Highlights from Hillsborough County STEM Fair

Every year FLATE supports the Hillsborough County School Board and the Florida Foundation for Future Scientists by serving as a judge for the Junior/Senior division of Annual Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair. The Hillsborough Regional STEM Fair has grown to be the largest in Florida and one of the largest in the nation, with over 1,900 entries from 2,500 students in grades K-12.

During this event judges assisted to select twenty-six projects that will represent Hillsborough County in the 2017 State Science Fair, where over $200,000 worth of scholarships and awards will be given. The event involves approximately 1,500 projects from the brightest K-12 Hillsborough students in more than 190 public, private, charter, home, and virtual schools. Winners go on to compete at state and national levels.

Students experience firsthand the creativity and perseverance required for high-level achievement, and guests have the opportunity to see future STEM leaders in action. Danielly Orozco, Associate Director for FLATE, was part of the environmental engineering judges and had the opportunity to review and interview the best final ten projects (two seniors and eight junior’s level). Some of the best topics were: Water purification by controlling turbidity using natural coagulants, microbial fuel cell for electricity production, pollution reduction analysis utilizing phytoremediation for storm water outfalls in the Hillsborough river watershed, enhancing energy efficiency in the Sunshine State by assessing the impact of the material and color of roof tiles, and microbial fuel cell for electricity production.

The first place winner in the Intelligent Machines, Robotics, and Systems Software category was Arko Ghosh. He was also first place overall, the Best of Fair. He received a $500 cash prize from MOSI and advanced to the State Science and Engineering Fair.

Dariya Bagley, 6th grade, earned 2nd place in the Intelligent Machines, Robotics, and
Systems Software category at the STEM Fair. Her topic was Reliable Robot to Robot Communication Using Sensors. Dariya also won the Jr Division Bay AreaManufacturers Association (BAMA) special award which includes a $100 cash prize.She'll attend the awards dinner this summer. FLATE and the Hillsborough County School District allowed Dariya to use the NAO Humanoid Robot as part of her scientific experiment. Programming the NAO to communicate with the EV3 robot challenged her immensely. 


Deshara Bagley, 5th grade, earned an Outstanding in the category of Math, Computers, and Engineering for her project on Surface Area and Electro-Magnetic Fields. 

The 62nd State Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) of Florida will take place March 28-30 at the Lakeland Center. For more information on the fair and a schedule of fair events, please click here

For more information about FLATE, please visit fl-ate.org or contact Dr. Marilyn Barger, Executive Director of FLATE, at mbarger@fl-ate.org.
For more information about the awards won, please visit http://ntneighborhoodnews.com/2016/02/new-tampa-students-make-their-marks-at-stem-fair.

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