Chapter Participation at the 2019 Science Fairs
This March, Chesapeake Chapter volunteers again participated as independent sponsor judges at two of Maryland’s premier youth STEM events: The 51st Anne Arundel County Science Expo on March 9th and the 64th Baltimore County Science Fair on March 2nd. Our team of volunteers this year was comprised of ten members: George Anderson (ESEP), Bob Muth (ESEP), Thom Platt (ESEP), Christy Best, Peter Hoffensetz (CSEP), Danny Yue, Bob Koppelman, Jim Campbell (ASEP), Stephanie Miskiewicz (CSEP), and Clinton Hilliard (CSEP).
Throughout these events, members had the opportunity to survey nearly 500 projects that spanned youth academic levels of 7th through 12th grades. As it was physically impossible for our judges to cover the entire field of contestants, efforts were focused towards the senior level projects deemed most appropriate for our selection criteria. In all, the chapter handed out a total of eleven awards going to the students that our judges deemed the most excellent and in line with requisites of good Systems Engineering practices.
As was the case last year, application of machine learning (ML) technologies was found to be very prevalent amongst fair participants. Over half of our awardees applied ML in the delivery of their solutions. However, this year our chapter judges were most impressed with students who had built some remarkable full-scale prototypes to address a variety of important real-world medical and healthcare issues.
Our first place awardee at the Anne Arundel County Science Expo prototyped a full body scanning device where a subject could stand upon a rotating platform that facilitated the capture of imaging of their skin surfaces. Images were then fed to machine learning software that quickly identified and alerted for potential skin anomalies. At the Baltimore fair, first place went to a young woman who built a working self-propelled child-sized car to accommodate very young children who needed physical therapy. The young woman worked with hospital therapy staff to refine her solution to provide the type of data that could be useful for treatment planning. She took into account future production costs as well. Other projects covered such areas as a novel design for a prosthetic hand, optimized visualizations for the spread of flu, and even providing for impactful improvements to hospital hygiene.
Presented to each of our awardees was a framed INCOSE certificate of recognition, an official INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter coin, and a letter of congratulations signed by our esteemed chapter president. We additionally provided monetary awards to each of our top three winners at each fair. A total of $1,200 in student recognition awards were given between the two fairs by our Chapter. The Chesapeake Chapter also provided another $1,000 in direct sponsorship support to event program offices. Both event directors graciously recognized INCOSE Chesapeake Chapter at their events as vital partners in being able to offer these STEM events to students across Maryland. Our donation also helps fund the winners of these competitions in their traveling on to compete at the Intel International Science Fair later in the year.
The entire Chesapeake Chapter judging team came away from both these events extremely impressed with the sophistication and level of effort observed with all the talented students. INCOSE CC’s Youth STEM Outreach chair Clinton Hilliard summed up this year’s participation in a statement he made prior to presenting awards on stage at the Baltimore Fair ceremony to fair attendees: “That while we professionals, educators, parents, and fair promoters have come here today to offer inspiration to these students, we find that it’s these students who have really inspired us.”
51st Anne Arundel County Science Expo Awards went to:
1st Place: Andrew Karam, Body Anomaly detection through 3D body scanning and Machine Learning
2nd Place: Maya Albayrak, Real-Time User-Friendly Dashboard Designed for Data Analytics: Data Mining and Sentiment Analysis of Twitter Messages for Flu Spread Detection and Prediction
3rd Place: Ryan McDowell, Using Current Draw Analysis to Identify Malicious Firmware in SSD
Honorary Place: Samira Mirza, Alternate Flooring for Third World Nations.
Honorary Place: Samantha Lund, Boost the Bass: Fighting Fire with Sound
64th Baltimore County Science Fair Awards went to:
1st Place: Harini Kannan, BabyDrive: An Innovative Product to Sense, Improve, and Encourage Mobility for Hospitalized Children
2nd Place: Timothy Carr, Physiologically Integrated Prosthetic Hand
3rd Place: Megan Santamore, SmartTrack: Monitoring Hand Hygiene in Health Care Facilities to Reduce the Rates of Hospital Acquired Infections
Honorary Place: Marvin Li, Machine Learning Classifiers to Predict Outbreaks of Harmful Algal Blooms on the West Florida Shelf.
Honorary Place: Bethany Kemp & Ben Frank, A Pitch about Pitch