SRS Sponsors Awards for Future Scientists

Westlake High School students Javaris Askin, William Taggart and Allana Hudson display their SRS-sponsored awards. Photo courtesy of UGA.
Westlake High School students Javaris Askin, William Taggart and Allana Hudson display their SRS-sponsored awards. Photo courtesy of UGA.

Potential future Forest Service scientists participated in this year’s Georgia Science and Engineering Fair, where the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) Integrating Human and Natural Systems unit sponsored the  Integrating the Social and Physical/Biological Sciences awards group. More than 700 students took part in this year’s fair.

Piney Grove Middle School student Jaden McElvey displays the award he won in the Environmental Sciences category. Photo courtesy of UGA.
Piney Grove Middle School student Jaden McElvey displays the award he won in the Environmental Sciences category. Photo courtesy of UGA.

The science fair is a good cross section of students from across Georgia with a wide interest and unique approach to scientific investigations, according to Dudley Hartel, center manager for SRS’s Urban Forestry South and judge for the SRS-sponsored award category. “I enjoy talking to students about their projects, and by the time I get to that point I’ve narrowed it down to three or four entries for both the high school and middle school levels. I am sure I raised the blood pressure of some of these students during the interview process.”

The following experiments received SRS-sponsored awards:

  • Westlake High School students Allana Hudson, Javaris Askin, and William Taggart won the Best Award in the Mathematical Science category for their project the “The Human Desire for Walking Comfort vs Path Efficiency.” Using GIS data, the students determined “desire” walking lines on the Georgia Tech campus, to determine the primary characteristics that affect campus pedestrian routes (i.e. on the sidewalk or across the grass).
  • Piney Grove Middle School Jaden McElvey’s project “Phytoremediation of Copper using Eichhornia crassipes” received the Best Award in the Environmental Sciences category. His experiment to study phytoremediation by plants assessed the capacity and efficiency of water hyacinth to remove copper from water.

For more information, email Dudley Hartell at dhartel@fs.fed.us.

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