By Carly Guise
Jessica Sun has been named Grand Champion at the York County Science and Engineering Fair.
The senior won the title on Mar. 8 after claiming the top prize at Red Lion’s own science fair and two days of judging at the county level.
“I was both happy and surprised when I found out I was Grand Champion,” she said. “It was not a goal that I set out with. Mainly, I just wanted to research something I was interested in and do a good project.”
The title will send Sun to the compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair, which is being held in Los Angeles this coming May.
“I’m both nervous and excited for the fair,” she said. “I still have a little bit of work to do with my project before I go, but I’m really excited since the international fair is going to be in Los Angeles. I think that it will be a really cool experience.”
Sun’s project was on self-healing materials that could be used in a 3D printer. She made these materials and then tested their ability to re-form, or self-heal, under different conditions.
Her interest was piqued by self-healing materials while she was researching on her own over the summer. From there, she added the 3D printing element because of her experience with it from her last project, which won a first place in the county fair.
Sun is Red Lion’s third Grand Champion in a row. Graduate Alec Gayrama started the trend with his win in 2015. Seniors Mickayla Smith and Levi Jones’ project won them the title in 2016.
“I really give the students credit,” chemistry teacher Mrs. Stone said. “I think that the science department has created a climate of ‘Let’s go to the science fair!’ kind of thing...But I really give these students credit because they were the ones who came up with their projects. They worked on it from home, they did it on their own. We can’t take credit for that.”
In this year’s county fair, 200 projects were submitted; 69 of these were in the senior division, and 131 were in the junior division. Red Lion submitted 37 of the senior division projects and 15 of those in the junior division.
Of the 62 major awards given out to students, 32 of them were for the senior division and 30 went to the junior division. Red Lion students won 22 of these major awards.