MSD student places in national science fair

MSD sophomore Andrea Crouch, left, poses with her winning science project and her teacher, Susan Peterson. Crouch placed second in RIT’s annual science fair for deaf and hard of hearing students.

MSD sophomore Andrea Crouch, left, poses with her winning science project and her teacher, Susan Peterson. Crouch placed second in RIT’s annual science fair for deaf and hard of hearing students. Photo by Dean Asher.

Missouri School for the Deaf sophomore and Springfield native Andrea Crouch traveled to New York, where her science project beat out more than 70 others to earn Second Place honors at the Rochester Institute of Technology’s 2012 National Science Fair for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students.

The 7th annual science fair, put on by RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, invites deaf and hard of hearing students from around the nation to participate in an effort to raise interest in technology, science, engineering and math among middle and high school students of that group. Of the 74 students from 20 states who participated March 23-25, Crouch’s project, titled “Which Cleans Best: Water, Coke, Lemon Juice, Vinegar, Water with Vinegar or Dr. Pepper?” earned her 2nd place, a plaque of recognition and a $300 prize.

“In the very beginning, I couldn’t believe that I had actually won,” said Crouch. “Coming all the way from Missouri, I thought oh I’d go and have the experience but I actually won and I thought that was wonderful and I was surprised I was even able to go to Rochester.”

Crouch’s science teacher, Susan Peterson, described her student as a “last minute person,” and Crouch didn’t disagree. Her project underwent several changes before she presented it at RIT. Her original premise was to learn which environment cleaner worked best, which itself developed and became more specific as she went on.

“I picked that because I wanted to save people money, because the economy is on the downslopes so everyone needs cleaning supplies,” said Crouch. “Cleaning supplies can be harmful for the environment, so I wanted to get ingredients and make a new brand that could be better and save people money at the same time, so that was my idea and that’s how I developed the concept for my project.”

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