45th Annual West Virginia

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

March 19-20, 2010

West Virginia Wesleyan College; Buckhannon, WV

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National JSHS

2006-2007 Regional & National Awards

Congratulations to Kelydra Welcker (Parkersburg South High School), who won a first place in Environmental Science at the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium in Huntsville, AL.

WV Regional JSHS finalists at the National JSHS Symposium (left to right):  Jeffrey Atkinson, Kelydra Welcker, and Sripadh Balasubramanian.  Other finalists not pictured:  Amanda Chapman and Matthew Pefferman.

One of the attractions at the National JSHS was that Space Camp was right next door. Sripadh has some fun with Spiderman.  JSHS participants saw the new Spiderman movie on opening night...in IMAX!

The 2006-2007 Teacher Award was given to Mr. Peter Padula, of Musselman High School, for his efforts to bring Musselman students to present at the WV-JSHS.

2006-2007 Finalists' Abstracts

First place

Quantification, Removal and Recovery of the Teflon® Surfactant APFO

Kelydra Welcker, Parkersburg South High School, Parkersburg, WV

 Ammonium perfluorooctanoate - also called APFO, PFOA or C8 - is a surfactant associated with the production of Teflon®. Quantification of contaminated water samples utilized digitally-captured foam height testing which was 92% accurate having a detection level of 0.25 ppb and a quantification level of 0.50 ppb.  Static APFO removal and recovery utilized diffuse electrical double layer electrosorption while flow-through tabletop removal employed microlayer enhanced electrosorption, augmented by granular activated carbon (GAC). Foam height testing of water after GAC filtration at water treatment facilities confirmed that GAC alone was unable to remove 100% of APFO and identified filter saturation after just four months of use at the Tuppers Plains, OH treatment department. Overall Mid-Ohio Valley GAC removal efficiency at local water treatment facilities, over the two month period of July -August 2006, ranged from 11.4% to 30%. This is comparable to the 46% reduction in APFO concentrations reported by the 3M Corporation in Minnesota. Tap versus facility testing in the Mid-Ohio Valley revealed concrete pipes to be a previously unreported source of APFO contamination. Furthermore, APFO-microlayer formation was detected and quantified from both environmental and laboratory samples. All microlayers contained an average of 1.5 times more APFO than the bulk solution.

Second place

Bioremediation of Acid Mine Drainage using Elodea canadensis

Jeffrey Atkinson, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, WV

Sponsoring Teacher: Mr. Eric Kincaid, Morgantown High School

Research Mentor:  Dr. Martin Christ, Friends of Decker’s Creek

                   Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) is polluted water that drains from surface and underground coal mines, with high levels of acidity and dissolved metals. Many rivers and streams in West Virginia suffer from AMD, which negatively affects biodiversity, killing off aquatic animals and plants. Lower Deckers Creek in North Central WV is nearly devoid of life, partly due to several abandoned mine water discharges in the watershed. Below the abandoned Richard Mine discharge in Sabraton, there is a large spike in acidity and dissolved metal concentrations. This experiment examined the effectiveness of using Elodea canadensis, a native, non-invasive species of submerged aquatic macrophyte, to remediate polluted water drawn from the Richard discharge. This biological remediation occurs through the oxygenation of the water by the plant and the accompanying conversion of aqueous ferrous iron into insoluble ferric iron. Different quantities of Elodea, an efficient oxygenator, were placed in containers of diluted AMD, and dissolved ferrous iron concentrations were measured over 21 days to investigate the kinetics of the oxidation reaction. In a matter of days, Elodea remediated much of the dissolved iron in the samples, demonstrating the potential of using these plants for the environmental cleanup of AMD-polluted streams and wetlands.

Third place

The Integral Milky Way

Sripadh Balasubramanian, Frankfort High School, Ridgely, WV

Research Mentor:  Ms. Sue Ann Heatherly, NRAO Education Director 

The objective of my project is as follows and includes the use of a radio telescope:

  • Determine the amount of HI per cm3 (hydrogen-1, as it is called, is the most abundant element in the universe) in the galactic plane in the intervals of 10 degrees of galactic longitude. Here on earth, only 10 through 240 degrees (out of 10 through 360) is possible to research.
  • Determine the velocity (km/s) of the HI in intervals of 10 degrees.
  • From the velocity, determine whether a red shift (moving away/positive velocity) or a blue shift (moving toward/negative velocity) is occurring with the HI.
  • Graph the data for the velocity of HI and the amount of HI and determine the best fit functions’ equation for scientists to determine the velocity and amount of HI without using a radio telescope.

The findings were astounding: The velocity started out as a red shift then slowly transferred into a blue shift. After that it turned back into the red shift. The actual velocity (absolute value) increased (when it was turning into a blue shift) then decreased (turning into a red shift). The equations for the functions were:

  y=(0.000035X^3)+(-0.006559X^2)+(-0.3126X)+34.23 (velocity)

  y=(0.000002X^3)+(-0.001045X^2)+(0.1517X)+5.039  (HI/cm3)

Fourth place

Comparing Biodiesel Fuel Percentages:

Which Delivers the Greatest Distance and Time in a Farm Tractor?

Amanda Chapman, Musselman High School, Inwood, WV

Sponsoring Teacher: Ms. Brenda Waterworth

 The purpose of this project is to determine which percentage (20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, or 100%) of biodiesel fuel (corn oil fuel mixed with petroleum diesel) will deliver the greatest distance and time in a farm tractor.

My hypothesis is that if one compares the differing biodiesel fuel percentages: then the 40% mixture will deliver the greatest distance and time in a farm tractor.

I engineered a tractor course, measuring the lap distance. I processed corn oil into a fuel, letting it set for 12 hours. An alternative fuel tank and line was attached to the tractor. On three different days, trials were conducted on each fuel percentage, rotating the fuel sequence, to determine distance and time the tractor ran on ¼ gallon of fuel at 1500 RPMs. The tractor had to be reprimed and towed to the starting line after each trial.

            In conclusion, my hypothesis was incorrect. The 40% mixture of corn oil fuel and petroleum diesel did not allow the best distance and time. Of the five-biodiesel fuel mixtures tested; the 60% mixture delivered the greatest total and mean distance, as well as the greatest total and mean time. More biodiesel fuel produced better distance and time.

Fifth place

Determining Loop Antenna Properties

Matthew Pefferman, Magnolia High School

Sponsoring Teacher: Mrs. Deborah Rothacher

Research Mentor:  Rev. Russell Whitener, Amateur Radio Operator NW9B

 The problem for this project was whether the frame size of small loop antennas affected their resonant frequencies.

The hypothesis was, “If two small loop antennas both have the same overall length of wire but different sized frames, then the one with the smaller frame will have a lower resonant frequency.”

Due to the different formulas to find the resonant frequency of small loops, loop frame size was tested to see if it affected resonant frequency.

The independent variable was loop frame size.  The loop with the larger frame (loop #1) and the loop with the smaller frame (loop #2) were each tested at peak and null on 9355 kHz, 5950 kHz, and 3330 kHz.  The control was a l.25 meter whip antenna.   Sixteen daily trials were conducted between 5:30 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

The dependent variables were signal strength in S-units and clarity of the broadcasted signal, known as SNR. 

Loop #2 provided higher signal strength at peak and null than loop #1 on 9355 kHz, but lower signal strength on 5950 kHz and 3330 kHz.  In conclusion, the results suggested that smaller loop frame size leads to a higher resonant frequency.  Therefore, the hypothesis was negated.

Questions or Comments:   wvjshs@wvwc.edu