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McCallie students dominate at 2018 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair

Posted by McCallie Communications and Marketing on March 21, 2018


McCallie students had strong showings at the 2018 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair, with 13 boys from the Upper and Middle schools winning first place in their project categories and several others finishing near the top.

Students presented their work March 14 — also known as Pi Day in honor of the mathematical term defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter — at the University Center of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and winning entries were announced the following day.

Seniors Ben Smith and Grant Smith claimed the Grand Prize Sweepstakes Award for best research of the fair for their research project “Total Sponge and Coral Proteins Show Promise for Slowing N2a Cancer Cell Division." Ben and Grant used McCallie’s new cell culture lab in Walker Hall to grow cancer cells and studied them under the guidance of Dr. Karah Nazor.

With their first place finish, Ben and Grant are qualified to present their research at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held May 13-18 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

032118CRSEF.jpgJunior Hanson Zhang finished first in Mathematics Research and was awarded the Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Award for his project titled “Predicting risk of stroke using artificial neural network and logistic regression in big health data.” Zhang, who was advised on his work by Honors Chemistry teacher and Independent Study Science Projects Mentor Nancy Olencheck, also has submitted his paper for competition with the Tennessee Junior Academy of Science.

Senior Alexander Free finished first in Embedded Systems and won the Intel Computer Science Award for his project titled "Setting Limits: Programming with Arduino boards and radio transmitters to engineer a universal governor to monitor, control, and limit vehicle speed from outside stimuli.” 

Also earning top honor in the high school was senior Jared Richard who finished first in Environmental Science for his research "A study of the behavioral effect of Fluoxetine HCl on Juvenile Cassiopea xamachana Jellyfish." Jared Richard also was awarded the only UTC scholarship for young scientists.

Another team of McCallie seniors, Brian Chong and Jamie Dethero, finished third in the Grand Prize Sweepstakes research competition for their project "Optimizing husbandry and spawning conditions and growing primary cell cultures from the apical organs and tentacle bulbs of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi." The two young biologists learned to breed a type of jellyfish, which only a few other groups in the world have been able to do. Then, under the supervision of Dr. Nazor, they dissected out stem cell rich tissue from the jellies and grew cells from this tissue in the cell culture lab.

Middle School science students also represented McCallie well at the regional fair this year, with first-place honors going to Loch Murray (Animal Sciences), Javen Johnson (Behavioral Sciences), Jack Driscoll (Computational Biology), Jack Morris (Earth and Environmental Science), Kielen Kniegge (Embedded Systems), David Dalton (Materials Science), Weston Hammon (Mathematics), and Louie Treadway (Systems Software).

McCallie Middle Schoolers also were awarded the Junior Division School Achievement Award for the overall highest score and the Junior Division School Participation Award for the highest number of entries.

See below for a list of all the winner's from the 2018 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair and see more photos in an online photo gallery at this link.


2018 Chattanooga Regional Science and Engineering Fair


Grand Prize Sweepstakes Award for Best Research

1st Ben Smith and Grant Smith

3rd Brian Chong and Jamie Dethero

Embedded Systems

1st Alexander Free (also awarded the Intel Computer Science Award)

Mathematics Research

1st Hanson Zhang (also awarded the Mu Alpha Theta National Mathematics Award)


Animal Sciences

1st Loch Murray

2nd Shrayen Daniel

3rd Worth Crichton

Behavioral Sciences

1st Javen Johnson

3rd David Crum

Biomedical and Health

3rd Jack Paty

Computational Biology

1st Jack Driscoll

Earth and Environmental Science

1st Jack Morrison

2nd William Odle

3rd Ben Zeiser

Embedded Systems

1st Kielen Kniegge

2nd Anderson Baker

Energy Physical

2nd Bradley Davis

Engineering Mechanics

2nd Eli Center

3rd Mason Choate

Materials Science

1st David Dalton

3rd Conner Ratcliff


1st Weston Hammond

Systems Software

1st Louie Treadway

Team Awards

Junior Division School Achievement Award (overall highest score for school)

Junior Division School Participation Award (highest number of entries)

Topics: academics, McCallie School, science, Intel ISEF

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