Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School student Curtis Fisher, currently a junior, has been chosen to receive a Marjot Foundation Award to work on a science and engineering project titled “A Community Connection: Creating Cost-Efficient, Real-Time, Environmental Data Collection Systems.” According to a press release, the Marjot Foundation funds independent research projects on environmental issues by high school students.
This past year, Curtis worked with graduating senior Annika Schmidt on a science and engineering project that involved developing environmental sensors that can be deployed long-term in our ponds. These sensors transmit water-quality data wirelessly to a computer-based platform, allowing for potentially real-time data analysis by conservation groups on the Island. The pair were able to create a successful prototype that worked for some types of sensors, and they were awarded first place at the 2017 MVRHS Science Fair, second place at the Southeastern Massachusetts Regional Fair in Bridgewater, and third place at the Massachusetts State Science and Engineering Fair at MIT this past spring for their work.
As a Marjot Scholar, Curtis will be continuing to refine the prototype that he worked on as part of his science project, and he hopes to explore adding a variety of types of sensors to his hand-built module, especially focusing on long-term calibration and on supplying power to the units via a solar panel attachment. He is also interested in how the data may be accessed in a user-friendly way once it is transmitted. He will be working with community professionals from HereLab, The Trustees of Reservations, and Edgartown Great Pond, as well as his high school mentor, chemistry teacher Natalie Munn, to complete his project.