Toms River Students Earn Rewards at Delaware Valley Science Fair

TOMS RIVER-Toms River Regional Schools had the best results ever from its ASR (authentic science research) students at this year’s Delaware Valley Science Fair.

And that’s saying a lot. Prior to this year district students have earned first-places finishes (Catrina Shea, High School South, $100 award) and scholarships (Emily Wengrowski, $3,000 scholarship from AAWA, American Waterworks Association, a few years ago). This year, however, was special even by TRRS ASR standards.

High School South ASR student Leonora Krajewski won $50 for third place in the 12th-grade Engineering category with “The Effect of a Wind-Powered Kite Sail on Cargo Ship Fuel Consumption on a Voyage from Shanghai, China to Long Beach, California.” She also won the following:

  • Science and Technology Award Scholarship to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology worth $8,000
  • The Dietrich W. Botstiber Foundation $8,000 unrestricted scholarship for a senior with a project related to aviation
  • The Dorothy M. Hoffman Award from the Society of Women Engineers for $1,000
  • Ricoh Sustainable Development Award for a student whose research has demonstrated the Principles and Technical Innovations that offer the greatest potential for Sustainable Development

The grand total of $17,000 is scholarships is the most in HSS history.

Leonora, who was unable to compete in the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium competition this year because the government shutdown prevented her access to NOAA data sets she was using for her project, will be attending the United States Coast Guard Academy in the fall.

Meanwhile High School North junior ASR student Isabella Onofrietti, who won third place at Stockton in the grade 11-12 Botany Category with “The Inhibitory Effects of Fruit Seed Extracts on Cariogenic and Periopathogentic Bacteria,” won $75 and second place at the Delaware Valley Science Fair in the 11th-grade Botany category.

Isabella also won a Science and Technology Award Scholarship to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology $8,000, a $30,000 scholarship from the University of the Sciences, and the USDA Eastern Regional Research Future Scientist Award to present her research at their lab facility and tour the labs.

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Isabella has competed every year in the Stockton Science Fair from 6th through 11th grade, and has made it to the Delaware Valley Science Fair five out of six years. Isabella Onofrietti is the all-time highest monetary winner in the Toms River School district to date.

HSN sophomore ASR student Giovanna Onofrietti placed first at the Jersey Shore Science Fair at Stockton University in the 9th and 10th grade Environmental Category with “Bioengineering E. coli to Generate Natural Pigments for Use in the Production of Safer Dyes.” Giovanna was moved by Dan Fagin’s book Toms River about the childhood cancer cluster linked to dye pollution. Giovanna also won The Excellence in Science Award to participate in the Annual Spring STEM Invitational with the 50 best STEM projects from the States of NJ, DE, VA, MD and PA, hosted by West Nottingham Academy. Giovanna placed third, winning an Apple Watch and a $60,000 scholarship to the West Nottingham Academy, the oldest boarding school in the nation.

HSN freshman Julietta Onofrietti won a special award from the Delaware Valley Chapter of the Parenteral Drug Association a group dedicated to the advancement of pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical manufacturing science. Her project was “The Effect of Mangifera indica and Cinnamomum zeylancium Evergreen Tree Bark Extracts on Oral Bacteria Prevalent in Periodontal Disease.”

HSN senior ASR student Shannon Culbert won first place in the general poster session in the Engineering Category for her project titled “Development and Characterization of Polystyrene – High-Density Polyethylene Polymer Composites.”

All in all, it was a remarkable showing for students, and a proud moment for the district.