Twenty-Six Students Earn Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research

Ohio EPA congratulates the winners of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research. Twenty-six seventh through 12th grade students were selected as part of State Science Day. Judging was conducted virtually over several days in May and June.

Senior Adriane Thompson of the Wellington School in Columbus became a three-time Governor’s Award recipient. Two-time winners are Josephine Rose, a junior at Carroll High School in Dayton, and Anas Mereb, an eighth grader at Sunrise Academy in Hilliard.

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. 

This year’s Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research recipients are: 

7th Grade 

  • First Place: Maura Risk, Mother Teresa Catholic, Liberty Township, for the project Best Materials That Reduce Heat
  • Second Place: Mazen Hinch and Muhammed Hussein, Toledo Islamic Academy, Sylvania, Homemade Waterwheel as a Source of Green Energy 
  • Third Place: Addison Mullins, Wheelersburg Middle School, Wheelersburg, Straw Wars Part 2 
  • Honorable Mention: Kara Jones, Central Christian, Kidron, Do Mycorrhizae Help Your Plants Grow? 

8th Grade 

  • First Place: Kaitlyn Ernst, Laurel School, Shaker Heights, A Novel Method of Creating Electricity via a Thermoelectric Generator Fueled by Heat Waste Energy from Compost
  • Second Place: Anas Mereb, Sunrise Academy, Hilliard, Bio-Inspired and Smart Blade Designs for More Efficient and Resilient Small Wind Turbines 
  • Third Place: Alexander Krol, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, The Capture and Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide from a Closed System: How Much CO2 is Absorbed per Gram of Soda-Lime 
  • Honorable Mention: Joonwoo Park, Athens Middle School, Athens, Utilizing Food Waste to Promote Algae Biofuel Production

9th Grade 

  • First Place: Amelia Campbell, Tippecanoe High School, Tipp City, Reliability of Pesticide Testing 
  • Second Place: Ian Spence, Global Impact STEM Academy, Springfield, Soil Compaction and Its Effects on Fertilizer Runoff in Soybean Crops 
  • Third Place: Natalie Homan, Rutherford B. Hayes High School, Delaware, Does the Number of Freeze-Thaw Cycles Affect the Germination Rate of Asclepias syriaca? 
  • Honorable Mention: Kasey Wells and Molly Wells, Rutherford B. Hayes High School, Delaware, Nano Killers: The Effects of Nanosilver on Daphnia magna Survival Rate 

10th Grade 

  • First Place: Anuj Raghavan, William Mason High School, Mason, World Without Waste: Separating Laminated Plastic from Paper 
  • Second Place: Elayna Foor, Bloom-Carroll High School, Carroll, Small Engine Emissions, Big Pollution Problems
  • Third Place: Emily Stevens, New London High School, New London, Can Wool Be Used to Control Sediment and Phosphorus Losses for an Ohio Soil?
  • Honorable Mention: Eric Goddard, Global Impact STEM Academy, Springfield, How Important is the Use of Cover Crops When Trying to Prevent Erosion?

11th Grade 

  • First Place: Justin Huang, William Mason High School, Mason, Preparation of Reusable PVA-Nano TiO2 Foam for Wastewater Treatment 
  • Second Place: Katie Wittman, Carroll High School, Dayton, Use of Hydrophytes to Phytoremediate Fertilizer Contaminated Water
  • Third Place: Josephine Rose, Carroll High School, Dayton, Negative Effects of Plastic Leachate on Spirulina major 
  • Honorable Mention: Ethan Elking, Miamisburg High School, Miamisburg, Alternative Fuel Use in Small Engines 

12th Grade 

  • First Place: Adriane Thompson, The Wellington School, Columbus, RNA-seq Identifies Novel Genetic Repression Pathways Related to Viability and Development in the Crop Plant Zea mays 
  • Second Place: Deepta Paramasamy, Ottawa Hills High School, Toledo, Investigating A Real Life Symbiotic Anomaly: Siderophore Producing Bacteria and Algae in Alkaline Environments 
  • Third Place: Sundus Mustapha, The Bounty Collegium, Sylvania, Determining the Variables Necessary to Fulfill Oxygen Mask Standards Using Electrolysis Project Gills: Part 3, Novel Pollution Mask 
  • Honorable Mention: Seth Rundo, Jefferson Area Senior High School, Jefferson, K-Cups: An Environmental Nightmare 

Each year, about 10,000 students from 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 1,200 students from grades 5-12 participate in State Science Day and may be eligible for nearly 100 scholarships and awards valued at more than $4 million. 

Ohio EPA employees were among judges for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research. Each recipient will receive a $100 prize and a certificate signed by Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson. 


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.

Get to the
Right Person Faster
Notify us about
Non-emergency Issues