STEM News

Researchers Demonstrate Resilience for Return of Science Fair

The Upper School Science Fair was back in the gymnasium this year after a two-year pause. Upper school students in Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, Honors Physics, and the ASPIRE program participated in two sessions held on May 12 to present their research to peers, faculty, family, and special guests. 

“I love mentoring science fair projects for beginning students. Their excitement for trying new things is always refreshing. My favorite moments are when they shift from fear and nervousness about doing something new to excited and confident after they get results and realize it’s not that hard, and then they’ve learned a new skill,” said Director of Science Research Victoria Schulman. 

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Young Scientists Research Independent Projects for Science Fair

A crowd of lower school students looked up in awe as a bottle rocket launched to near ceiling height at the Lower School Science Fair. Using a pressure pump, Ella Mendez ’29 and Ella McKee ’29 hypothesized that the more air pressure they added into a soda bottle, the higher the bottle will rocket upwards. The students learned that there were other variables that impact the height of the bottle such as its angle at launch and the force of gravity. The fair, which took place on April 28, presented new innovative ideas from the fifth grade class.

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Curious Thinkers Examine Chemistry With Cookies

Chemistry class became a tasty treat for sixth grade students at King School when they used cookies to examine the physical properties of matter last week. Middle school teacher Katie O’Connor led the students in an exercise on identifying properties of matter by studying the characteristics that make each cookie unique.

O’Connor introduced matter as anything that has mass and volume. Mass is the amount of matter in an object, which is usually measured in grams or kilograms, and volume is the amount of space that matter takes up. She then prompted the class with a question: How can we describe matter using our cookies?  

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King Students Advance to Prestigious Research Competitions

Six students from the Advanced Science Program for Independent Research and Engineering (ASPIRE) delayed their spring break plans to qualify for the final round of the 2022 Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair (CSEF). The effort proved to be worthwhile for the students, who advanced through higher levels of competition and brought home numerous awards from the event.

Ben Persily ’23 won several distinctions for his research exploring whether prime editing in stem cells could be used to correct the well-characterized mutation that causes cystic fibrosis. Among other awards, he earned one of only seven prestigious spots on the Connecticut delegation to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).  

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Service Learning STEM Project Connects Students With Learners Abroad

King School’s sixth grade students revved their engines as they built custom-designed Lego cars for students in Peru and Costa Rica. The design process included competition, as students raced against one another, using balloons to propel the cars forward. After perfecting their designs, the students disassembled the cars, carefully packaged them up, and sent them off to fellow students in Peru and Costa Rica. The collaboration is part of King’s partnership with the Orphaned Starfish Foundation (OSF). 

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King Student Earns Perfect Score in AP Computer Science

It is not a common occurrence that the Advanced Placement Program (AP) refers to a student’s score on an AP exam as “so superior that it falls into a rather select category.” That is exactly the well-deserved praise that Clare Liao ’23 received from the AP organization after earning the top score in her Computer Science A Exam in May 2021. Clare not only received the top score of 5 but was also one of only 356 students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Computer Science A Exam, receiving the maximum score on each portion of the exam. 

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Tour of IBM Takes STEM Club From Imagination to Innovation

King School’s STEM Club had the opportunity to visit IBM’s research headquarters where they learned how the tech giant brings ideas from imagination to innovation. The students were greeted by IBM Think Lab Director Dr. George Tulevski, who led the tour of the Thomas J. Watson Research Lab in Yorktown Heights, NY, on December 14. The lab is regarded as one of the world’s premier centers for innovation in computer science. 

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Upper School Student Takes His Passion for Chemistry to an International Research Conference

King student John Russell ’22 is conducting research to de-acidify the oceans and remove carbon emissions from the environment during his internship at the Hu Lab in the Department of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale University. His passion for chemistry inspired him to attend the American Chemical Society (ACS) Annual International Research Conference held over the summer from August 22-26, 2021, at the Georgia World Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia. 

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Sink or Float: A STEM Boat Competition

As part of the STEM Boat Competition, Grade 6 students carefully eased their boats into a container of water to see if their work would sink or float. Students were challenged to design and engineer a boat that is less dense than water at room temperature to ensure that it is buoyant. They aimed to keep their cost and materials low because the boat with the lowest density wins!

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IBM Presents Informational Sessions to King School STEM Club

King School STEM Club connected with tech giant IBM for three information-packed virtual sessions on artificial intelligence (AI), cybersecurity, and sustainability. The series began with IBM researcher Dr. Stacy Hobson, who surprised the students with a viewing of a horror movie trailer and later revealed that the entire trailer was created by AI software. The software was trained with snippets of the film and a database of other horror movie trailers to create a film montage designed to invoke similar human emotions from the other trailers, such as shock, fear, and surprise. “It was interesting to learn about so many different technologies in such a creative and fun way,” said Nicole Guido ’24, after watching the presentation.

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