Top honors at the Shelter Island School’s 50th annual Science Fair on Friday, December 5 went to ninth grader Lindsey Gallagher in the senior division and seventh grader Liam Adipietro in the junior division. They walked off with Best of Fair awards.
Lindsey’s project, “Block Busters,” involved testing how the amount of varying coarse aggregate affected the strength of concrete. She said she got the idea from observing some failing concrete on a driveway retaining wall. She tested four different concrete mixtures by making slabs, letting them cure and then breaking each of her slabs on a force plate to measure how much force was required for each of the slabs. She said it was fun mixing concrete and fun to break it too.
Liam’s project looked at the effect of heart rate on athletic performance. He said he got the idea after meeting Olympic runner Meb Keflezighi during the 10K in June. He read Meb’s autobiography, “Run to Overcome,” which mentioned Meb’s resting heart rate was 42 heart beats per minute. Liam talked to his track coaches, Toby Green, Bryan Gallagher and Bryan Knipfing, about heart rates, athletes and the cross country team.
His project showed that increased training decreases the heart rate and improves performance. He compared finishing times of the members of the cross country team from the start of the season to the end, tracking each member, race by race. He thanked his coaches and teammates for their help and said, “It is more an award for the whole team than just me alone.”
Medal winners in the senior division were Sydney Clark, William Garrison, Francesca Frasco, Sarah Lewis and Madison Hallman.
Blue ribbons went to Jack Lang, Nicolette Frasco, Emily Strauss, Hayley Lowell-Liszanckie, Phoebe Starzee, Isabella Sherman, Caitlin Binder, Daniel Boeklen and Bianca Evangelista. Wesley Congdon, Joshua Green, Daniel McCafferty and Elijah Topliff won red ribbons and Logan Libertt, Alexis Perlaki, Peder Larsen and Byron Molina won white ribbons.
Junior division medal winners were Justine Karen, Ella Mysliborski, Walter Richards, Keith Taplin, Lucas Quigley-Dunning, Lauren Gurney, Lily Garrison, Mitchell Rice and Emma Gallagher.
Junior blue ribbons went to Camryn Page, Kyle Burns, Maria Carbajal, Henry Binder, Jonas Kinsey, Luke Lowell-Liszanckie, Abigail Kotula and Nicholas Labrozzi.
Red ribbons were awarded to Mia Clark, Amelia Clark, Taylor McNemar, Joseph Lupo, Nico Seddio, Mason Marcello, Erik Thilberg, Nick Young, Owen Gibbs, Kal Lewis, Jennifer Lupo, Devon Bolton and Holly Ross.
White ribbon winners were Kimberly Chicka, Amelia Reiter, David Neese, Ethan Renault, Paul Murphy, Elizabeth Cummings, Jamie Lenzer and Stephen Cummings.
Family members of Gene Kinghan, who started the Science Fair in 1964, were on hand for the 50th anniversary and seemed pleased with the continued growth of the program and level of science presented this year, Science Fair Coordinator Sharon Gibbs said.
Mr. Kinghan acted as a mentor to Ms. Gibbs and she credits him with her love of science because he convinced her that “rocks were cool.”
Fellow science teachers Dan Williams and Brittney Bothwell were also involved in the Science Fair as were Island judges Dr. Frank Adipietro, Cindy Belt, Al Brigham, John Kerr and Dr. William Zitek.
In honor of the 50th anniversary, Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) sent an Assembly Proclamation to the Science Fair. The proclamation, read by Superintendent Leonard Skuggevik, hailed the achievements of the students and the school’s science program.
Also in recognition of the 50th, Town Engineer John Cronin donated a $500 scholarship for a student pursuing engineering or maritime studies in college.
— JUDY CARD, JO ANN KIRKLAND & JULIE LANE