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Liberty claims awards at Alabama State Science Fair

MADISON – After excelling at the regional science fair, four students from Liberty Middle School earned impressive awards at the 2019 Alabama State Science Fair.

“This year I was blessed to work with some of the most outstanding students of my 28-year career,” Carla Beardslee. She is longtime sponsor of Liberty’s Science Fair.

“I believe these children are motivated to continue working in Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics or STEM field,” Beardslee said. “They have great parental guidance and motivation, which is obvious when working with this group.” 

Seventh-grader Abhishek Emani researched “Nano Silver Versus Pond Life” to determine if nano silver harmed the organisms “daphnia magna and duckweed. My experiment proved that nano silver was harmful to both organisms,” and further protection is needed.

Emani discovered that nano silver is present in many everyday products from sunscreen to toothpaste. Manufacturers add it for antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Emani received the Botanical Gardens Special Award. “I will go into a STEM career as I’m passionate about math, sciences, programming and engineering,” Emani said. “The science fair was an avenue that further reinforced my interest and encouraged me to explore STEM further.”

Madhushalini Balaji developed the project, “Prediction and Analysis of Heart Diseases Using Azure Machine Learning.” Balaji said the goal is to save lives.

“Did you know the number one cause of death is heart disease? I used Microsoft’s (software) to build a model that could predict heart disease. The model uses a combination of risk features so patients and cardiologists can reduce overall deaths,” Balaji said.

“My model works approximately 80 percent accurately and was trained using about 400 patients and their risk features,” Balaji said.

Balaji’s awards include IEEE’s “Junior Best of Show,” U.S. Navy and Marine Corps honors and Broadcom Masters middle-school competition. “I’ve always had a passion about saving lives, which is a great motivation for me to choose a major in STEM careers,” Balaji said.

Shreya Sunil claimed second place at state with “Dealing with Diabetes Mellitus: The Road to Developing an Artificial Pancreas.” She searched the issues of creating the artificial organ.

“I explored the different complexities … using a chemical model. The most critical problem among other complexities was the pH level difference of chemical solutions. pH is all about the measure of hydrogen ions in the solution,” Sunil said. “”We all already know many insulin meters are on the market. My results could be used in creating a better product.”

Sunil also won “Best of Show” for medicine/health from The Boeing Company and “Outstanding Project of the Fair” from the U.S. Army. Broadcom Masters has invited Sunil to national competition.

Capturing a third-place win at state, Urvi R. Mysore developed “Can You Hear Me Now?” “In my project, I tested various sound-blocking and sound-absorbing materials to determine which materials are best suited for sound proofing,” Mysore said. “I also tested to see how area impacted soundproofing ability of materials.”

Mysore also earned fourth place in ASEF’s physical sciences division. “Math and science are my favorite subjects in school. I want to become a robotics/mechanical engineer,” Mysore said.

“Science fair is extremely important, because it teaches students correct experimental design and presentation skills,” Beardslee said.

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