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Congratulations to the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research Winners!

Ohio EPA announced this week the Governor's Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research. These 24 students were selected at State Science Day at The Ohio State University on Saturday May 14.

State Science Day is organized and sponsored by the Ohio Academy of Science and is the equivalent of a state championship for science projects. The primary objective of State Science Day is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their abilities and interests in science through individual experimentation and research.

Each year, more than 35,000 students at more than 1,000 schools across Ohio participate in local science fairs and are judged on knowledge achieved, effective use of scientific method, clarity of expression, originality and creativity. Students who achieve superior ratings are invited to participate in district science fairs. More than 1,000 students from grades 5-12 participate in State Science Day and may be eligible for nearly 100 different scholarships and awards valued at more than $4 million.

Each recipient will receive a $100 prize and a certificate signed by Governor Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.

This year’s recipients of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research are:

7th Grade

  • First Place: Mohini Parvate, Henry Karrer Middle School, Dublin, Controlling Algae Growth: To Bloom or Not To Bloom;
  • Second Place: Olivia Rademacher, St. Columban, Loveland, Think Before You Drink: A Comparison of Water Filtration Methods;
  • Third Place: Aileen Bracken, Incarnate Word Academy, Parma Heights, Does Fertilizer Improve the Growth Outcome of Hydroponic or Soil Grown Plants Better? and
  • Honorable Mention: Evelyn Sarle, St. Paul, Westerville, The Effect of Limestone on Pine Trees Treated with Sulfuric Acid.

8th Grade 

  • First Place: Mukund Anand Seshadri, Village Academy, Powell, Going Green: Using Plants to Clean Up Gasoline (Phytoremediation of Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons in Gasoline Using Brassica Rapa);
  • Second Place: Kaylie Malloy, St. Mary, Chardon, I have 99 Problems and Microbeads are 1
  • Third Place: Adriane E. Thompson, Genoa Middle School, Westerville, Studying the Mutagenic Effects of Glyphosphate and Commercial Herbicide Using the Ames Test; and
  • Honorable Mention: Ethan Kaper, Liberty Union Middle School, Baltimore, The Factors of Corn Germination

9th Grade 

  • First Place: Maximilian J. Chmura, St. Vincent, St. Mary, Akron, The Effect of Electric Fields on Reducing Phosphate Runoff from Soybean Farmland;
  • Second Place: Swati Bhageria, Sycamore High School, Cincinnati, Cost Effective Water Filtration systems for Rural Areas and Developing Economies;
  • Third Place: Mr. Travis O’Leary, Carroll High School, Dayton, Liquid Nitrogen’s Effect On Oil Spills; and
  • Honorable Mention: Joshua David Alatis, Home Schooled, District 7, Testing for Maximized Hydrogen Output Using Differing Sulfate and Chloride Solutions in the Electrolysis of Water.

10th Grade

  • First Place: Mr. Akul Rajan, William Mason High School, Mason, Mycoremediation and Phytoremediation as a Method to Clean Up Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil and Water;
  • Second Place: Alekya Raghavan and Ms. Ahalya Ramesh, William Mason High School, Mason, Farm to Fuel: The Efficacy of Biofuels from Agricultural Waste;
  • Third Place: Kavin S. Vedamoorthy, New Albany High School, New Albany, Enhancement of Crude Oil Phytoremediation Using Biodiesel: A Comparative Assessment of Plant Metabolites; and
  • Honorable Mention: Jamie C. Bradbury, Geneva High School, Geneva, Earthworms in the Treatment of Sewage Sludge.

11th Grade

  • First Place: Abigail L. Myers, Big Walnut High School, Sunbury, Arctic Oil Spill Clean-Up: Light vs. Heavy Oil;
  • Second Place: Nihar Rama and Mr. Aditya Singh, William Mason High School, Mason, Effective Synthesis and Implementation of Organic Bioplastics;
  • Third Place: Vanessa S. Frank, Geneva High School, Geneva, Organic Filtering of Animal Compost; and 
  • Honorable Mention: Aditya Jog, William Mason High School, Mason, Phase Change Material Based Thermal Energy Storage for Higher Efficiency Photovoltaics.

12th Grade

  • First Place: Alan Fong, Sylvania Southview High School, Sylvania, Suitability of ITO as a TCO for Superstrate Configuration Perovskite Solar Cells;
  • Second Place: Mr. Julian Aaron Liber, Sylvania Southview High School, Sylvania, The Relative Biomass Density of Invasive Plant Species in Northwest Ohio;
  • Third Place: Ms. Shelby M. Dalton, Rock Hill Senior High School, Ironton, Water Quality: The Effects of Agricultural Runoff; and
  • Honorable Mention: Abigail E. Ambrose, River View High School, Warsaw, Microbial Catalyst: Finding a Catalyst for a Microbial Fuel Cell.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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