Lord Botetourt students pose for a picture with the ribbons they won in the RVGS annual Student Project Forum.

Lord Botetourt High School students won first places in four categories in the Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology’s (RVGS) annual Student Project Forum February 3.

The annual Project Forum had 262 gifted and talented students from across the Roanoke Valley participate in the competition held at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke.

One other LBHS student earned a second place and two other teams with LBHS students earned third places.

First places went to:

  • Holly Acker and Ainsley Swartwout in the Systems Software category for their project, Motion and Pressure Sensing Alarm Clock.
  • Jack Buchanan in the Animal Sciences B category for his project, Bioinformatic Search for Homologous Pseudogenes in Caenorhabditis
  • Gavin Oxley in the Biomedical and Environmental Engineering category for his project, Effect of Silver Nanoparticles on Antibacterial and Mechanical Properties of a Copolymer
  • Ryan Rigatti in the Materials Science category for his project, The Effect of Pueraria montana on Tensile Strength and Opacity of Bioplastics.

Luke Wallace earned a second place in the Plant Sciences C category for his project, Lateral root growth in Arabidopsis thaliana after exposure to garlic extract during germination

Leah Germain and Kierstyn Stanley earned third places in the Microbiology A category for their project, The Effect of Cinnamon Oil and Lemon Oil on the Growth of E. coli.

Maria Parnell and Ashlyn Wolfe earned third places in the Biomedical and Health Sciences A category for their project, Antioxidative Mediation of UV Light Damage to the Retinal Pigment Epithelium by Zeaxanthin.

The complete list of award winners, major sponsors, and the schedule for the various science fairs that Governor’s School students may attend can be found on the school website, at www.rvgs.k12.va.us.

RVGS officials thanked those who made the annual Project Forum a success. Among them were:

  • The diverse and accomplished panel of over 60 judges who evaluated 154 science fair experiments for the 2018 Student Project Forum
  • Silent Auction committee members Paul Parnell, Lisa Nielsen and Susie Holt for their efforts in organizing the Silent Auction and Annual Appeal that raised more than $25,000 to support student research at the Governor’s School
  • Over 180 parents, local businesses and community supporters who donated gift cards, gift certificates and cash for the event

Founded in 1985, Roanoke Valley Governor’s School for Science and Technology is a half-day regional public STEM school for motivated students in grades nine through 12. The Governor’s School accepts students from seven school districts around the Roanoke Valley, including Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Franklin, and Roanoke counties, and the cities of Roanoke and Salem.

Parents do not pay a fee for their students to attend; costs are covered by the school districts and the Virginia Department of Education.