For the second year in a row, Middlebrook student Anika Bhagavatula took home best in fair at the Middlebrook Science and Engineering Fair on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Anika’s project, A Novel Method for Oil Spill Cleanup Using Biomass, won her the title this year. Last year, she took home the top prize for Banana Peels: Second Life as a Water Purifier project.

About 120 Middlebrook students in sixth through eighth grade showcased their science and engineering projects during this year’s competition.

All students had to present their findings to judges at the fair, who then named the best-of-fair winner and winners in the life science, physical science and engineering categories.

The winners were:

Physical science: Grade 6



  • First place: Elizabeth Lamond and Lizzie Kendra — Battery Powered Electromagnet.

  • Second place: Kelsey Tangorra — Are Your Hands Really Clean?

  • Third place: Varun Vadhera — Do Cell Phones Give Off Radiation?

  • Honorable mention: Jake Enman — Stalagmite and Stalactite Growth.

  • Honorable mention: Molly Snow and Morgan Felipe — Effects of Mentos on Different Types of Coke.

  • Honorable mention: Luke Tottan — Which Object Will be Thrown the Farthest Using a Catapult?


Life science: Grade 6



  • First place: Sydney Lillis — Natural Chlorine or Regular Chlorine.

  • Second place: Colby Loughran — The Location of Radiation: Plant Growth in the Presence of Cell Phone and Wifi Radio Waves.

  • Third place: Riya Shah and Keerthi Vijay — Icy It Melt.

  • Honorable mention: Saanvi Bathla and Grace Murphy — Does a Plant Grow Better with Hydroponics?

  • Honorable mention: Samantha Mims — Is Sensitivity Heightened on Your Dominant Side?

  • Honorable mention: Dylan Bernheim — No Pain, More Game: Does Distraction Help Manage Pain?


Engineering: Grade 6



  • First place: Gayathri Kaimal — Water Usage Reminder System.

  • Second place: Samira Ayoub — What Surface Works Best?

  • Third place: Vihan Jayawardhane and Lukas Koutsoukos — Revolutionary Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprint.


Physical science: Grades 7-8



  • First place: Rohan Vaddiraju — Home Automation Multi-Purpose Motion Sensor.

  • Second place: Rhea Raghavan — Sweet Refraction.

  • Third place: Rishabh Bhandahari and Rubin Jha — Resonance.


Life science: Grade 7-8



  • First place: Ashley Klancko — Love Me Tender.

  • Second place: Maya Mhatre — The Effect of Soft Drinks on Tooth Decay.

  • Third place: Aashi Yadav — Reducing Plastic Pollution One Spoon At a Time.

  • Honorable mention: Dean Kaduboski — Risk It?

  • Honorable mention: Dhruv Rokkam and Vishnu Duriseti — Does Stress Affect the Human Body?

  • Honorable mention: Krithika Natarajan — The Homunculus of Your Skin.


Engineering: Grade 7-8



  • First place: Rahul Vallabhajosula — Air Engine: Can it be an Alternative to a Gasoline Engine?

  • Second place: Anjo Therattil — Application of Sensors.

  • Third place: Suhani Suneja — Making Recycled Paper.

  • Honorable mention: Chris May and Nathan Wang — Self Recharging Electric Car.

  • Honorable mention: Christopher McCann — Residential Water Based Energy Storage.

  • Honorable mention: Ben Connolly — Energy Generating Kite.


The seventh and eighth grade first-place winners will have the opportunity to enter the 2017 Connecticut State Science & Engineering Fair.