Belmont Hosts Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair

The 66th annual Middle Tennessee Science and Engineering Fair (MTSEF) took place in Belmont University’s Janet Ayers Academic Center’s 4th floor conference center on Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17. MTSEF is the premiere STEM competition for middle and high school students in Nashville-Davidson County and its surrounding counties. Dr. Steve Murphree, Belmont biology professor, is the Director of MTSEF.

There were 91 students that participated with 81 projects (some were team projects) from public, private and home schools in middle and west Tennessee. About half of the projects were presented by students in grades 6-8. Students were judged in various scientific categories on Friday evening, and the public was invited to view the projects from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Two high school grand prize winners were selected by a panel of 9 judges on Saturday morning.  These students will represent MTSEF at the International Science and Engineering Fair, May 13-18 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and will receive an all-expense-paid trip. The grand prize winners were:

  • Maya Misra, Harpeth Hall School: “Fusing the LRP6 and Frizzled Extracellular Domains as an Inhibitor of the Wnt Pathway”
  • Aylor Huneycutt, AP-4 Home School: “MARS-Q: A Vertical Thrust Vehicle Capable of Planetary Reconnaissance in a Martian Atmosphere”

Also, eight middle school projects were selected to compete in the international Broadcom MASTERS competition. The Middle School Broadcom MASTERS nominees were:

  • Braden Huneycutt, AP-4 Home School: “Just a Small Fry: A Study of the Effects of Temperature on Growth Rates of Koi Fry (Cyprinus carpio)”
  • Leo Huneycutt, AP-4 Home School: “The Effect of Climate Change on Tornadoes”
  • Bella Putt, Faith Home School Tutorial: “How Does Caffeine Affect Plant Growth?”
  • Nevaeh Hyde, Lead Cameron School: “What Type of Toilet Paper Brand Supports the Most Weight?”
  • Michael Morgan, Morgan Academy Home School: “Your Pencil, Your Light Switch”
  • Caleb West, Mitchell Loh and Sharanda Ghantasala, Sunset Middle School: “What’s Up With the Air?”
  • Maya Reilly, AP-4 Home School: “Effect of a Solar Eclipse on Hen Behavior”
  • Benjamin Bradley, Classical Conversation-Nolensville: “ The Impact of Nutritional Supplementation on Motile Organisms”

May 29 Update:

After competing in the International Science and Engineering Fair May 13-18 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, both Misra and Huneycutt won special awards. Huneycutt won a second place NASA award for his project, MARS-Q: a Vertical Thrust Vehicle Capable of Planetary Reconnaissance in a Martian Atmosphere” which came with a $1,000 cash prize.