Junior Wins Awards at Vermont STEM Fair
SJA Junior Fiona Sweeney of Piermont, New Hampshire, competed as an individual student at the Vermont Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Fair on March 24 at Norwich University. Fiona won five awards including two scholarships for her research.
Fiona’s project, “The Effects of Microbiome Diversity on Stress Response in C. elegans Strains with HIF Mutations”, won a silver medal, a Norwich University NextGen scholarship worth $20,000, a partial scholarship of $1,000 to the New Hampshire Academy of Science Summer Research Program, a certificate of recognition from Regeneron and an invitation to apply to Regeneron’s Student Talent Search. She also qualified as a finalist for the Genius Olympiad competition, an international competition in Sustainability, Ecology, Human Ecology, and Human Health Innovation, which will be held at the State University of New York at Oswego in June.
The Vermont STEM website describes the fair: “Our state fair is an exciting opportunity for aspiring scientists to showcase the results of their independent research. Each year 200+ student projects addressing all areas of science, technology, engineering and math are judged by at least three judges. Our judges include scientists, secondary education faculty, dentists, physicians, nurses, military personnel and retirees, and other science related professionals from across Vermont. Students compete for prizes donated by local organizations and scholarships to Vermont colleges. The fair is also affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair and five other national and international competitions.”
Fiona presented her work previously in a poster session at the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual meeting in Austin, Texas, in February.
Headmaster Tom Lovett said, “The fact that Fiona entered this contest and completed her research all on her own speaks volumes about her dedication, talent, and passion in science. She was pointed in this direction by math department Chair Sharon Fadden, and then Fiona took it from there. At a time when we are striving to encourage young women to explore STEM fields, Fiona’s achievements are inspiring. She and her family should be very proud. Her headmaster and teachers certainly are!”