Twenty-Seven Students Earn Governor’s Awards For Excellence in Environmental Protection Research

Ohio EPA congratulates the winners of the Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research. Twenty-seven seventh through 12th grade students were selected during State Science Day at The Ohio State University in Columbus on May 12.

Senior Jamie Bradbury of Geneva High School in Geneva is a three-time Governor’s Award recipient while senior Abigail Lynn Jones of Lehman Catholic High School in Sidney and junior Bryan Rego from The University School in Chagrin Falls are two-time honorees.

State Science Day is organized and sponsored by the Ohio Academy of Science and is the equivalent of a state championship for science projects. The primary objective of State Science Day is to provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their abilities and interests in science through individual experimentation and research.

This year’s Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research recipients are:

7th Grade

  • First Place: Liliana Marie Rose Hunt, Bishop John King Mussio Central Jr. High School, Steubenville, Does Hydraulic Fracturing Increase the Salinity of Surface Water?
  • Second Place: Grace Kruse, Bloom Carroll Middle School, Carroll, A Study of Leafy Greens in Closed Aquaponic Systems
  • Third Place: Luke Fahey, All Saints, Cincinnati, Finding a Better Alternative for Plastic Drinking Straws
  • Honorable Mention: Riley Mae Ferris, St. Columban, Loveland, How Does Radiation Affect the Growth of a Plant’s Height?

8th Grade

  • First Place: Kalib Joshhua Riddle, Liberty Union Middle School, Baltimore, Basalt Carbon Capture
  • Second Place: Brandon T. Hood, Tippecanoe Middle School, Tipp City, Brick BY Brick
  • Third Place: Saptarshi Mallick, Walnut Hills High School, Cincinnati, Effect of Acid Rain on the Chlorophyll Content and Growth of Ivy Plants
  • Honorable Mention: Carsyn Hagans, Archbold Middle School, Archbold, A Survey of Lichen Diversity in Western Fulton County Cemeteries for Use as Air Quality Indicators

9th Grade

  • First Place: Lohith Savardekar, Dublin Coffman High School, Dublin, Exploring Nitrate Runoff Levels in GMO vs. Non-GMO Soybean Plants
  • Second Place: Maeve Gaffney, St. Vincent St. Mary, Akron, The Effects of Plant Species on Energy Produced in Soil
  • Third Place: Josephine Grace Rose, Carroll High School, Dayton, Comparing Methods of Biodenitrification
  • Honorable Mention: Darrell Lee Davis and Jordan Elijah Dickerson, National Inventor’s Hall of Fame STEM High School, Akron, Project Clean the Air

10th Grade

  • First Place: Grant Arnold, Carroll High School, Dayton, Soil Additives to Aid Plant Growth Amidst Temperature Increase
  • Second Place: Delanyo Mensah, Athens High School, The Plains, Voltage Management Scheme for Renewable-Energy-Integrated Power Grids
  • Third Place: Ian Wolfe, Bloom Carroll High School, Carroll, The Effect of Sun Tracking on Solar Panel Efficiency
  • Honorable Mention: Emily Obermiyer and Dakota Obermiyer, Brookfield High School, Brookfield, The Effect Therapy Dogs Have on Children’s Reading Level and Attitude Towards Reading

11th Grade

  • First Place: Bryan Rego, The University School, Chagrin Falls, Microplastic Consumption by Freshwater Mussels in a Mesocosm
  • Second Place: Jonah Carter and Max Anthony Herrmann, Carroll High School, Dayton, Genetically Engineering Nonpathogenic E. coli to Bind to a Cellulose Matrix Using Curli Fibers and Cellulose Binding Domains
  • Third Place: Mohit Dighamber, Sycamore High School, Cincinnati, Optimizing Microbial Bioremediation to Enhance Hydrocarbon Removal
  • Honorable Mention: David S. Baden, Patrick Henry High School, Hamler, America’s Next Generation of Green Energy: Biodigesters

12th Grade

  • First Place: Jamie C. Bradbury, Geneva High School, Geneva, Bioremediation of Oil Contaminated Soil Using Mushroom Mycelium
  • Second Place: Caroline F. Karbowski, Summit Country Day, Cincinnati, Droplet Vitrification – A Favorable Method of Cryopreservation for Deeringothamnus rugelii, Deeringothamnus pulchellus and Asimina tetramera
  • Third Place: Ca’Marea Snipes-Thomas, Horizon Science Academy, Lorain, Reducing CO2 by Using a Special Filtering System
  • Honorable Mention: Abigail Lynn Jones, Lehman Catholic High School, Sidney, The Effects of Isoflavones on the Inhibitory Effects of Nitrogen on Soybeans

Each year, about 10,000 students from schools across Ohio participate in local science fairs and are judged on knowledge achieved, effective use of scientific method, clarity of expression, originality and creativity. Students who achieve superior ratings are invited to participate in district science fairs. More than 1,200 students from grades 5-12 participate in State Science Day and may be eligible for nearly 100 scholarships and awards valued at more than $4 million.

Ohio EPA employees were among judges for the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Protection Research. Each recipient will receive a $100 prize and a certificate signed by Governor John Kasich and Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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