Thursday June 01, 2017
Hannah Farrell has always loved science. With her goal of one day being a nurse, the tenth grader at South Burlington High School (SBHS) is already on her way. Earlier this year, Farrell attended the Vermont Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Fair at Norwich University and walked away with two notable honors. First, she was one of two students in Vermont selected to attend the 2017 International Sustainable Earth (Energy, Engineering, and the Environment) Project Olympiad, known as ISWEEP. Second, Farrell was one of the three Vermont finalists, all SBHS students, selected at the Vermont Stem Fair for the GENIUS Olympiad Awards. The other two are Ann Wong and Marcus Albertson.
Farrell’s state winning project is titled “Is There a Link Between Time and Soap on Effectiveness of Handwashing?” With a desire to research a topic that would have a daily impact, Farrell took on handwashing and says, “My project affects everybody at least three times a day, which I think is unique about my project.”
The tenth grader credits her SBHS science teacher, Nathanial Moore, as the person who showed her the step-by-step process on how to create a research project. She also found support at home. Farrell adds, “We all had to have a mentor for our project and I asked my mom to be mine.”
Farrell attended ISWEEP in Houston, Texas this May and was one of hundreds of the brightest STEM-focused students in the world competing in the competition’s fun and collaborative environment. She reports, “The Houston event was an amazing experience. When I got there, they had all these different things the participants were able to take part in. One of my favorite parts of the trip was meeting people from all around the world.”
But the young scientist is far from done. On June 12, she takes her project to the 2017 GENIUS Olympiad, an international high school science project competition which is hosted by the State University of New York at Oswego.