Bolles scientists earn awards at state competition


Eight Bolles School students recently participated in the 2017 Florida Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland.

The group included senior James Staman, freshman Grant Szymanski, senior Graham Ungrady, junior Sneha Reddy, junior Ann Maris Walton, sophomore Shreyas Chetan, freshman Rohil Kanaparti, freshman Rishi Misra and junior Hannah Lee.

“I am very proud of the students’ achievements and it was such a pleasure to attend the competition with these students,” said Dr. Kathryn Halloran, Bolles science teacher. “They were always willing to lend a hand to other students and acted as role models and mentors to the younger students with the Northeast Florida group. They showed that it is possible to be both extremely competitive and team-oriented.”

Ungrady received a second-place award in the Earth and Environmental Sciences category for his work, “Comparing Viability of Photosynthesis Capability of Algae Cultures vs. Algae Beads.”

Pairing up for another successful run at the fair in the Environmental Science category were Reddy and Walton, who placed third and received cash awards from Florida Agriculture in the Classroom Inc. and the American Society of Agriculture and Biological Engineering Florida Section. The duo’s project was titled, “Introduction of Mycorrhizae into Non-Mycorrhizae Plants: A Model to Reduce Phosphorus Fertilizer.”

Chetan and Lee both received fourth place awards. Chetan placed in the Microbiology category for his project, “Finding Optimal Concentrations and Solvents for Tumeric: A Fight Against Streptococcous Pyogenes,” while Lee placed in the Plant Science category for her work, “The Effectiveness of Water Hyacinth as a Fertilizer on Basil Growth.”

Staman received an honorable mention award for his Animal Sciences project, “Blue Light Effect Study: Impact on Drosophila’s Cognitive Ability and Changes in Gender Ratios.” Szymanski also received an honorable mention award in the Cellular/Molecular Biology and Biochemistry category for his project, “The Effect of Cell Phone EMR on Bioluminescence.”

Walton and Reddy will next compete at the International Sustainable World (Engineering Energy Environment) Project Olympiad (ISWEEEP) in Houston May 3-8. Staman will compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Los Angeles May 14-19.