BRUNSWICK — Three Mount Desert Island High School students presented projects at the Maine State Science Fair, held Saturday at Bowdoin College, and all earned honors for their work.
The 73rd annual fair was organized by The Jackson Laboratory and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. It included 250 students representing 36 schools in 13 Maine counties. Each student presented his or her original research to a state-wide audience of peers and mentors, in competition for state titles and more than $548,000 in scholarships and awards.
Freshman Sirohi Kumar earned first place (out of 17 projects) in the Behavioral and Social Sciences (Psychology) category. Her project, “Changing Study Habits: An Interventional Study” looked at how students responded to learning about the effect of distractions on their work.
She found gender-based differences in performance on certain cognitive tasks. She compared student behavior when actually doing a task in distracting conditions with behavior when just learning about distraction.
Sophomores Nate Ingebritson and Pierce Jones collaborated on a project called “Basking Sharks and Ocean Sunfish in the dynamic warming Gulf of Maine; How are their populations changing?”
Their project earned second place (out of 13) in the Category of Animal Sciences- Marine Ecology. Sightings of ocean sunfish (or mola mola) are increasing, while those of the basking shark seem to be declining. Shark sightings, though, have not dropped to the level of the endangered North Atlantic right whale.
Several Jackson Laboratory scientists served as judges for the event.