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Feb. 16, 2018 - District Secondary Science Fair Winners, Junior Division


Junior Division

(See Senior Division Awards)

More than 100 awards (grand prize through honorable mention) were earned by students at the Junior Division of the annual Plano ISD District Secondary Science Fair held on February 8 at Plano Center. Community volunteers and sponsors make this event possible. We thank our many volunteers for their role in making this event possible. Participating students qualify for the Beal Bank Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair to be held on Saturday, February 24, at Dallas Fair Park. 

At the district science fair, students participated as individuals and in teams with research projects based on the following eighteen sciences: behavioral and social sciences, biochemistry/animal science, biomedical and health sciences, cellular and molecular biology, chemistry, earth and environmental sciences, embedded systems, energy: chemical, energy: physical, engineering mechanics, environmental engineering, materials science, mathematics, microbiology, physics and astronomy, plant sciences, robotics and intelligent machines and systems software. See photo gallery.

 Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School with trophy

Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School receives his grand prize trophy from Assistant Superintendent Dr. Katrina Hasley at the Plano ISD Secondary Science Fair. See photo gallery.

Junior Division Grand Prize

  • Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School, Robotics and Intelligent Machines, Intellitherm: So Cool, It's Hot 

Jugaad Special Award

  • Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School, Intellitherm: So Cool, It's Hot 
  • Bradley Blackwell, Haggard Middle School, Runaway Board No More 
  • Neel Shanmugam, Otto Middle School, Feeling Feelings 
  • Ananya Sridhar, Otto Middle School, Smart Seat SOS-Sense, On Alert, Save Lives 

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • First place, Tanaz Muhamed, Otto Middle School, Explore or Exploit?
  • Second place, Adithi Rallapalli, Renner Middle School, Reading in the Digital Age: E-Readers vs. Paperbacks
  • Third place, Emma Yu, Otto Middle School, Embracing the Sound of Silence

Biochemistry/Animal Science

  • First place, Manthra Natarajan, Otto Middle School, Electricity Generation Using Microbial Fuel Cells
  • Second place, Marshall Harris, Schimelpfenig Middle School, The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Polyethylene bio-degradation by caterpillars of the wax worm Galleria mellonella
  • Third place, Ryan Smith, Rice Middle School, A Plastic Diet: The Usage of Galleria mellonella as a Biodegradable Agent on Various Plastic Polymers

Biomedical and Health Sciences

  • First place, Jason Xu, Rice Middle School, Got Oranges
  • Second place, Abby Nguyen, Murphy Middle School, The Heat Is On: The Effects of Heat on Enzymes
  • Third place, Harini Kanamarlapudi, Robinson Middle School, Which Container's The Best

Honorable Mention

  • Ashley Chen, Robinson Middle School, Berry Bad Mold
  • Srihari Embar, Rice Middle School, Targeting the Cancer Cell Metabolism
  • Kyle Jilla, Frankford Middle School, Which Type of Air Freshener Is the Least Harmful?
  • Justin Rho, Renner Middle School, Take a Bite, Take a Life

Cellular and Molecular Biology

  • First place, Hank Immerman, Frankford Middle School, Essentially Clean
  • Second place, Shakti Ramakrishna, Renner Middle School, Genetically Modified Organisms
  • Third place, Shreyas Shridharan, Rice Middle School, A Study on the Reduction of Virion Propagation


  • First place, Sydney Denton, Wilson Middle School, Lactose to Glucose: Will it Work?
  • First place, Avery Newberg, Wilson Middle School, Lactose to Glucose: Will it Work?
  • Second place, Christine Yan, Rice Middle School, Detecting Artificial Dyes
  • Third place, Krithi Subramanian, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Sucrose Surfeit!

Honorable Mention

  • Grace Sammon Armstrong Middle School, Here, Taste my Science Project, Part 2!
  • Katie Sims-Drexel, Armstrong Middle School, Science Rocks!

Earth and Environmental Sciences

  • First place, Madhalasa Iyer, Rice Middle School, Biodegradation of Atrazine by Agrobacterium Radiobacter J14a and Stable Mixed Cultures
  • Second place, Anay Gupta, Murphy Middle School, The Effect of Atmospheric Water Generation on Water Scarcity
  • Second place, Jayant Namdhari, Murphy Middle School, The Effect of Atmospheric Water Generation on Water Scarcity
  • Third place, Caroline Behnke, Murphy Middle School, Fuel Cell Frenzy

Honorable Mention

  • Mansi Madaik, Murphy Middle School, No Dirt or Debris: Clean Water for Free
  • Jason Shulman, Renner Middle School, Storm Stopper

Embedded Systems

  • First place, Sophie Krajmalnik, Frankford Middle School, SANDRA (Serve and Data Results Analysis) Athletic Tech Glove
  • Second place, Grace Wang, Renner Middle School, No Child Left Behind
  • Third place, Ishaan Javali, Murphy Middle School, A Device For the Deaf

Honorable Mention

  • Otto Beall, Otto Middle School, An Affordable Braille Embosser
  • Harsh Patel, Murphy Middle School, A Novel Approach to Positional Navigation for the Visually Impaired Through the Use of Robotic Assisted Vibration Synapses
  • Jonathan Smith, Otto Middle School, Dipole Antenna Working on Multiple Bands
  • Rebecca Smith, Otto Middle School, Dipole Antenna Working on Multiple Bands
  • Ananya Sridhar, Otto Middle School, Smart Seat SOS-Sense, On Alert, Save Lives
  • Keshav Vasanth, Otto Middle School, Drops in the Bucket

Energy: Chemical

  • First place, Arnav Murthy, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Fueling the Future: Analyzing the Comparative Efficiencies of a Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel CELL (PEMFC) AND A MICROBIAL FUEL CELL (MFC)
  • Second place, Vanessa Gaudino, Armstrong Middle School, Think Twice Before You Step on Ice
  • Second place, Kinsey Killion, Armstrong Middle School, Think Twice Before You Step on Ice
  • Third place, Megan Trieu, Murphy Middle School, Sports Drinks vs. Fruit juice

Energy: Physical

  • First place, Satvik Mahendra, Rice Middle School, Super Charged Solar System: A Better Rooftop Solar Tracker
  • Second place, Greyson Wong, Otto Middle School, Solar Tracker
  • Third place, Ethan Kilgard, Wilson Middle School, Melt it One Cube at a Time

Honorable Mention

  • Mason Baxter, Hendrick Middle School, Motors and Electromagnets
  • Kort Keierleber, Armstrong Middle School, How Fast Does a Baseball Roll on Grass, Turf, Tall Grass and Dirt?
  • Alisa Lee, Schimelpfenig Middle School, This Calls for Radiation
  • Andrew McFearin, Hendrick Middle School, Panel Resistance

Engineering Mechanics

  • First place, Nethra Krishnan, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Environment Sensing for Visually Impaired
  • Second place, Tulio Sasaya, Murphy Middle School, Solar Tracker
  • Third place, Sean Jannati, Renner Middle School, An EEG Driven Assistive Robotics System
  • Third place, Aditya Rai, Renner Middle School, An EEG Driven Assistive Robotics System
  • Third place, Soham Verma, Renner Middle School, An EEG Driven Assistive Robotics System

Honorable Mention

  • Bradley Blackwell, Haggard Middle School, Runaway Board No More
  • Logan Bristol, Renner Middle School, Now Hear This...
  • Danielle Furman, Frankford Middle School, Lend a Hand to Stand
  • Stephen Latimer, Hendrick Middle School, Computerized Signal for Students with ADHD
  • Tyler Reichenstein, Frankford Middle School, Take Your Pills (A Pill Case Reminder system)

Environmental Engineering

  • First place, Deepti Nandakumar, Otto Middle School, Transolar Tower
  • Second place, Raghav Ramki, Rice Middle School, Global Warming is not Cool! Engineering Algal Bioscrubbers to Prevent Global Warming
  • Second place, Mark Yang, Rice Middle School, Global Warming is not Cool! Engineering Algal Bioscrubbers to Prevent Global Warming
  • Third place, Jackson Keith, Haggard Middle School, A New Garbage Masher for the Detention Level

Honorable Mention

  • Aidan Doyle, Frankford Middle School, Electric Purity
  • Madeline Tsao, Schimelpfenig Middle School, A Novel Way to Remove Impurities from Water

Materials Science

  • First place, Preston Phillips, Robinson Middle School, The Science of Marinades
  • Second place, Hannah Presley, Hendrick Middle School, Fibrous Paper
  • Third place, Charles Hou, Schimelpfenig Middle School, A Novel Approach to Increase Efficiency of Voltaic Cells Using Graphene Nanoplatelet and Salt Solutions

Honorable Mention

  • Richard Wille, Murphy Middle School, The Heat is On: The Use of Carbon Nanotubes to Create Heated Fabric


  • First place, Rithvik Ganesh, Rice Middle School, Diminishing Dementia: Piperine Derivatives as Inhibitors of the Angiotensin II Receptor, a Promising Drug Target Linked to Dementia Treatment
  • Second place, Thanushri Bathey, Rice Middle School, Automated Forex Trading System


  • First place, Abishai Rajan, Schimelpfenig Middle School, Little Things Make Big Things Happen: An In Vitro Comparison of Various Concentrations of Antibacterial Silver Nanoparticles and Antibiotic Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole in Neutralizing Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus Epidermidis
  • Second place, Adith Gangalakunta, Rice Middle School, Can Melatonin Prevent skin cancer? Using Melatonin as a Photo Protective Agent Against Non-ionizing (UV) Radiation to Prevent Free Radicals from Damaging Cells/DNA and Reduce Risk Factors for Skin Cancer/Melanoma
  • Third place, Simran Misra, Frankford Middle School, Water We Going to Do? The Effect of Soil Conditioner on Floodwater Remediation

Honorable Mention

  • Jad Bazian, Otto Middle School, Microbial
  • Krutin Devesh, Rice Middle School, Extract Incorporation: A Novel Resolution to Combat Multidrug Resistant Pathogens
  • Soham Sharma, Robinson Middle School, Making a Microbial Fuel Cell
  • Rami Shihabi, Haggard Middle School, Air Circulation and Air Quality in Home

Physics and Astronomy

  • First place, Katherine Forson, Renner Middle School, Radio Time
  • Second place, Jackson Petkovski, Haggard Middle School, How Fast Dose Time Fly
  • Third place, Andria Christian, Wilson Middle School, Eye in the Sky

Plant Sciences

  • First place, Rachel Mammen, Rice Middle School, Attracted to Extracted Pectin: The Effect of Extracted Pectin on Various Soil Growth Mediums in Relation to Soil Moisture Retention and Plant Growth
  • Second place, Lucas Sasaya, Murphy Middle School, Algae Control
  • Third place, Ella Yarborough, Murphy Middle School, Hydrosoil Polymers

Honorable Mention

  • Priscilla Cheng, Haggard Middle School, Mung Beans
  • Jerry Dai, Robinson Middle School, Increasing Plant Growth while Reducing Trash with Compost
  • Jenna Franks, Carpenter Middle School, Crowded Companions: The Study of Plant Density Combined with Companion Planting
  • Grayson Patak, Carpenter Middle School, Catchin' Rays
  • Ayah Shalabi, Armstrong Middle School, The Grey Water Effect

Robotics and Intelligent Machines

  • First place, Harshal Bharatia, Wilson Middle School, Intellitherm: So Cool, It's Hot
  • Second place, Navya Ramakrishnan, Rice Middle School, ForeSEE Blindness: An Intelligent System for the Early Detection of Eye Diseases that Lead to Irreversible Vision Loss
  • Third place, Neel Shanmugam, Otto Middle School, Feeling Feelings

Honorable Mention

  • Saketh Gangadaranellore, Renner Middle School, Security Squad
  • Ayush Golagani, Renner Middle School, Security Squad
  • Sidhya Peddinti, Otto Middle School, AlzAlertPi: Facial Recognition Alert System for Alzheimer’s Patients
  • Arjun Raghuram, Otto Middle School, Preventing Accidents in Car Windows using an Arduino Uno
  • Mikhail Rura, Carpenter Middle School, Scorpion
  • Faith Ward, Murphy Middle School, Garage Door Opener

Systems Software

  • First place, Zaki Inamdar, Murphy Middle School, School Bus Entry-Exit System
  • Second place, Aditya Panda, Rice Middle School, Comparative Analysis of Classification and Regression Tree (CART) vs. Single Layer Neural Networks (Perceptron) for Breast Cancer Diagnosis
  • Third place, Eli Chou, Armstrong Middle School, How Secure Are the General Public's Passwords?

Honorable Mention

  • David Sisson, Wilson Middle School, Cybersecurity: How Easily Can Your Password Be Hacked?