St. Johns County Science Fair Winners

Charis Wang and Cassia Wang, both of Ponte Vedra High School (PVHS), won top honors as the Best Overall in the Senior Division of the 2015 St. Johns County Science Fair held yesterday at Sebastian Middle School. Their winning project was “The Prevalence of Beta Lactamase Genes in Oral Streptococcus Species in a Healthy Population: Molecular Analysis by Polymerase Chain Reaction.”

Aishva Kothari, of Gamble Rogers Middle School (GRMS), won for Best Overall in the Junior Division. Aishva’s project was entitled, “What Contact Solution Best Sterilizes Contact Lenses.”

Approximately 100 science projects represented by 120 participants were involved in the St. Johns County Science Fair. This annual academic competition is designed to challenge students to meticulously apply science process skills and content knowledge in order to investigate scientific questions of their own choosing. Participants also experience the importance of practicing science ethics and responsibility on a personal level. The best overall winners will be recognized at the School Board meeting on Monday, March 9.

Sixteen students representing five St. Johns County schools will attend the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland, March 31-April 2. The participants are Drew Adams, Landrum Middle School (LMS); Mark Calvin, LMS; Joshua Fernandez, LMS; Trey Glod, LMS, Aishva Kothari, GRMS; Taylor Kaminisky, LMS; Lillian Neidhardt, Liberty Pines Academy (LPA); Luke Snyder, LMS; Madison Toonder, Home School; Jordan Bartfield, PVHS; Harrison Snowden, PVHS; Charis Wang, PVHS; Cassia Wang, PVHS; Matthew Hart; PVHS; Matthew Norton, PVHS and Brighton Ancelin, Creekside High School (CHS); Adam Snowden, PVHS; Steele Tarleton, PVHS; Steven Medarev, PVHS; Maxwell Fine, Allen D. Nease High School (NHS); and Aaron Gimmel, NHS. Charis and Cassia Wang will attend the International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA in May.

Participation in the fair is open to St. Johns County public, private and home school students in grades 6-12. Marna Fox, program specialist for K-12 science, physical education and health, is the district science fair coordinator.


Behavioral: first — Jordan Bartfield and Harrison Snowden, PVHS; second — team of Chase Lendry, Maharanth Sankar and John Molm, PVHS; third — Michael Fletcher, St. Augustine High School

Cellular Biology/Medicine and Health: first — Charis Wang and Cassia Wang, PVHS; second — Matthew Hart and Matthew Norton, PVHS; third — Yooree Ha, PVHS; honorable mention — William Tatum, PVHS; Mughil Sriram, NHS

Chemistry/Environmental: first — Aaron Gimmel and Maxwell Fine, NHS; second — Chloe Smith Lopez and Amanda Crist, NHS; third— Laura McLeod, NHS

Engineering/Physics: first — Adam Snowden, PVHS; second — Steele Tarleton and Steven Medarev, PVHS

Computer/Physics: first —Brighton Ancelin, CHS; second —Connor Bradley, CHS


Behavioral/Bio/Medicine/Health/Microbiology: first (tie)— Mark Calvin and Trey Glod, LMS; and Aishva Kothari, GRMS; second — Staten Maughan, LMS; third — Madison Mintzer, Cathedral Parrish School (CPS)

Botany/Zoology: first — Taylor Kaminsky, LMS; second (tie) — Chandler Garcia and Jack McMichael, LMS and Christian Middleton, FCMS; third (tie)— Gabriela Cordero, PBMS; and Lindsey Barshick, PBMS

Chemistry: first — Joshua Fernandez, LMS; second — Anna Setzer, LPA; third—Nadia Kurek, CPS; honorable mention — Trey Chesser, FCMS

Engineering/Computer Science: first — Luke Snyder, LMS; second — Frank Puzzini, FCMS; third — Ryan Neill, FCMS; honorable mention — Logan Ely, CPS

Environmental: first — Madison Toonder, Home School; second — Lillian Neidhardt, LPA; third — Keelin Weaver, CPS

Physics: first — Drew Adams, LMS; second — Franco DaLuisio, LPA; third — Alyssa Goodyear, FCMS; honorable mention Leah Dantin, Palmer Catholic School

Broadcom Masters nominees: Luke Snyder, Mark Calvin,Trey Glod, Aishva Kothari,~ Taylor Kaminsky, Joshua Fernandez, Madison Toonder, and Drew Adams.


The ASM Materials Education Foundation Award: Steven Medarev and Steele Tarleton, PVHS American Psychological Association Award: Jordan Bartfield and Harrison Snowden, PVHS

Arizona State University Sustainability Award: Maxwell Fine and Aaron Gimmel, NHS

MU Alpha Theta Award: Brighton Ancelin, CHS

NOAA: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award: Madison Toonder, Home School

Office of the Surgeon General Award: Zachary Fleming, LPA

Pearson Publishing Award: Frank Puzzini, FCMS; Alexander Chema, NHS; and Tala Mansouri and Gabriela Castello, NHS

Ricoh Americas Corporation Award: Mac Tibitts, CPS

The Stockholm Junior Water Prize: Chloe Smith Lopez and Amanda Crist, NHS

US Air Force Awards: Luke Snyder, LMS; Matthew Jung, LPA; Jacob Harpster, Linear Magnetic Accelerator, SAHS; Brighton Ancelin, CHS

Women’s Geosciences Award: Lillian Neidhardt, LPA

US Naval Research Award: Drew Adams, LMS; Adam Snowden, PVHS; Arman Tabassian, PVHS

Yale Science and Engineering Award: Adam Snowden, PVHS

Carlisle Interconnect Industries Award: Erica Lee, PBMS; Thomas Costello, CPS; Laura McLeod, NHS

Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award: Brighton Ancelin, CHS

St. Johns County Medical Alliance Award: Aishva Kothari, GRMS; Charis and Cassia Wang, PVHS

Florida Power and Light Awards: Luke Snyder, LMS; Adam Snowden, PVHS