Matt Trussell, Metcalf Middle School student, received many accolades and awards at the Metcalf Science Fair, the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair and the MN State Science Fair for the 2017-2018 school year.
The award that stood out the most for him, Matt said, was from DiaSorin, a diagnostic biotechnology company located in Stillwater. The company honored Matt with their Merit and Relativity Award at the state science fair. In addition to receiving this award, Matt and four other middle school students from Minnesota were invited to attend DiaSorin’s STEM Day.
For STEM Day, Matt presented his science fair project, Water vs. Oil, to students, parents, teachers and 20 scientists who are employed by DiaSorin. When he completed his presentation, DiaSorin employees asked him about his interest in ecology and even where he got all of his supplies to absorb oil out of water. One sample for absorption was hair and Matt explained how he went to Great Clips to get hair samples.
“I wore gloves,” Matt said. "You have to do what you have to do for science. You can’t be afraid of a little hair!”
Matt, his mother, Jeanne Trussell, and teacher, Tracey Plante, were invited to attend STEM Day with Matt. They toured the lab rooms seeing all of the equipment and technology that DiaSorin uses daily.
“This experience has really motivated me to work in the STEM field," Matt said. "I do like ecology and helping the earth but this has opened my eyes to other career opportunities such as analyzing blood for diseases and deficiencies.”
To give further opportunity to Metcalf students, Bruce Lueddecke, Staff Scientist, came to Plante’s three science classes to present blood analyzer biochemistry. Lueddecke invited students to participate and students were better able to understand the process of analyzing blood from an experiment that Lueddecke presented to each class.
In order to provide enrichment and expose students to career opportunities in STEM, Plante said she plans to have other guest speakers for her science classes for the 2018-2019 school year.