Stamford Public Schools (SPS) announced that Scofield Magnet Middle School Eighth Grader Aryan Pandalai recently earned First Place in the 72nd Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair in the fair’s Special Category Future Sustainability Middle School. Pandalai’s project, Effects of Magnesium Chloride (road salts) on Water Quality, measured the water quality of the Rippowam River and the effects of road salts on plants. Scofield Science Teacher Julie Moyer and retired Scofield Technology Teacher Louise McMinn guided Pandalai in his project work.
The fair, which was expected to attract some 800 people including more than 120 high school and middle school participants from across the state to Quinnipiac College, was held virtually due to concerns regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Science Fair board made a last-minute decision to go virtual, with students uploading their projects and judges interviewing the finalists online. Video-managers monitored the action from a second-floor dance studio at Quinnipiac University.
According to the organization, the primary objective of the fair is to attract young people to careers in mathematics, science and engineering, while developing critical thinking and public speaking skills. Through participation in the fair, students are encouraged to pursue independent work using proper research methods.
Pandalai’s project also earned him a Finalist designation in the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering/Jackson Lab Urban Challenge Award with IBM.