Girl power in full effect at SIS Science Fair, Invention Convention

The Shelton Intermediate School recently announced the winners who were selected to advance to the next round of its annual Science Fair and Invention Convention in the next couple of months.

Aside from creating impressive Science Fair and Invention Convention submissions, the seven SIS students who will advance to the next round of both individual competitions all have one thing in common.

All of the seven winners from SIS seventh and eighth grade are girls.

Science teacher/curriculum leader at SIS Ernestina Genova said it’s great to see young girls excelling in such a male-dominated field.

“As a female, we’re so underrepresented in this field, so when I noticed that all of our winners were girls it made me very proud and encouraged because it is one of our goals at SIS — to get more young people interested in the field of science,” said Genova.

The seven winners also said the experience has been empowering.

“It’s awesome because we haven’t seen many women that are into science or that are engineers or scientists,” said SIS seventh grader Erienna Pappano, who invented the “Handy Hair Brush” for the 2017 Invention Convention.

The Handy Hair Brush is designed to make styling/maintaining hair as convenient as possible by having a built-in pouch for bobby pins and a clasp that holds 20 or so hair ties.

Pappano said she and the other winners are tweaking their inventions and projects prior to appearing in the next round of competition.

The next round of the Invention Convention will take place at Western Connecticut State University’s Westside Campus in the William O’Neill Athletic and Convocation Center located at 43 Lake Avenue Extension in Danbury on April 1.

The next round of the Science Fair will take place at Quinnipiac University in Hamden from March 14 to 18.

Invention Convention contestants

In addition to Pappano, seventh graders Aja-nei Stinson andKaytie Tanoue both have inventions in this year’s Invention Convention.

Stinson had the idea to create an invention that would address the needs of small dogs while walking in cold weather.

“I walk smaller dogs in my neighborhood, and whenever I walk them and it’s cold outside, they start shivering,” said Stinson. “If you pick them up and put them in your jacket, you look like an absolute weirdo, so I decided to invent something that could help to change that.”

In an effort to address the inconvenience, Stinson invented the “Doggy Travel Buddy,” which is essentially a heated dog vest.

She, too, said she will be modifying it before the next round of competition.

Tanoue's invention was meant to help a friend who couldn’t get nail polish off her nails because the acetone in her nail polish remover irritated her fingers. Her friend’s problem led her to create her own rendition of a popular kid’s toy commonly referred to as “slime” that doubled as a form of nail polish remover.

While the normal composition of the toy requires such ingredients as water, glitter, Borax powder, starch, and glue, Tanoue thought to substitute the water for non-acetone nail polish remover.

Science fair contestants

Seventh grader Sophia Gasbarro’s science fair project is called “Sneaker Feature,” and was designed to test whether high or low temperatures affect the amount of compression on the bottom of a sneaker’s padding.

Gasbarro said her project derived from her experience as a cross country runner and that her results supported her hypothesis that lower temperatures would cause more compression on a sneaker’s padding.

She said she hopes her experiment can preserve the life of her favorite running sneakers.

Eighth graders Hailey Lazaro and Cathleen Higgins teamed up for a project called “Teething You the Truth.” The project was designed to test what sugary drink affects tooth enamel the most.

Lazaro and Higgins said that after conducting multiple trials of their experiment, their results led them to conclude that Red Bull damages teeth enamel most. The duo also tested root beer, Gatorade, water, and apple juice.

Eighth grader Jules Cayer designed an experiment that compared how the weather varies across parts of Shelton.

In order to do this she set up two “weather stations,” one in the Long Hill area and the other in White Hills. The weather stations monitored temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure over the course of a week and a half.

Cayer’s results showed that it was colder in White Hills by approximately one-third of a degree on average and more humid in the White Hills area by seven-tenths of a percent, and there was more atmospheric pressure in the Long Hill area by 8.3 HPI. HPI is the form of measurement used to measure atmospheric pressure.