WINNERS OF THE 2019 ASTUTIA COMPETITION: First Place: $500 Scholarship Sophie Krajmalnik, Shepton High School, Plano, Texas Class of 2022 Second Place: $300 Scholarship Parvati Menon, Lambert High School, Atlanta GA Class of 2021 Third Place: $250 Scholarship Perri Dinnerman, Atlanta Intl. School, Atlanta GA Class of 2019 As a sophomore at Lambert High School, Parvati is focusing on the engineering pathway. She wants to specialize in Computer Engineering. At school, she is an active member of Technology Student Association and an officer of Girls who Code. Community work is one of her biggest passions and she is very determined to make our community a better place for everyone. She is currently focused on creating and delivering a program to generate enthusiasm for STEM among middle school students, especially girls in an under privileged school in our community. To improve adult literacy of new technology, she helps senior citizens with everyday devices and communication. In the last 1.5 years, she has been visiting old age homes helping adults with hands on training. Last month, she helped a hundred year old woman make a phone call from her i-Phone. Parvati enjoys Indian Classical dance, swimming, reading and volunteering for the community organizations. She is actively learning dance and has performed at several Indian events.
Sophie enjoys everything about science fairs. During her free time, she enjoys watching Bones, a fictionalization of the life and work of forensic anthropologist Dr. Kathy Reichs. The show was actually one of the first things that spurred her love for STEAM; in fact, thanks to the show, she wants to be either a forensic anthropologist or medical examiner/forensic pathologist. Seeing Reichs’s character, Dr. Temperance Brennan, as a strong, unapologetically herself woman in STEAM really inspired her. Some of the knowledge she gained from that show helped her develop the hypothesis for this project, which is to create a device measuring post-mortem bone porosity using visible light allowed through the bones at varying levels based on the porosity.
Perri's interests include volleyball, chorus, and biology. Next year she will be attending University of Virginia as a part of the Architecture School. Perri has Type I Diabetes, which gave her inspiration for her Astutia project. As a diabetic survivor for over 11 years, she continues to learn insightful knowledge about what constitutes and impacts her health and the health of others.
First Place Middle School Winners: $250 Scholarship Mackenzie Jerrold and June Dairaine Class of 2025, Atlanta Intl. School June and Mackenzie started this project together because they cared about the environment. In fact, they didn’t know each other before, but they created this project simply because they wanted to help those who needed proper vegetation techniques. They had previously learned about how to clean water in science class, and they knew they had wanted to do something similar to the professionals. They researched about the environment and realized that there were many people suffering due to poor vegetation. That’s when they created a plant bomb. They really enjoyed working together on this Astutia project because they learned a great amount of knowledge from each other and came up with amazing ideas together as a collaborative and fun team.
WINNERS OF THE 2018 ASTUTIA COMPETITION: First Place: $500 Scholarship Hana Arslanagic and Carina Kane Class of 2020 Second Place: $300 Scholarship Michelle Nguyen Class of 2018 Third Place: $250 Scholarship Juliette Morrell and Kylah Rendell Class of 2019 Congratulations to you all! 
The next Astutia Competition will open in the Fall of 2019. Antimicrobial resistance is an emerging issue that is rendering many antibiotics useless thus increasing the need to develop new antibiotics. As a result, to provide a viable solution to this imminent issue, the main focus for this project is to develop silk fibroin solutions using iron oxide nanoparticles to create a topical antibiotic that will be able to inhibit bacterial growth, withstand antibiotic resistance, and expedite the wound healing process. The results collected from the Kirby Bauer Test and Wound Healing Assay imply that the silk fibroin solutions would make an effective antibiotic fulfilling all of the requirements listed above.
After learning about the war in Syria and the pollution it is causing there, Hana and I were motivated to find a solution to help mitigate the consequences of pressing issue. After researching through several scholarly articles and books, we determined that the masks would need to be washable and that they would also need to be made out of easily accessible materials. Syrians could use a cost-effective mask made out of a breathable fabric that could be washed and reused multiple times. Our aim was to investigate which textile out of nylon, cotton, polyester and acrylic, would filter pollution the most. The pH of the water would then be tested and the acidity of it would determine how well each fabric performed. In conclusion, it was determined that polyester was the material that filtered the most pollution, the pH of the polluted water was only 6.5.
The machine that was made was to produce fresh water from salt water. During this study, we measured the amount of salt extracted from the salt water to determine if the desalination machine was successful in its purpose to produce fresh water for an area far from freshwater. Only 2.5–2.75% of the water on the planet is drinkable that is including frozen glaciers and ice caps. Due to the limited freshwater resources if proven successful our machine on a larger scale will bring fresh water to communities who are close to salt water.