Banner Science Fair Season for Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School Students

By Mary Gunter

It was quite an exciting science fair season for all the junior scientists at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School.  Coming off of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also the first science fair held in person in two years.

Sixty-four students participated in the 18th annual school science fair on Feb. 1, 2023.  The sixth, seventh and eighth graders gathered in the school gym and proudly displayed boards and evidence from their experiments.  The entire school community was invited to view the boards and to speak with the students about their research.  Participating students also had the opportunity to present their work to three judges, Gaurav Bhatnagar (Nandika, ‘21), Paola Dozzo (Ashling, ‘22, Fionn, ‘24), and Brother Quang.  All three judges hail from the science and technology sectors.

Projects ranged from the very traditional “can potatoes charge a battery” to the very complex research-based project investigating techniques that can be used to mitigate the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Sixth grade winners included Lucia Carrubba (1st), Anna Manfreda (2nd) and Samantha Schmidt (3rd).  Representing seventh grade were Radhika Saha (1st), Capp Casey (2nd), and Harlow Trani and Megan Franceschi (tied for 3rd).  Eighth grade scientists were Harper Berry (1st), Theodore Tsiamis (2nd) and Madison Hernandez and Grant Johnson (tied for 3rd).  All 11 of the winners competed in the San Francisco Middle School Science Fair hosted by the Randall Museum on Mar. 1. 

The San Francisco Middle School Science Fair is a city-wide event to promote and recognize the scientific efforts of middle school scientists.  Students from all public, private, and parochial schools are eligible to participate. Sixteen schools entered the competition with projects in four categories:  Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Behavioral Sciences. Judges at this competition include esteemed individuals from the science, education, and medical communities.

All 11 Sts. Peter and Paul students placed at the San Francisco Middle School Science Fair.  Our top winners were Lucia Carruba (‘25) who investigated the feasibility of hydroponics in growing fresh fruits and vegetables; Radhika Saha (‘24) experimented on using fortified soil versus coco coir to grow bigger and healthier plants; Theodore Tsiamis (‘23) tested fluidization as an alternative energy source; and Lucia, Radhika, and Theodore placed 2nd in their categories and will now progress to the regional competition – Golden Gate STEM fair later this month.

Congratulations to all the participants!

Mary Gunter is the Jr High Science Teacher at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in San Francisco.