STEM Fair Continues into its Ninth Year

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On Thursday, March 7th, seven students participated in the ninth annual M-A STEM fair. Students showcased their projects, posters, and presentations to judges, M-A students, and teachers.  

Sophomore Adam Erlebacher won the STEM fair

Sophomore Adam Erlebacher won first place by investigating the chemotaxis (migration of an organism) of roundworms in response to different foods. He explained, “I decided to work on this project because of my interest in biology, specifically zoology, and wanted to further my experience with them in an experimental setting.” 

Sophomore Emile Freeman placed second with his project that used AI to reduce medication errors by helping people classify medicine at home. He explained, “Medication errors are common and can cause irreversible harm. While pharmaceutical companies have a multitude of measures to prevent dangers during production, as soon as medication enters patients’ hands, it’s up to them to avoid deadly situations. I wanted to demonstrate how AI could be used as a tool for individuals with visual impairment, memory loss, or just many prescriptions as another way to protect themselves from medication errors.” 

Freshmen Para Tabatabai and Lawrence Chao won third place with their project on using AI to evaluate which lunch line is quickest. 

Senior Samantha Adelberg’s project about vegan cookies

Freeman gave a shout-out to science teacher Martha Richards for organizing the STEM fair, saying, “Thanks to Dr. Richards, the M-A STEM fair is an amazing event that spreads interest in STEM and inspires students to pursue scientific exploration.” He also mentioned the usefulness of having M-A teachers and community STEM enthusiasts as judges. 

Erlebacher’s favorite part about the STEM fair was interacting with fellow STEM enthusiasts. He said, “I loved meeting my fellow peers who were also interested in research and the idea of ‘solving problems’, and the knowledgeable judges who questioned everyone to their limit, squeezing every droplet of information out of each participant and their project, but providing us with insightful information at the end to better our project.” 

Science teacher Joseph Vanderway judging a project

He advises students who are thinking of participating to study what they are passionate about instead of being preoccupied with rankings. “It is about finding pleasure in researching and experimenting with your topic and sharing your original findings with others, allowing them to gain insight into your research and the effort you put into your project. Furthermore, it doesn’t matter if your idea for a project is complex or simplistic. It is about the effort you put in, and the journey you take while completing your experiment,” he said.  
Students who wish to participate in the Golden Gate STEM Fair will compete virtually on March 18.

Jolene is a senior at M-A and this is her second year in journalism. She looks forward to writing more opinion pieces about controversial topics this year. In her free time, she enjoys running track and listening to music.

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