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 On February 4th the Connecticut STEM Foundation, Inc. hosted its 17th annual Connecticut STEM Fair at Darien High School.  This event brought together students from Amity Regional High School, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Darien High School, Greens Farms Academy, Greenwich High School, Joel Barlow High School, Newtown High School, Ridgefield High School and Staples High School for a highly energetic and scientific endeavor.  A total of 224 judges evaluated the exhibits, providing both assessment of the projects and feedback to the exhibitors, and 80 volunteers added their efforts to the event.  The student exhibitors presented 233 completed projects and research proposals in four scientific disciplines: physical sciences, behavioral sciences, health sciences and environmental sciences.

The Connecticut STEM Fair became an affiliate of the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in 2016.  Regional ISEF award certificates were presented to 13 exhibitors, and will sponsor 3 delegates to attend the ISEF in Los Angeles in May.

Connecticut STEM Foundation awards were presented for 46 exhibits.  In addition to medals, cash awards totaling more than $8,000 were presented.  Sponsors of these awards were Sexauer Foundation and Laticrete International.  The Office of Naval Research presented an additional 5 awards.  The Darwin Day Foundation awarded 2 tickets to the 2017 Darwin Day Dinner.

The Keynote speaker for the Awards Ceremony was Dr. Stephanie Eisenbarth (MD PhD), Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Immunobiology and Medicine at Yale School of Medicine.  Her presentation of her personal background, training pathway and the joys and challenges of her career offered the young scientists in the audience greater insight and understanding of what lies ahead on the road to becoming professional research scientists.

The Connecticut STEM Foundation, Inc. is growing its scholarship program this year.  Students who are eligible should visit our scholarship website at to apply for any one scholarship for graduating seniors entering into college, or non-graduating students who are attending a summer internship or camp related to STEM.

If you’d like more information about the CT STEM Foundation, would like to be a financial partner, or would like to be a judge, please contact us at

2017 CT STEM Fair winners:

Representatives to International Science & Engineering Fair

The CT STEM Foundation is proud to support the following 2017 CT STEM Fair Winners at the 2017 International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles:

Name Category School Status
Connor Li Physical Science GHS Delegate
Shobhita Sundaram Health & Medical GHS Delegate
Agustina Stefani Environmental GHS Delegate
James He Behavioral ARHS Alternate


CT Science & Engineering Fair Exhibitors sponsored by the CT STEM Foundation

Category Names & Schools
Behavioral James He, Amity Regional High School
Environmental Katherine Handler, Amity Regional High School
Health & Medical Olivia Hallisey, Greenwich High School
Physical Science Daniel Pfrommer, Darien High School
Physical Science Connor Li, Greenwich High School
Team Samuel Mahler and Joseph Sugarmann, Amity Regional High School


CT STEM Foundation awards at the 2017 CT STEM Fair

Individual Completed Project, Behavioral
Award Student School Title
1st James He ARHS The Relationship Between Phonological Processing, Intelligence Quotient, and Reading Cognition: A Behavioral and Neurological Analysis
2nd Julia Nadelmann ARHS Investigating Cooperation in the Sharing Economy through the WiFi sharing Game
3rd Neha Pashankar ARHS Investigating vPFC mGluR5 Availability and Behavioral and Cognitive Difficulties in Individuals with Bipolar Disorder Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, and Healthy Controls
HM Sarah Saxe ARHS Effects of Feces Deposition in Natural Refuges on Common Bedbug, Cimex lectularius L. Aggregation
HM Haya jarad ARHS Identifying Quasi Periodic Patterns in fMRI versus CBF Data
HM Johnathan Stimpson DHS The Effect of Changes in the Stock Market on Polling of Incumbent Presidential Candidates Using Time Series Analysis

Individual Completed Project, Environmental

Award Student School Title
1st Agustina Stefani GHS Carbon Capture & Storage via Silver-Catalyzed Hydration of Carbon Dioxide
2nd Katherine Handler ARHS The Influence of Wildebeest Carcass Inputs on the Diet of Fish in the Mara River
3rd Devyn Zaminski GHS Self-Sustaining Biosynthesis of Methane from CO2 via an Optimized Microbial & Electrochemical Hybrid System
HM Lucy Briody RHS Plastic Ingestion in Pelagic Sportfish
HM Thomas Livesay ARHS Determining the Ideal Management Strategy for Controlling Varroa Mite Levels

Individual Completed Project, Health and Medical

Award Student School Title
1st Olivia Hallisey GHS Temperature-Independent, Portable, and Rapid Home Detection Of Lyme Disease Using a Silk-Derived Lateral-Flow Salivary Test
1st Shobhita Sundaram GHS Detection of Premalignant Pancreatic Cancer via Computational Analysis of Serum Proteomic Profiles
3rd Kevin Santoro RHS The Effect of Insulin Growth Factor-I on Folliculogenesis in vitro
HM Caleigh Morr DHS IgM Expands Regulatory T Cells and Demonstrates Therapeutic Potential for Type 1 Diabetes
HM Sophia Chow GHS PDE-4 Inhibitor-Assisted Antibiotic Suppression of Borrelia Biofilm Growth  for Treatment of Chronic Lyme

Individual Completed Project, Physical Science

Award Student School Title
1st Connor Li GHS Fabrication of a Magnetically Vertical-Aligned Boron Nitride Nanotube Membrane in a Lyotropic Precursor for Water Transport Applications
3rd Steven Ma GHS Reliably Jammed Disk Packing: A Novel Feature of a Classic Geometry Problem
HM Samuel Pfrommer DHS Determining Salient Control Decisions of the Actuated Spring Loaded Inverted Pendulum Traversing Slippery Terrain Using a Sliding Mass Model
HM Keri Tenerowicz ARHS The Effect of Different Textures of Coconut-Based Activated Carbon on the Adsorption of Dyes


Individual Research Proposal, Behavioral

Award Student School Title
1st Sofia Piriz CSH Determining Differences in Choice Blindness by Gender and Age
2nd Tracy Lu ARHS Font Color And Memory
2nd Nicole Mongillo ARHS The Effect of Sleep Duration on the Humor Perception of Freshmen in High School
HM Jack Tajmajer ARHS The Reactions of Various Ages to Visual Subconscious Stimuli
HM Maia Clarkin RHS The Impact of CpG Depletion via DNA Methylation on the Social Complexity of Insects

Individual Research Proposal, Environmental

Award Student School Title
1st Juliana Hopper SHS The Effect of EsMCsu1, from Eutrema Salsugineum,   on Transformed Arabidopsis Related to Drought Resistance
2nd Sophia Wang ARHS The Early Detection of Sink0holes
3rd Carson Halabi DHS The Effect of Valencia Orange Oil in Bat Caves Infected with White-Nose Syndrome
3rd Adrianna Davis RHS Using Stable Isotope Analysis to Estimate the Trophic Positions of Mackerel Sharks, Sand Tiger (C. taurus) and White (C. carcharias)

Individual Research Proposal, Health and Medical

Award Student School Title
1st Paul Hager DHS Regulatory miRNA Responses to shRNA-mediated Knockdown of PLEKHA7, a Novel Agent in Tumor Suppression, in Various Endothelial and Epithelial Cell Types
2nd Julia Driscoll RHS The Effect of Low Level Laser Light Therapy on Genetically Corrected Skin Grafts for the Treatment of Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
3rd Natalie Silver RHS The Impact of Sodium Chloride on the Effectiveness of Beta-Interferon 1A to Treat Multiple Sclerosis
3rd Catherine Li RHS The Effects of Phytochemicals on Autophagy in Rats



Individual Research Proposal, Physical Science

Award Student School Title
1st Aman Thombre ARHS Expanding the Materials Genome of Dielectric Materials Through Polyureas
2nd Joshua Burns RHS Different material and case design effects on EM drive propellantless thrusters
3rd Jack Hicks RHS Graphene Composites as Ballistic Resistant Materials
HM Talia Barry ARHS Effect of container type on the pH of water
HM Victor You ARHS The Effect of Left Lane Usage Laws on the Number of Traffic Accidents

Team Completed Project

Award Student School Title
1st Samuel Mahler and Joseph Sugarmann ARHS The Effect of Foot Arch Height on the Area of Maximum Force the Foot Exerts While Running
2nd Rosie Du and Courtney Greifenberger ARHS The Effect of Bio-Inspired Textures on Friction
2nd Himay Dharani and Kelsey McCormack ARHS Analysis and Proving of “Cycloid”Universe Using Friedmann Equations and Torsion Cosmology
HM Summer Schaaf and Neha Sudhir ARHS The Impact of Ocean Acidification On Phytoplankton
Team Research Proposal
Award Student School Title
1st Aniruddha Murali and Zachary De Brino SHS The Effect of Different Catalysts on the Conversion of Carbon Dioxide to Methanol
2nd Caroline Dym and Lauren Burd CSH Evaluating the Bacteria Found in Indoor Play Areas Vs. Public Restrooms
3rd Joseph Benedetti and Austin Gilbride ARHS The Effect of Predation and Availability of Resources on Habitat Selection of Oniscus asellus
HM Julia Herzig and Barbara Jones CSH The Effects of Choline on Learning, Memory, and Movement in C. elegans


Office of Naval Research Awardees:

Daniel Pfrommer Darien High School
Devyn Zaminski Greenwich High School
Alexander Scheck Ridgefield High School
Jacob Silliman Amity Regional High School
Joshua Burns Ridgefield High School


ISEF Regional Awards at CT STEM Fair 2017

Award Description Name School
1. Intel: Excellence in Computer Science Award For outstanding achievement in the category of Computer Science Andrew Benz DHS
2. Yale Science and Engineering Association Most Outstanding Exhibit in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics or Chemistry Joshua Verdejo RHS
3. NASA Earth System Science Award Presented to Student whose project offers the greatest insight into Earth’s interconnected system based on predetermined judging criteria Agustina Stefani GHS
4. NOAA’s 2017 Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award Presented to student whose research has demonstrated the principles and technical innovations that offer the greatest potential for an improved understanding of Earth’s dynamic processes Felix Liu ARHS
5. Ricoh Sustainable Development Award 2017 Presented to student whose research has demonstrated the principles and technical innovations that offer the greatest potential for sustainable development Noah Sonnenberg GFA
6. The Society for In Vitro Biology Certificate of outstanding achievement for ability and creativity in In Vitro Biology Adam Roitman GHS
7. U.S. Metric Association (USMA) For the best use of SI (The International System of Units) Devyn Zaminski GHS
8. Mu Alpha Theta Award For the most challenging, original, thorough and creative investigation of a problem involving mathematics accessible to high school student Daniel Pfrommer DHS
9. American Meteorological Society For excellence in atmospheric or related sciences Charles Pratt

Ari Singer-Freeman



10. The American . Psychological Association: Certificate of Award For achievement in research and psychological science Neha Poshankar ARHS
11. ASM Materials Education Foundation: Certificate of Recognition For most outstanding exhibit in Materials Science Jethin Gowda ARHS
12. Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG) Outstanding project for Geoscience excellence Dante Grace Minichetti GHS
13. Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SIWI) Recognizing outstanding water-related research at the high school level. Keri Tenerowicz

Connor Li

Julia Todeasa





ARHS: Amity Regional High School, CSH: Convent of the Sacred Heart, DHS: Darien High School, GFA: Greens Farms Academy, GHS: Greenwich High School, JBHS: Joel Barlow High School, NHS: Newtown High School, RHS: Ridgefield High School, SHS: Staples High School



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