Two ETHS students awarded gold rating at the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional Science Fair

Louise Bond and Sabine Gratch

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Seniors Michael Frim and Zachary Andalman were both awarded a gold rating for their submissions in the March 2019 Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) science fair.

Frim’s submission was a drop impact study, which is essentially the study of splashing. Specifically, he was observing the circles in the white ring around the edge of the splash, more commonly referred to as trickle events, formed when dropping different liquids onto a glass surface.

He started his research in the summer of 2018 in Northwestern’s Driscoll lab for soft matter physics lab.

“[The Driscoll lab] was an incredibly kind and open environment, even to high school students… all the graduate students, all the undergrads who were there were all just super duper nice, and I feel like that experience might be rare, but it has shaped my view of experimental science,” Frim said.

Along with the gold rating, Frim’s project also won a special award from the Association of Old Crows. His project was moved onto the International Science Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix, Arizona in May, which From plans to attend.

“I have to say, if I end up going into experiment science later in life, it’ll have been because of my absolutely wonderful experience at that lab,” Frim said.

In addition to receiving a gold rating on his submission, senior, Zacharary Andalman, also received, the best project award. Unlike Frim’s submission, Andalman’s project pertained to astrophysics.

“I analyzed supercomputer simulations of what happens to a star when it encounters a supermassive black hole with one million times the mass of the sun.” Andalman explained. “The simulation revealed new mechanisms behind the formation of a disk of plasma around the black hole known as an accretion disk.”

Starting February of last year, Andalman began meeting his project mentor, Northwestern professor Alexander Tchekhovskoy, and continued to work full time on his project over the summer.

“This project got me interested in computational research, a path that I had not fully considered before,” Andalman said. “In the future, I hope to have more opportunities to use the computational skills that I learned through this research process.”