Two Students Awarded at 73rd PRSEF

SciTech at Carnegie Science CenterThe 73rd Pittsburgh Regional Science and Engineering Fair (PRSEF) was held at Heinz Field on March 30, 2012. Sailesh Kapadia and Mike Sherwin represented ASQ-Pittsburgh Youth Outreach as Judges. They presented two (2) Science Fair awards to students that applied quality techniques to their projects in honor of Cas Welch, a longtime supporter of the PRSEF.  Below is a summary of the winning projects.

Freeport Senior High SchoolPRSEF Hex Logo
: Denny Loevlie
Grade: 9
Title: Does UV light exposure negatively affect the elasticity of rubber bands?
Summary: The purpose of the student's experiment was to test the hypothesis "does UV light exposure negatively affect the elasticity of rubber bands? In his experiment, Denny placed 75 rubber bands of the same brand (Wal-Mart) in a glass container and 75 more of them in a second glass container. He did the same for a second brand (Staples) of bands. Next, he placed two of the glass containers each containing a different brand of band in a UV light cabinet and placed the other two glass containers each containing a different brand band in the dark. The latter served as the control group. Every 2 days he removed 30 bands and determined their elasticity by hanging a constant weight on the end of each band and measuring the elongation. He then repeated the last step for 9 days and concluded that the data collected supported his hypothesis: UV light exposure has a negative affect on the elasticity of rubber bands. Denny used statistical methods (t-test) to reach his conclusion. While describing his project, Denny eloquently provided an overview, described the analytical methods he used to test his hypothesis, and answered questions very well.

North Allegheny School District LogoPRSEF Hex Logo
: Ratujit Raviprakash
Grade: 6
Title: Oil slick
Summary: The purpose of Ratu's experiment was to determine which sorbent will best clean up oil spills. To conduct the experiment, he tested four absorbent materials and subjected them to both water and oil. Next, he took one sorbent and sprinkled it into the water/oil and waited 30 sec. and then scooped the sorbent. These steps were repeated for all absorbent materials. Polypropylene pads absorbed the most oil and the least water. As a result, he failed to reject the hypothesis that the polypropylene will have the best absorbent properties. Ratu did an excellent job of explaining his reasoning for choosing this particular experiment (Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill), describing the experiment eloquently, and summarizing his results. Although he did not use a specific statistical technique to test his hypothesis, for his grade level, he did a fantastic job of summarizing the data graphically and presenting the results very professionally.

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