Students earn trip to International Science Fair

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By Tom Wilmoth

    The submissions by two Bedford County students have earned them the right to represent their region at the  International Science and Engineering Fair to be held in Pittsburgh, Pa., next week.

    In the Engineering category, Stuart Robertson of Staunton River High School received first place and Grand Award honors at the Central Virginia Regional Science Fair—as well as the National Society of Professional Engineer’s Award for his project—entitled “The effect of fractal design on antenna capability.”
    Liberty High School student Jeffrey Seals also received first place and the Grand Award in Biological Sciences for his project entitled “The effect of saline solutions on evidence of P.F. 51 aeruginosa and P fluorescens Biofilms on glass slides and stainless steel.”
    Both now move on to the International Fair.
    Robertson, who attends SRHS and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School, said the honor meant a lot to him; it was the first time he had competed at the regional fair. His project tested which fractal design of antenna works the best.
    Robertson, a senior, hopes to attend Virginia Tech majoring in engineering, probably in aerospace.
    Winning the regional fair was a goal Seals had for several years. His sister did just that six years ago, earning a spot in the international competition, and he wanted to match her accomplishment. Seals attends LHS and the Central Virginia Governor’s School.
    He plans to attend Virginia Tech and study biological science.
    Both Seals and Robertson are looking forward to matching their projects up against students from around the nation and the world.
    At the regional fair, Mason Gottschalk, also from SRHS, received second place, the U.S. Army Award, and the Alternate Grand Award for his project entitled “A comparison of wood types on Timbre and Cost of Bongo Cajon.”
    Jefferson Forest High School was successful as well at the regional fair with two first place winners.
    In Plant sciences, Katie Whitlock received first place for her project entitled: “The effects of red light on germinating Glycine max.”
    And for the American Society of Civil Engineers, Bless Jung received first place for his project entitled: “The effects of nitrate concentrations on simulated freshwater ecosystems.