Several students from William Byrd High School and William Byrd Middle School placed in the 2018 Western Virginia Regional Science and Engineering Fair, which was held at Virginia Western Community College on March 17.
Over100 gifted and talented students from the school districts of Roanoke City and Roanoke County, and the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School (RVGS) competed in the Regional Fair. The RVGS participants who placed in the regional fair included students from Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Botetourt County, and Franklin County.
Richard Qiu, a senior at WBHS and RVGS, and his teammate Matthew Svec from Hidden Valley High School won first place in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category with his “Diabetes-Mediated Dysregulation of the Blood-Brain Barrier: Concept, Mechanism, and Implications.” They will advance to compete at the Virginia Science and Engineering Fair on April 14 at the Berglund Special Events Center in Roanoke.
Adi Iyer, a freshman at William Byrd and the RVGS, with teammate David Whitacre from Hidden Valley High School, won third place in the Microbiology category for their project, “The Synergistic Effect of Sertraline and Tetracycline on the Growth of E. coli.”
Zachary Bray, a senior at WBHS, along with teammates Katherine Corbett and Cais Thomas from Hidden Valley, won first place in the Engineering Mechanics category with “Thermonic (Exothermic Crystallization Instrument Warmer.” These students also attend the Burton Center for Arts and Technology (BCAT). Bray and his team will also advance to the state competition.
Emma Copening and Elsie Kincer, eighth graders at WBMS, won first place in the middle school Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Microbiology category with their project “Determining Chirality of Glucose Using Polarized Light.” Middle school students do not participate in the state science fair.
According to their website, the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, was founded in 1985, started out with about 100 projects, and has grown considerably to include participants from 12 regions across the Commonwealth:
- Blue Ridge Highlands
- Central Virginia
- Fairfax County
- Fauquier County
- Loudoun County
- Metro Richmond STEM Fair
- Northern Virginia
- Prince William-Manassas
- Shenandoah Valley
- Virginia Piedmont
- Western Virginia
Approximately 250 exhibits will be participating in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair thanks to the winning projects they presented at the regional fairs. The Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair organization (VSSEF) is partnering with the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute who will host and underwrite costs for the event at the Berglund Center.