Science Fair Awards

NRPA Science Fair Award Winner

2017: Emily Kaczynski 

Emily Kaczynski, left, 2017 NRPA Science Fair Winner with NRPA Board Member Chris Hubbard

Emily Kaczynski, South Kingstown High School ninth grader, received the Narrow River Preservation Association Science Fair. She presented her project, “Investigating Invasives: Asian Shore Crab Population” to the NRPA Board of Directors at their meeting on March 7th.

At the meeting, Emily described her methodology for calculating the population of Asian Shore crabs and green crabs at one Rhode Island beach for six weeks this winter. Her results showed a large population of Asian Shore Crabs and no green crabs at all. Emily speculated that her results may be attributable partly to the winter weather conditions and partly due to the Asian Shore crabs outcompeting the green crab population.

NRPA Board member Chris Hubbard presented Emily with an Award certificate and $50 prize.

NRPA also awarded Honorable Mentions to four of the nearly eighty students who participated in the SKHS fair in January. Honorable Mentions went to:

Caitlin Rodriguez, “The Impact of Sunscreen Use on Our Environment”

Jacob Trovato, “Erosion”

Jack McCarty, “Microbeads and Plastics in the Oceans”

Kelsi Conlon, “The Impact of Plastic Water Bottles”

Previous Year NRPA Science Fair Awards

2016: Abby Cobb

Education Chair Veronica Berounsky presents South Kingstown High School Junior Abby Cobb with the 2016 NRPA Science Fair Award at the March NRPA Board of Directors meeting. Abby was presented with a $50 prize, a certificate and an NRPA membership.

Abby’s project at the SKHS Science Fair in January, A Slick Solution: Best Way to Clean up an Oil Spill, evaluated the ability of three materials to remove oil from water: hair, cotton balls and sawdust. Hair was the most efficient, that is, absorbing the most oil and the least water.

NRPA also awarded Honorable Mentions at South Kingstown High School Science Fair to:

Hossam Zaki for a project titled Commercial Water Filters

Matthew Kutcher for Power of Water through Electrolysis (creating energy through the electrolysis of water)

Cristian Rodriguez-Gervais for Natural Remedies against Bacteria

Sierra Rowley for her project Micro Plastics, Macro Problem on the amount of micro-plastics found in Narragansett Bay from personal care products such as liquid soap.

2015: Kate DeBoer

South Kingstown High School student Kate DeBoer, shown on the right with her exhibit at the SKHS Science Fair in January 2015, received a Narrow River Preservation Association Science Fair Award at the NRPA Board of Directors meeting on March 10.

At the meeting Kate described her project, “Who Has the Best Water Quality?” in which she tested water from three different sources for pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity. After a question-and-answer period, Board member Veronica Berounsky presented Kate with a certificate, $50 prize and NRPA student membership.

NRPA gave Honorable Mentions to three of the 76 students who participated in the fair:

Rosalind Lucier for her project, Ticks: Temperature and Humidity

Liam McGill for Effects of Solutions on Melting of Ice

Katie Mello for How Food Preservatives Affect the Growth of Microorganisms.

2014: Andrew Motte

NRPA Board member Lynn Wolslegel presents South Kingstown High School student with a 2014 Science Fair Award certificate and cash prize at the March 2104 NRPA Board of Directors meeting. Andrew was recognized for his exhibit “Behavior of Harlequin Ducks” at the school’s Science Fair in January 2014.

Four projects were awarded Honorable Mention:

Emma Lauzon-Ardito, “Effects of Winds and Currents on Trash in the Bay”

Emily Daly-Labelle, “Study of Narrow River Water Samples”

Rachel Curran and Emma Mather, “Purity of Water”

Linda Foreman, “How Do Fungi Affect the Ecosystem?”  

2013: Zach Perry and Patrick Vaughn

South Kingstown High School Juniors Zach Perry (left) and Patrick Vaughan, winners of a 2013 Narrow River Preservation Association Science Fair Award, present their project “Water Pollution” to the NRPA Board of Directors at its regular meeting on March 4, 2013.

The two young scientists each received an award certificate, a $50 check and a student membership in NRPA, in recognition of the quality of their research and its relevance to NRPA’s goal of protecting the Narrow River and its watershed.

NRPA also gave Honorable Mentions to four of the more than 125 exhibits in the SKHS Science Fair on January 8:

William Trager for “The Effects of Fertilizer on Eelgrass”

Logan Leonard for “The Impact of Road Salt on Plant Growth”

Megan Costaregni for “Sewers, The Impact of Geography on Rainwater?”

Chris Gu for “Using Sorbents to Clean Oil Spills.”

More about the Awards Program

In order to encourage the curiosity of young scientists and to help them gain respect for the environment, the Narrow River Preservation Association (NRPA) has judged high school and middle school science fairs in towns in the watershed for NRPA Science Fair Awards since at least 1989.

The Narrow River is also know as the Pettaquamscutt River Estuary and it flows through North Kingstown, South Kingstown, and Narragansett, R.I. One “Award” is given to one student in each school in recognition of the quality of the student’s research and its relevance to NRPA’s goal of protecting the Narrow River, its watershed, and its communities as a unique, dynamic, and fragile ecosystem.

The student receiving the “Narrow River Preservation Association Science Fair Award” received a certificate and a $50 check at a reception at the NRPA Board of Directors’ meeting in the month of June.

Up to four “Honorable Mentions” are given to students in each school in recognition of the student’s participation in a well-done, environmentally-oriented science fair project with relevance to NRPA’s goals.

The science projects do not have to be about the Narrow River specifically, but can be on any relevant topic. The projects should be experimental, not just a literature report. The projects should follow the scientific method: a hypothesis proposed, a method for testing the hypothesis, some data collected, and some conclusions reached from the data. The projects should also show some originality and creativity. Judges take into consideration each school’s instructions for undertaking projects and the school’s criteria for judging the projects.