Jefferson Science Fair winners move on to regionals


Suraj Vaddi

Tar Print, a mobile application that junior Suraj Vaddi has been working on for the past two years which he submitted to the Jefferson Science Fair, analyzes urbanization within a predetermined area. “I applied my app to the real world by assessing biodiversity of 143 streams around Virginia, and used data from the Virginia Save our Streams program which collected populations of indicator species of macroinvertebrates,” Vaddi said.

Anya Raval, Staff Writer

Jefferson’s annual Science and Engineering fair took place virtually on Jan. 29, where 26 projects were chosen to move on to the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. 

Two juniors, Suraj Vaddi and Richa Misra, are amongst the 33 students progressing to the regional fair. Vaddi worked on an application called Tar Print which analyzed the ecological impact of urbanization and biodiversity in the nearby area. Misra studied the quantification of human gait from wearable accelerometers placed in different locations on the human body. 

“The fair experience was very smooth because zoom links and assignments  were provided in advance, but it was definitely different from what a normal in-person fair would have been like. It really wasn’t possible to have a set-up where we could peruse other fair projects,” junior Suraj Vaddi said. 

Working either in teams or individually, 70 Jefferson students participated creating a total of 55 projects ranging from categories such as biotechnology to environmental sciences. Each project was judged by Jefferson teachers, professional scientists, professors, and engineers in the field. 

“The judges had really interesting questions and for my field, earth and environmental science, they were very specialized and had unique perspectives on my project and future directions as a whole,” Vaddi said. 

The projects are set to advance to the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair in mid-March. Here, Jefferson students will get another opportunity to present their projects along with other students from Fairfax county. 

I was a little surprised when I found out that I was moving on to regionals, but the next step is just improving on my project and being able to apply it to different technical settings,” junior Richa Misra said.