Richland High School Student Named Grand Champion At Regional Science Fair

Richland High School Student Named Grand Champion At Regional Science Fair

Richland High School sophomore Zoe Gotthold loves penguins. She loves them so much, her research project on oil spill cleanup earned her a Grand Champion prize at the recent Mid-Columbia Regional Science Fair.

Oil spills are one of the greatest threats facing penguins, Zoe says, so she looked at ways to speed the cleanup process. She learned that certain plastics can help separate emulsions that form between oil and water, leading to her to develop some theoretical methods to improve oil spill cleanup procedures.

Zoe will now present her work at the Intel International Science Expo & Fair in Phoenix in May. She will be joined by Hanford High School students Shreya Mehta and Ajay Harilal who will attend the event as observers after their projects were recognized in the Grade 9 and Senior divisions of the regional fair.

Student Awards:

High School Divisions

  • Grade 9
    • Grade 9, First Place: Shreya Mehta (Hanford High)
    • Grade 9, Second Place: Daniel Li and Nischal Allena (Hanford High)
    • Grade 9, Third Place: Emmaline McKinnon and Nikhita Bontha (Hanford High)
    • Grade 9, Honorable Mention: Sairaghav Gubba and Abby Kerbyson (Hanford High)
  • Senior
    • Senior, First Place: Afrah Aftab (Hanford High)
    • Senior, Second Place: Ajay Harilal (Hanford High)
    • Senior, Honorable Mention: Shaheer Arif (Richland High)


Middle School Divisions


  • 6th Grade Life Sciences
    • 1st: Navaj Nune (Leona Libby)
    • 3rd: Maggie Joyner (Chief Joseph)
    • Honorable Mention: Emmett VanMason (Leona Libby)
  • 6th Grade Physical Sciences
    • 2nd: Advaitha Motkuri (Leona Libby)
    • 2nd: Lance Miller (Chief Joseph)
    • 3rd: Ethan Gotthold (Carmichael)
  • 8th Grade Physical Sciences
    • 2nd: Anika Halappanavar (Enterprise)
    • 3rd: Arianna Hokanson (Chief Joseph)