal and the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. They researched biofilter rafts, which are involved in aquaponics systems.

Jules Van Haren: Gold Medal, Best in Category and the NASA Earth System Science Award for her project, “Organic Crops: Are They 100% Organic?”

Other students who participated included Eisha Banga, Ryan Bauscher, Gregory Chaney, Lyndsey Dickinson, Lakota Dory, Alex Hampton, Bobby Ellis, Maddison Longfellow, Rachel Morgan and Xzavier Perry.

Isn’t this an impressive list? I’m impressed. I would not have been studying something this intense in my science classes, I promise you that.

Back to TJ. Because he won Best in Fair, he gets an all-expenses-paid trip to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on May 12-18!

Jules will be accompanying TJ, and yes, his expenses are also paid. The judges selected him as an “observer,” meaning he gets to, well, observe. His project will not be in the competition, but he will be bringing great insights back to Vision Charter to share with everyone. Vision Charter science teacher Mr. (Jason) George will also get to go. Party time in Pennsylvania!