BRUNSWICK — From quasars to 3-D printing, high school research projects were presented at the Maine State Science Fair on Saturday.

Bangor High School dominated the awards, with many students winning in a number of categories, and receiving scholarships. Bangor students received 10 of 12 full-tuition scholarships offered by the University of Maine.

“The Bangor High School science program is really second to none,” said Tyler Delargy, who took the fair’s top award for his project, “Developing Three-Dimensional Spatial Cognition for the Visually Impaired Using Computational Depth Mapping and Vibro-Tactile Display.”

He will go on to represent Maine in a global science competition, along with the second- and third-place winners of the fair.

“I’m not a straight-A student,” Delargy said. “I don’t have particularly high SAT scores. But I’m interested in my project, and I really love it. Getting to work on that every day and do cool, interesting things that are novel and helping the world is really fun.”

The fair included projects on animal science, biological science, chemistry, computer science, energy, physics and environmental science. One project looked at the value of college, another on the efficacy of the flu vaccine, and another on the impact of storm water on water quality.


“Usually, these kids are interested in pursuing careers in research in science and engineering,” said Peter Southam, the Science Department chairman at Gould Academy. “I have a girl who is working in a lab at UCLA — they are all over the country working in labs.”

Fifteen international students make up the yearlong “Research Methods in Science” class at Gould Academy, which sends students to compete in the Maine State Science Fair and other science competitions.

The students need to show strict dedication to their projects during the year, and most are extremely driven to wrap up by the science fair deadline.

“I’ve been working very hard on my project,” said Ijeoma Obi, a student at Bangor High School who won the Computer Science and Mathematics category and received a full tuition scholarship to the University of Maine.

“I remember there were some days in the summer where my mom was like, ‘You should really take a break.’ I was burnt out. I didn’t have any free time during the summer, and I feel like it’s all paid off,” Obi said.

One of the students who won in the astronomy category had a number of obstacles to overcome. “The observatory had been destroyed in a windstorm, so they are up there setting up and breaking down the telescope and recalibrating it every night,” said Jonathan Silverman, president of Central Maine Astronomical Society, and one of the judges in the competition.

Jing Zhang, whose daughter attends Bangor High School and won third place in the environmental science category, said she feared the work might be too much, but her children liked it.

They say to me, ‘Mommy, we need that; we need to know as much as we can and prepare for our future.’” Her older daughter previously won the first-place award in the competition and now attends Columbia University.

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