Science fair students just keep on winning
September 29, 2023
Three Cloquet High School science fair students who excelled at regional and state science fair last spring continued their winning ways at national and international competitions across the country over the past few months.
Science Fair mentor Cindy Welsh shared recent updates:
Junior Johanna Bernu competed at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas, in May. She was awarded a $40,000 Scholarship to Arizona University at ISEF.
In June, Bernu also represented Minnesota at the National Stockholm Junior Waterprize, and competed at Genius Olympiad, where she received a gold medal, awarded to the top 5 percent of exhibitors at the international fair in New York state.
Bernu has been studying the disinfectant properties of the yellow water lily. A Fond du Lac descendent, Bernu decided to prove some of the traditional knowledge she'd grown up hearing. This study shows that Ojibwe people had antibacterials at a very early age.
Senior Grace Lavan was the only student to represent Minnesota at the National ArcGIS Story map competition in June. She also competed at Genius Olympiad, where she received a bronze medal, awarded to the top 25 percent of exhibitors at the international fair in New York state. Lavan also took grand prize in the Minnesota State Fair 4-H competition. She continued her multi-year study of the effects of the Enbridge pipeline construction on wolf pack den location, and used an online mapping tool (ArcGIS) to generate wolf location maps. She found little difference in the location before and after the pipeline construction.
Sophomore Ethan Lavan took second place (to his sister, Grace) in the Minnesota ArcGIS Story map competition and a blue ribbon in the Minnesota State Fair 4-H competition. Lavan's project looked at the "Effects of the Pandemic/Food Supply Chain, City Populations, and Time on Urban Chicken Keeping." He found the number of permits to raise chickens in 13 Minnesota cities increased during the pandemic in 2020 and again in 2022, when egg prices increased dramatically.
Oh the places they go!
Read more about this year's Science Fair stars here: