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Ann Arbor, Detroit Chapters Judge Michigan Science and Engineering Fair

1 July 2017 11 views No Comment
Karry Roberts, Detroit Chapter Secretary

From left: ASA Judges Karry Roberts, Mary Ann Ritter, David Corliss, Anamaria Kazanis, and Lance Heilbrun

From left: ASA Judges Karry Roberts, Mary Ann Ritter, David Corliss, Anamaria Kazanis, and Lance Heilbrun. Photo by Anamaria Kazanis

    Upgrading our longstanding annual tradition, members of the Ann Arbor and Detroit chapters went to the state level of competition this year as a special awards judging committee recognizing statistical content in the science posters at the Michigan Science and Engineering Fair (MSEF).

    The fair was held at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, on April 1. The MSEF displays the best high-school-level posters from the regional science fairs. Students are present to explain their projects, and winners in various science categories go on to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles.

    This year, MSEF had 48 posters. It was an all-day event, with an award ceremony at the conclusion. We announced our statistics usage awards as part of this ceremony and invited the students to come up onto the stage.

    Our team of seven statistics judges included Anamaria Kazanis, Karry Roberts, Lance Heilbrun, and David Corliss from the Detroit Chapter and Mary Ann Ritter, Changying (Angela) Liu, and MacKenzie Fankell from the Ann Arbor Chapter.

    Students receive $100 awards of merit at the Michigan Science and Engineering Fair.

    Students receive $100 awards of merit at the Michigan Science and Engineering Fair.
    Photo by Tim Fino, MSEF Director

      As a special awards team, we were specifically looking to “promote the practice and profession of statistics.” We reviewed all posters and discussed applications of statistics with the students who were present. We selected those posters with good statistical content for recognition certificates and decided as a group which posters had the most effective use of statistics for our scholarship awards. Thanks to an anonymous donor from the Ann Arbor Chapter, funds from the two chapters, and support from the ASA Chapter Stimulus Fund, we were able to give the following awards:

      $500 Award of Excellence

      • Malini Mukherji from Notre Dame Preparatory School for “Determining Light Source Location Using Machine Learning and Solar Cells”

      $250 Award of Merit

      • Clara Wagner from Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy for “Investigating Tuned Magneto-Rheological Reservoirs, Compression Systems”

      $100 Awards of Merit

      • Aarushi Ganguly from Greenhills School for “Bayesian Probability Technique to Estimate Schizophrenia Genes”
      • Rohit Mital from Indus Center for Academic Excellence for “Mat Innovation for Mounting Ceramic Substrates”
      • Tina Pakko from Dearborn Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology for “Wind Noise Reduction Device for the Hearing Impaired”
      • Collin Wang from Detroit Country Day School for “Measuring Expression for Novel Variations in Enhancers Using STARR”
      • Hongxiang Zhao from Detroit Country Day School for “An Integrated Approach to Novel TSP-Based Clustering Algorithms”

      Additionally, we gave 14 recognition certificates with copies of Significance magazine.

      Five of our special awards students will attend the ISEF as recipients of the Grand Awards from the state or regional level of the science fair. Clara Wagner was a State Grand Award winner, Malini Mukherji was a Regional Grand Award winner, and three of our recognition students were selected as Regional Grand Award winners.

      This event was an extension of special awards judging the Detroit and Ann Arbor chapters have done for several years when the smaller Southeast Michigan Science Fair was held for a subset of counties in Southeast Michigan. This year, that fair did not occur and those counties were included in the much larger regional science fair at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Instead of having our small team take on the very large regional Cobo Hall event, we chose to judge at the MSEF.

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