82.1 F
Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesStudents Wow Judges During Good Hope Science Fair

Students Wow Judges During Good Hope Science Fair

March 7, 2007 — The Virgin Islands' official flower, the ginger thomas, has been known to have medicinal qualities, and this was proven by Leah Guthrie, who won first place Wednesday in the Good Hope School Science Fair.
The high school science fair, which has been associated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) for the past nine years, brought out the creativity and scientific ingenuity of 115 middle- and upper-school students.
Entries ranged from unlocking the mysteries of fingerprints to creating paper from animal waste and determining which structures, steel or concrete, are better able to withstand an earthquake.
Guthrie's winning entry, "Reviving Traditions in Medicine," set out to prove that the ginger thomas has anti-diabetic properties and would lower blood glucose levels. Guthrie, a 16-year-old 11th-grader, created an extract using ginger thomas leaves. Utilizing St. Croix White and Black Belly sheep housed at the UVI research center, Guthrie compared the sheep's glucose levels over a period of several weeks.
"The results provided proof that the extract from the leaves can provide an alternative treatment for Type II diabetes," Guthrie said. The budding scientist said she would continue her experiments, which may lead to a thriving industry on St. Croix. "There is a lot of potential for this type of industry on the island," she said.
Mary Cromwell received second-place honors for her comparison of different commercial flame retardants. Honorable mentions went to Stephanie Thompson, Cerella Gonzales, Jennifer Nelthropp, and the team of Dane Stewart and Michael Pugh.
Other original projects this year were turned in by senior Jessica Matos, who surveyed 500 people in five different age categories to find out how fears change with age;
seventh-graders Kelley Newman and Michelle Robbins, who read about a company in Great Britain making paper out of sheep manure and decided to try to make paper out of horse and goat manure; and seventh-grader Alex Julien, who compared the levels of bacteria between the boys and girls restrooms. Other projects centered on human and animal behavior, agriculture, environmental management, medicine and health, and physics.
The students who created the winning entries will get to compete in the Intel ISEF annual contest, which will be held in May in Albuquerque, N.M. Nearly 1,500 students from more than 40 nations will compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips and the grand prize, a $50,000 college scholarship.
Zahra Jackson, a 16-year-old 10th-grader who partnered with sophomore Tina Watley on a project that tested the salinity in mangroves, is excited to be chosen to attend the competition. "I feel great," Jackson said barely containing a huge smile.
Science Department Chair and fair director, Jane Coles, said, "The Good Hope School mission statement underscores the value of a rigorous scientific education when it allows us to make a commitment to the success of each child … by offering them a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that guides their ability to think critically, creatively, independently, and globally. That’s what the science fair is all about!"
Each project was judged by a group of scientists from St. Croix. This year's judges included Rudy O'Reilly, the district conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; psychologist Lucia DiMeo; Ben Keularts from DPNR's Environmental Protection Division; Emily Tyner from the V.I. Marine Advisory Services; Steve Beamer from Hovensa; and David Walworth, a naval architect.
The students exhibited in 11 categories, from behavior and social sciences to zoology. Sixth-graders worked in groups on projects, while seventh- through 12th-graders worked independently or in teams of two.
Displays will be open to the public on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in The Good Hope School Campus Center. The public is encouraged to attend this free event. The award ceremony will be Thursday, March 15 at 2 p.m. in the James C. Savage Theater.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.