Adam Fuhrmann won Best of Fair at the 26th Annual Loudoun County Public Schools Regional Science and Engineering Fair Thursday, March 15, at Dominion High School in Sterling, for a record third time.
The Heritage High School senior presented this year’s judges with a project titled "Maglev Assisted Rocket Launch Propelled by Hall-Effect Linear Accelerator," which explored the different ways of launching rockets more efficiently. He found that by using a linear motor to increase rocket speed before a launch, rockets would need less fuel to operate.
"By cutting down on the fuel, you cut down on size of the rocket, resources and you save money," he said.
Fuhrmann’s project stemmed from the topic he explored last year. Fuhrmann won Best of Fair in 2006 for his exploration of the most efficient ways to launch satelites into space. He also won as a freshman. Furhmann did not enter the science fair his sophomore year.
FUHRMANN SHARED Thursday night’s spotlight with Annemarie Thomas, a senior at Dominion High School.
Thomas hopes her project, "The Correlation Between Diet, Gut Flora and Equine Laminitis: A Pathophysiological Study," will be able to help some of her friends on the farm.
Equine laminitis is a disease found in horses that causes the tissue holding the pedal bone and inner hoof wall together to deteriorate. Thomas, who volunteers at Frying Pan Farm in Fairfax County, tested different types of grass to determine the amount of carbohydrates in them. She sought to determine if an increase in carbohydrates plays a role in the development of laminitis.
THOMAS WORKED on her project from September 2006 right up to the first week of March 2007.
"I was here at 6:30 every morning," she said.
Thomas wasn’t alone. She was one of many students in her independent science research class who worked closely with teacher Denise Wingfield.
"We call ourselves the 6:30 Club," Wingfield said.
Wingfield is this year’s Willowcroft Teacher Award recipient.
Lewis Parker, founder of Willowcroft Farm Vineyards, awarded the advanced placement biology and independent science research teacher won $500.
She has received the award several times.
"Five or six times, I can't remember," she said. "It usually goes back into this room somehow."
This year, Wingfield said she plans to put it toward a marine biology laboratory field trip in Woods Hole, Mass.
Parker also awarded Saadhi Khan, a senior at Dominion High School, $1,000 for her work in science.
BOTH FUHRMANN and Thomas chose project topics that hit close to home.
Thomas works closely with horses at Frying Pan Park and Fuhrmann plans to study aerospace engineering at college.
"I want to be an astronaut," he said.
Fuhrmann has been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is waiting to hear back from Princeton University.
Fuhrmann and Thomas will compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair May 13 through May 19 in Albuquerque, N.M.