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Two local regional science fair winners head to International Science Fair in Phoenix

Two regional science fair winners are taking their projects to the International Stage.

From the positive effects of music to the strength of bamboo in bio-plastics, two Juniors from the Central Virginia Governor’s School have some bright ideas.

Shardul Naphade is a Junior at Brookville Highschool, attends the Governor’s School and is one of two winners of the Regional Science Fair, “I knew that music has good effects on plants and since they are living organisms, we are living organisms, made out of cells, I wonder if it had any effects on cells itself,” explained Naphade. Naphade says he wanted his project to focus on microbiology and music.

“Music does have many psychological effects on us. Even though you don’t think about it,” explained Naphade, “My rationale was to analyze the effects of music on immunity of probiotics against antibiotics.”

He played the song September by Earth Wind and Fire to an E.Coli sample in a soundproof box.

“E.Coli serving as a model organism for a probiotic within a bacterium,” said Naphade.

To test the immunity? “You measure the radius or the diameter of the circle that forms around the ampicillin disc,” explained Naphade. He said his project does prove that music can help when it comes to medical treatment. Natalie Torres has an affinity for environmental sciences.

“I wanted to make bio-plastic comparable to traditional plastic to make it a better alternative,” said Torres.

She said the drawbacks of bio-plastics is that it doesn’t maintain mechanical properties. Torres came up with a way to solve that, “Instead of using regular plastic bags, we could use bamboo fiber incorporated plastic, because it performs the same and it’s environmentally friendly,” explained Torres. She tested the effects of bamboo fiber on the tensile strength of tapioca based bio-plastic. The bamboo made the bio-plastic stronger.

“I found that bamboo fiber does have an effect on the tensile strength of the bio-plastic, I found that adding more of it, increases it,” explained Torres, “Bamboo incorporated bio-plastic, is a better alternative than regular bio-plastic.”

Torres and Naphade will head to the International Science Fair in Phoenix Arizona in May.

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This article was published on wset.com and written by Caren Pinto.