Congratulations to the 2018 LRSEF Winners Anna and Naomi!

Congratulations to the 2018 Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair Winners: Senior 2 Winner Anna Smirnova from Academic Magnet High School (teacher Katy Metzner-Roop) and Senior 1 Winner Naomi Higgins from The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences (teacher Michelle Neubauer)!

Overall winners, Naomi Higgins and Anna Smirnova

With their research, Anna and Naomi each won their particular division of the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair, held in April at the College of Charleston and presented at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), this May in Pittsburgh, PA.

The LHSM was proud to have both of these students represent the Lowcountry of South Carolina at the Intel ISEF. Anna’s research focused on how Phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM) affects the phase dynamics of the polymer in solution, to see if it might provide an additional nucleation site and increase aggregation and alter the final film morphology of the spin-coated solution. Naomi’s research tried to determine if music or sounds are motivational and improve concentration, or if they were distracting, while performing some type of math task.

Anna at her LRSEF PosterAnna is currently a senior at Academic Magnet High School, Charleston, SC. This summer She’ll be working in the physical chemistry lab with Dr. Boucher at the College of Charleston. Next year She’ll be studying chemistry at Duke University. In the future, she hopes to use the principles of physics and chemistry to make the world a better place, specifically in the energy and environment sector. After college, she hopes to get a Ph.D. in molecular engineering, physical chemistry, or a related field, and possibly work for the Department of Energy or maybe run her own lab at a university.

Naomi at the Intel ISEF 2018Naomi will be a Sophomore at The Georgetown School of Art and Sciences, Georgetown, SC. She is still not quite sure what the future holds for her, but she knows that she is interested in continuing her research around music and the effects it has on people.

Both girls attended the Intel ISEF in Pittsburgh and were truly amazed. Both students talked about the opportunities to meet new people and see the inspiring research going on from high school students. Anna said, “talking to people with similar interests from across the world was so fun, and it was inspiring to see so many kids doing such incredible work.” Naomi said, “The whole experience, for me, was life changing because it showed me that I may be in high school but I have the opportunities to change the world for the better with my work. I will never forget this experience.”

Naomi meeting students from all over the worldScience fair has in many schools fallen by the wayside, yet there are so many benefits to performing real-world research. I asked Anna and Naomi why they thought it was beneficial and here is what they said…Anna said, “I almost didn’t submit my project because I didn’t think my data was good enough. Just go for it, you never know what might happen! Even if you don’t win any prizes it is still a great opportunity to learn how to speak well, get advice on your project from actual scientists and to make connections. Also don’t be nervous about speaking in front of the judges, more than anything they are there to encourage you and push you to think more!” And Naomi, “I believe the science fair teaches students how to speak to adults and do it well, how to present themselves in a respectful way, and it allows students to explore different fields of science that they could truly be interested in. Science fair has only had a positive impact on me and I hope science fairs will continue for years to come.”

As the Intel ISEF says…the future is indeed bright for these science fair participants. And it is indeed bright for our own Anna Smirnova and Naomi Higgins!

2018 Lowcountry Science and Engineering Fair Winners Announced

The 2018 Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Over 100 students participated showing off their wonderful projects in science, engineering and math. Congratulations to all of our winners, this list of which can be accessed at http://lhsm.cofc.edu/lowcountry-science-fair/index.php.

Student being judged at the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

The top winners this year included: From the Junior 1 Division (5th and 6th grade), Sam Owens, from Lowcountry Leadership Charter School, took 1st place for his project, What Does it Take for Clay to Break?, looking at the strength of various types of clay, including air dry, oven baked and epoxy- based clays. From the Junior 2 Division (7th and 8th grade), Ella Cheek, from The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences, too 1st place for her project, Get Color Stoked, determining whether or not color evokes certain emotions in people. From the Senior 1 Division (9th and 10th grade), Naomi Higgins, from The Georgetown School of Arts and Sciences, took first place for her project, Test Tunes, an experiment to determine whether or not music or sounds are motivational and improve concentration. And from the Senior 2 Division (11th and 12th grades), Anna Smirnova from Academic Magnet High School, took first place for her project, The effect of fullerene additives on P3HT films processed in binary solution, to determine how CBM and various solution preparation methods affect the aggregation of P3HT.

Overall winners, Naomi Higgins and Anna Smirnova

The overall winner of the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair was Anna Smirnova, who will travel to Pittsburgh, PA to present her project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In addition, this year, the overall second place winner, Naomi Higgins, will also travel there. Amazing Projects!

Thank you to all students, teachers, parents and judges that participated, encouraging STEM minds!

Lady Cougars Basketball STEM Education Day | February 23, 2018

Join us for the 6th annual STEM Education Day presented by the College of Charleston School of Science and Mathematics, Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math, and Lady Cougars Basketball team. Experience hands-on activities and demonstrations related to science, technology, engineering and math by College of Charleston Faculty as well as local STEM organizations and then enjoy the Lady Cougars basketball game against the University of North Carolina, out of Wilmington.


What: STEM hands-on activities and demonstrations including (to name only a few) marine animal touch tanks, energy and light physics demos, earth and planetary science, robotics and computer science, flying paper airplane construction, dancing with Clyde the Cougar, and the list goes on!

Where: College of Charleston TD Arena
When: Friday, February 23, 2018
     STEM Activities: 9:30-11 AM
     Game: 11:30 AM – on
Who: The event is open to all 3rd-8th grade classes in the Lowcountry (however you MUST register as there is limited space). Register at http://blogs.cofc.edu/lowcountryhall/stemdayreg/.
Cost: Free
Deadline: Register by Friday, February 9 to ensure your space

We hope to see you there!

Eclipse 2017

total solar eclipse in Australia

A total solar eclipse was visible from the Northern tip of Australia on Nov. 13, 2012 at 3:35 EST. The light halo visible around the edges of the moon is the sun’s atmosphere, the corona. Image courtesy of Romeo Durscher

Those of us here in South Carolina are about to witness a unique and spectacular event – a total solar eclipse and Greenville, Columbia, and Charleston are in the path of totality! This total solar eclipse is the first in the continental United States in nearly 40 years and takes place on Aug. 21, 2017.

This celestial event is a solar eclipse in which the moon passes between the sun and Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to about three hours, from beginning to end, as viewed from a given location. For this eclipse, the longest period when the moon completely blocks the sun from any given location along the path will be about two minutes and 40 seconds. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979.

There are numerous locations around the Charleston area where you can safely witness this event. Safety is of extreme importance! You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. That could severely hurt your eyes. There are many ways to safely view an eclipse of the sun including direct viewing – which requires some type of filtering device, like eclipse glasses (make sure they are ISO certified) and indirect viewing where you project an image of the sun onto a screen. For a cool projector that you can make, check out http://richardsont.people.cofc.edu/safe_solar_folder/index.html

For locations around the lowcountry, check out our map at: http://blogs.cofc.edu/lowcountryhall/great-american-eclipse-2017/

2017 Lowcountry Science and Engineering Fair Winners Announced

The 2017 Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair was held Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at the College of Charleston TD Arena. Over 120 students participated showing off their wonderful projects in science, engineering and math. Congratulations to all of our winners, this list of which can be accessed at http://lhsm.cofc.edu/lowcountry-science-fair/index.php.

Two Engineering students from Stall High School with their high altitude balloon payload.

The top winners this year included: From the Junior 1 Division (5th and 6th grade), Lindsey Fauerbach, from East Cooper Montessori School, took 1st place for her project, Enjoy the Ride about coding an mBot, a robotic car, to prove that self-driving cars are now realistic. From the Junior 2 Division (7th and 8th grade), Benjamin Lipschutz, from Addlestone Hebrew Academy, took first place for his project, Evaluation of the Five Second Rule and Beyond, to test food that is on the floor for less than and more than five seconds to assess if it becomes contaminated. From the Senior 1 Division (9th and 10th grade), Rachel Esienhart, from Palmetto Scholars Academy, took first place for her project, Brain Food: Multisensory Perception and Interference, an experiment to determine whether or not the McGurk effect could be applied to sight and taste. And from the Senior 2 Division (11th and 12th grades), Jenny Yao from academic Magnet High School, took first place for her project, Identifying Limiting Nutrient on Stem Cell Spheroid Viability for Human Cardiac Tissue Regeneration, which looked at Stem cell-derived cardiomyocyte spheroids as potential cell delivery systems that improve cell retention and engraftmen.

Overall Winners Jenny Yao and Ali DeLambo with teacher Katy Metzner-Roop

The overall winner of the Lowcountry Regional Science and Engineering Fair was Jenny Yao, who will travel to Los Angeles, CA to present her project at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. In addition, this year, the overall second place winner, Ali DeLambo will also travel there. Amazing Projects!

Thank you to all students, teachers, parents and judges that participated, encouraging STEM minds!

2017 You Be the Chemist Charleston Challenge

On Saturday, March 10, 2017, over 20 students from the Lowcountry came together to compete in the 2017 You Be the Chemist Charleston Challenge. 4 schools, Buist Academy, CE Williams Middle School, Gregg Middle School, and St. George Middle School sent students from grades 5th through 8th to show off their chemistry knowledge. After several exciting tiebreaker rounds, Buist Academy took the championship. Asher Wallen, a 7th grader, became our You Be the Chemist Charleston champion. Gar Fowler, an 8th grader from Buist Academy took second, and Ashton Pool, a 7th grader from Gregg Middle School took third. These three students, along with 5 others will move on to the state challenge.

Congratulations to all students!

The You Be the Chemist challenge was sponsored by the Chemical Educational Foundation, BASF, Brenntag and the College of Charleston Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math.

For more information on the You Be the Chemist Challenge, check out the CEF page at https://www.chemed.org/programs/challenge/.

Charleston STEM Festival | February 11, 2017

Celebrating STEM in the LowcountryJoin the Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math on February 11, 2017 at the Charleston STEM Festival. During the festival kick-off, children and families will view exhibits and participate in interactive demonstrations hosted by local industries, non-profits and educational institutions. In the two weeks following the event, our community supporters will be hosting a wide variety of events around town, including workshops, lectures, and open houses.

The festival kick-off on Saturday, February 11, 2017 is a one-day (10am-3pm) interactive event at Brittlebank Park that will highlight the many STEM education initiatives in the area. This year the festival will be held in conjunction with the Math Meet (http://mathmeet.cofc.edu/), as well as the Storm the Citadel Trebuchet competition (https://sites.google.com/site/stormthecitadelcompetitions/).

For more information, check out http://charlestonstemfest.org/.