Apr 20, 1998

Marshall scientists recognize science fair winners

Dr. Peter Curreri
April 20, 1998: Scientists from the Space Sciences Laboratory at Marshall Space Flight Center selected 13 students for Certificates of Excellence and Honorable Mention at the 1998 Alabama Science and Engineering Fair (ASEF).

"We really enjoyed seeing what the kids have done and how innovative they can be in tackling these projects," said Dr. Peter Curreri (

), one of the judges. Curreri has served as mission scientist for the U.S. Microgravity Payload missions aboard the Space Shuttle, and has seen his own son work through several projects in middle school.
Mitzi Adams
"This is important to us," said Mitzi Adams, another judge, "because we want to foster the interest of students who can become tomorrow's scientists." Adams (middle in ) is a solar physicist and planetarium director for the Von Braun Astronomical Society in Huntsville, Alabama.

More than 200 middle and senior high school students from across the state participated in the fair held April 10, 1998 at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

The judges looked for projects that touched on, or had possible application to, the space sciences. These include NASA/Marshall's roles in space physics and astronomy, materials sciences, and global hydrology. Other judges from NASA/Marshall helped judge in aerospace engineering and other fields.

Three contestants were presented Certificates of Excellence ( ), each with a flight patch or flag that flew in space on the STS-75 Space Shuttle mission that carried USMP-3:
  • Timothy Gilino, Randolph School - Do Raindrops Carry an Electrical Charge?
  • Leah Jones, Thompson High School - The Effects of Angle of Incidence on Photovoltaic Cells
  • Jeremiah Brown, Covenant Christian Academy - A Single Element Anamorphic Lens for Collimating and Circularizing Laser Diodes (which Curreri is reviewing in the photo at top)

Ten Honorable Mention certificates (

)were awarded to the others selected by the Marshall scientists:
  • Justin Campbell, Dixon Middle School - Density and Buoyancy
  • Brian Williamson, Clark School of Math & Science - The Effect of Light on Chlorophyll Production
  • Anna Godwin, Montevallo Middle School - HOT STUFF! The Effect of Solar Magnetic Storms on School Attendance
  • Blake Baker, Dixon Middle School - How Time Flies
  • Alexander Law, Academy for Science & Foreign Language - Asteroid Defense: A Computer Simulation
  • Talicia Williams, Sumter County High School - Colorimetric Determination of Manganese in Steel
  • Brian Thomas II, Oakwood Academy - How is a Rocket Propelled? (in the middle photo)
  • Jay Mukerji, St. Paul's Episcopal School - Estimating the Time to Radio Between Interplanetary Civilizations
  • Taylor Griswold, Trinity Presbyterian School - The Dancing Ant
  • Elizabeth Dillard, Bradshaw High School - The Effects of Gamma Radiation Exposure on Photographic Film

All the certificates are signed by Dr. Gregory S. Wilson, Director of the Space Sciences Laboratory and a 4th-place winner at the 1969 International Science and Engineering Fair.

As a public service, all the ASEF winners are posted by category and by special awards.

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Author: Dave Dooling
Curator: Bryan Walls
NASA Official: John M. Horack