THE TALON

Ishraq Haque Wins State Science Fair

AMHS Science Club Students Won Awards for their Innovative Research

Academic Magnet’s Science Club went to Columbia on Friday, January 18, 2019, for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Many students presented their research including Ishraq Haque (10), Disha Qanungo (10), and Greg Znokyo (12).

 

Greg Znokyo placed second in his category, and Disha Qanungo was chosen as a finalist for scholarship prizes. Ishraq Haque won first place in the entire competition for his research on water purification systems. He won a $2000 scholarship, and Ishraq and Ms. Katy Metzner-Roop will go to Albuquerque, New Mexico to present his work at Nationals for more scholarship money.

 

The committee for the SC JSHS initially selected 21 people from the entire state and divided them into three sections with seven people each. Each contestant then presented their work orally in front of a panel of judges. The top two students from each group moved on to the final stage of the state competition. Then, a larger judge panel saw the projects of the top six and determined their overall ranking. Five of the six students have the opportunity to move on to Nationals, and the top two will compete against dozens of students across the nation with oral presentations to potentially win scholarships up to $12,000. The other three students will be placed in a separate poster presentation contest for smaller scholarship money.

 

I asked Ishraq a few questions about his award-winning research, and below are his responses.

Q: What was your research about, and how did you get involved with that research? What drew you to that research topic?

I developed a novel arsenic filtration system that was economic and sufficiently reduced arsenic in drinking water. I planned out the internal design of the filter myself. I spent a long time researching how to create a cheap yet excellent system to remove arsenic. Mrs. Aydlette’s Intro to Engineering class actually helped me in getting some ideas for developing the whole system because she really drilled into her students on how to map out thoughts and ideas.

I was actually inspired by watching poor people in Bangladesh drink highly toxic water. Many of these villagers who drink this arsenic-contaminated water often ended up getting skin lesions, darker skin, a weaker body, and even cancer. However, most of these villagers are not able to afford expensive filtration system. Therefore, I wanted to build an inexpensive filter for the low-income masses.

Q: What did you most enjoy about conducting your research?

I really enjoyed developing the actual filtration system itself. I also enjoyed seeing happy faces of the rural people after showing my results to them.

Q: What made you decide to enter your research in the competition?

I entered the JSHS competition because I really wanted to show some of the significant problems plaguing poor people in the third world to American audiences. Also, I thought it would be nice to improve my scientific presentation skills for my future career.

Q: Are you looking forward to going to Albuquerque? How are you preparing for the next level of competition?

I am really excited to go on to the national level and present my work to larger audiences and show them the dangers of arsenic contamination in drinking water.  In order to prepare for the national competition, I am reviewing the judges’ and audience’s comments on my project and I am also consulting with the experts about my work.

I was actually confused in the beginning because they started announcing the results from the bottom of the list. During that time, the announcer did not mention my name at all, which made me really nervous. A moment later, however, I came to know that I won the first place. It really was a memorable day.”

— Ishraq Haque

Q: What was your initial reaction when you realized you won the award?

I was actually confused in the beginning because they started announcing the results from the bottom of the list. During that time, the announcer did not mention my name at all, which made me really nervous. A moment later, however, I came to know that I won the first place. It really was a memorable day.

Congratulations to all the AMHS students that were recognized in JSHS, and good luck to Ishraq for the national competition! If you are interested in entering your science research into competitions, make sure to talk to Ms. Roop about any opportunities.

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