On Saturday, Feb. 3, 53 students in Darien High School's Authentic Science Research program competed in the Connecticut STEM fair held at Amity Regional High School.  Over 500 students, judges and volunteers participated in the all-day event.  Each student was required to create a poster exhibit, make a presentation, and participate in a question and answer session with two sets of judges. The judges evaluated entries (both completed projects and research proposals) in four categories: health & medical sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, and behavioral sciences.  A number of regional awards sponsored by the International Science and Engineering Fair were also presented.

These Darien High School students earned top prizes:

For research proposals:

Catherine O’Connor – first place, Health Science – "Depletion of the IkB Kinase and Inhibition of the NF-kB Complex as Gene Therapy for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma”

 Manvi Malhotra –first place, Environmental Science – "A Theoretical Model of the Emergent Effects of Increasing Temperature on Predator-Prey Interactions between Didinium and Paramecium

 Olivia Yoo –first place, Behavioral Science – "Perivascular Macrophages and Neurovascular Dysfunction in a DOCA-Salt Hypertension Model”

 Megan Cunningham – second place, Behavioral Science – “Combinations of Environmental Enrichment in Increasing the Frequencies of Exploratory Behaviors in Captive Wolves”

Thomas Finnegan – second place, Physical Science – “Effective Pitch-Catch Active Sensing Patterns For Aircraft Structural Health Monitoring”

Ashwini Patel –  third place, Health Science – “Finding the Source of Cetuximab Resistance in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer”

Hallie Kreppein – fourth place, Behavioral Science – “Long-term natal site-fidelity by immature great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) off of Long Island”

For completed projects:

Emily Findlan & Cheyenne Li –first place, Team Project – “Positive Holes as Early Indicators for Future Earthquakes”

Daniel Pfrommer – fourth place, Physical Science – “Fast Point-based Raytracing with Sphere Bounding Volume Hierarchies”

Christopher Vernal – fourth place, Health Science – “Creation of a Screening Tool for Assessing Baseball Pitching Biomechanics”

For ISEF Regional Awards:

Daniel Pfrommer was presented the Mu Alpha Theta Award for the most challenging, original, thorough and creative investigation of a problem involving mathematics accessible to a high school student.

Alexandra Swift was presented the Stockholm Junior Water Prize recognizing outstanding water-related research at the high school level.