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Huntsville AEE Chapter Presents 6 Awards in ASEF Competition

For the second year in a row, the Huntsville AEE chapter took a major role at the 2016 Alabama Science and Engineering Fair held April 1 at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. The chapter presented awards to six aspiring young scientists from across the state whose science experiments showed a true understanding of energy efficiency.

AEE board members, who assisted in judging both the overall awards and the six special awards, were looking projects that displayed a clear energy focus and solution to energy problems.

“We were looking for a focus on energy applications,” said Randy Buckner, one of the AEE-Huntsville chapter judges. “We also considered how well they used the scientific method in their experiments and whether some real-world applications could result from their efforts.”

Participation by chapter officers included former chapter president Chuck Lovell serving as one of the overall judges,  while three other board members including current chapter President Bob Hennessee, Programs Chairman Randy Buckner, and Education Director Jim Young served as judges for the AEE special awards.

The Huntsville chapter awarded special awards in both Junior (grades 5-8) and Senior (grades 9-12) divisions. Junior engineering categories included Engineering and Environmental. Senior engineering categories included Chemical Energy, Physical Energy, Engineering Mechanics and Environmental Engineering. Winners in each category were as follows.

Junior Division, Environmental – Julia Goldberg of Indian Springs School in north Shelby County, near Birmingham, Alabama, won for her exhibit M&Ms that demonstrated the energy potential in the popular M&Ms chocolate candy.

Junior Division, Engineering – William Ashley of Cornerstone Christian School in Huntsville won for his exhibit The Effects of Neodymium Magnets on Simple Electric Generators, which demonstrated the large differences in energy generation produced by neodymium magnets compared to conventional magnets.

Senior Division, Chemical Energy – Bela Patel of Indian Springs School near Birmingham, Alabama won for her exhibitEmerging Energy of the Future. Her objective was to determine how energy output of fuel cells changed with temperature changes.

Senior Division, Physical Energy – Nolan Lenard of W.P. Davidson High School in Mobile, Alabama won for his exhibitMaximizing the Efficiency of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells in which he experimented with various types of fruit dyes to determine the effects of each on solar panel efficiency.

Senior Division, Engineering Mechanics – Edmond Strickland Jr. of South Montgomery Academy won for his exhibitDual Purpose Muffler in which he developed a unique type of muffler that combined both low back pressure with optimal noise silencing, with the added goal of increasing fuel economy. 

Senior Engineering, Environmental Engineering – Noel Lange of Auburn Junior High School took the prize for her exhibit with a long name: Kinetic Evaluation of Metal Modified Non-Woven Cotton Fibers Capable of Removing Sulfur Dioxide. She examined the effects of various types of metal solutions on cotton fiber filters to determine which did the best job of removing sulfur dioxide.

Each of the six AEE special awards winners received a signed and framed certificate of their award, and a $100 U.S. savings bond.  The award certificates were presented that evening at the Awards Dinner at the Davidson Center of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.