Bellbrook Middle School student, Artemas Reynolds was named as a semi-finalist in the 5th Annual Broadcom MASTERS, which is a Society for Science & the Public for an experiment he conducted while in Cathy St. Pierre’s class. Reynolds’ project was one of the 300 chosen out of 6,000 students throughout the nation. This honor is the second for Bellbrook schools.
“I tested three types of bacterial growths with chemical and natural disinfectants to see which cleaner works best. I received second in the Physicians Award,” Reynolds said. “My aunt in Youngstown helped me out and ordered the bacteria. She’s a professor at Youngstown State University and let me use her lab during Thanksgiving break. She ordered the bacteria and testing dishes for me. I tested plain vinegar, Method [a natural cleaner], Lysol and Pine-Sol.”
Broadcom MASTERS is the utilization of math, applied science, technology and engineering allowing students to present a project that demonstrates critical thinking, collaboration, communication skills and creativity. The program is only for students attending sixth through eighth grades and allows them to explore their passion in one of the areas of MASTERS. It’s one of the nation’s most prestigious competitions in the school system. Obtaining recognition for a project submitted into the program proves hard work, dedication, brilliance and respect.
The title of Reynold’s project was: Investigating How Well Chemical and Natural Disinfectants Inhabit Bacteria Growth. He tested bacteria at school where bacteria are common. He swabbed the area, put it into the petri dishes, and incubated it in a homemade incubated wherein he used different heat lamps and bins. He tested each three times for approximately five days. He found that bacteria are found everywhere, but most that he found were healthy. A healthy bacterium helps with digestion, fighting diseases and keeps a person healthy.
“I did basically two experiments. One, I punched a hole in filter paper strips and dipped each of them into the different disinfectants and put them into the petri dishes that I had the bacteria on. That experiment was trying to find the zone of inhibition or the size of the area it prevented bacteria,” Reynolds said.
“The second test I did, I took the bacteria and pipe petted it out and mixed it with each disinfectants three times at three different time periods. For each time period, I left the disinfectants on for two minutes, 10 minutes and 40 minutes to mix, because of the back of the cleaners; it says to leave on for a certain amount of time. It was testing to see how well the cleaner got rid of the bacteria in a certain amount of time.”
In the end, Reynolds found that the chemical disinfectants were better at fighting bacteria, especially Lysol. He also found that vinegar had results similar to Pine-sol, except for the elimination of e-coli.
Reynolds was presented his recognition at the West District Science Day. In his application for consideration for the award, he named St. Pierre as the teacher that inspired him. For this, St. Pierre received a set of Sally Ride Science Career Books and a Broadcom MASTERS reusable grocery tote.
“Broadcom MASTERS enables middle school students to harness their potential as future scientists, engineers and innovators to solve problems and create inventions that will impact their world,” President and Executive Director, Broadcom Foundation and Director, Community Affairs, Broadcom Corp., Paula Golden said. “We’re extremely proud of the many thousands of young men and women who were nominated to compete because of their amazing science fair projects and congratulate 300 semi-finalists from around the United States who have reached this exciting stage of the competition.”
Out of the 300 projects chosen for the semi-finalists position, 30 students were chosen to move for the winning spot. The students chosen as finalists received an all-expense paid trip, with one adult, to Silicon Valley, California to attend the Broadcam MASTERS Finals Week competition from Oct. 1-7. Finalists presented their project to a panel for a chance to win The Samuel Prize of $25,000 and other top prizes such as a chance to attend the STEM summer camp and an iPad. Even though Artemas’ project was not selected as one of the finalist positions, Bellbrook is extremely proud of his accomplishment.
“After I received the letter from Broadcam MASTERS stating that he was a semi-finalist, I couldn’t wait to see him. I was so excited for him,” St. Pierre said. “I told all my students about him and we are all so proud. It’s amazing how far these kids can go.”
Reynolds was the second semi-finalist in Bellbrook’s history. For future studies, Reynolds would like to explore the concept of friction and water to find how they affect bacterial growth. Last year, Bellbrook’s first semi-finalist was Nate Feix.
For a complete listing of winners visit www.broadcomfoundation.org.
Danielle Coots is a freelance writer for Greene County News.