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Burnsville High School sophomores receive STEM award for their science research

Burnsville High School sophomores Fiona Chow and Nick Schatz competed in the Minnesota Academy of Science (MAS) STEM Communicator competition and received an Honorable Mention STEM Communicator Award for their science projects.Fiona-Nick-1.png

Ten papers from the state were selected for publication, and 10 were given honorable mention awards.

Fiona’s project, “All About the Blades,” centers on using wind power to combat climate change. It is an investigation of which combination of wind turbine blade number and length would generate the most voltage.

Nick’s work, “Novel Stylometric Solution to the Problem of Many Potential Authors,” was to determine if given a consistent literary style across novels and a pool of authors, could an author's writing style be quantitatively measured to determine authorship.

"I presented this competition option to students who advanced to the Minnesota State Science Fair,” said science teacher and mentor Jenny Hugstad-Vaa. “Nick and Fiona stepped up and completed the extensive essay application and submitted their papers. They were rewarded with a great resume-builder award!”

The STEM Communicator competition is a fairly new statewide program that is focused on written communication skills among young scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.

The goal of the STEM Communicator awards is to identify and encourage high school students who show exceptional potential in performing scientific and mathematical research, in communicating their research through writing, and in understanding the societal context of their research and results. The selection process will identify students having:

  • A substantive base of scientific knowledge exceeding usual high school science requirements,

  • A record of effective use of scientific methods to advance research in a chosen area of science or mathematics, with demonstrated skills of clear and concise data analysis,

  • An ability to think critically, to synthesize information, and to argue the merits of conclusions, and

  • A record of personal growth as well as recognition of how their research has an impact upon others.

Complete results can be found at

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 11:35