ND Energy Grants Science Fair Awards in Energy


The Center for Sustainable Energy at Notre Dame (ND Energy) awarded two prizes at the 2016 Northern Indiana Regional Science and Engineering Fair (NIRSEF) held at the University of Notre Dame on February 28. The winner of the Junior Division was awarded $50 and the Senior Division winner $100.


Charlie Leonard, a 7th grade student from St. Pius X Catholic School in Granger, was presented with the Junior Division award for his original project entitled Turbine Toilet. Inspired by an evening when the electricity was out and a friend needed to charge his cell phone, Charlie devised a system using a pond water pump in the back of a toilet to generate a charge. Although it took two days to complete the charge, the award was given for the project’s originality and thoroughness, plus Charlie’s knowledge of the engineering involved.


Katherine Dyer, a senior from John Adams High School in South Bend, was the winner of the Senior Division prize. Her project, The Efficacy of Various Redox Mediators in Improving the Longevity and Power Output of a Membrane-less, Enzymatic, Glucose-Oxygen Physiological Fuel Cell, tested various redox mediators to determine their effect on the magnitude, stability, and longevity of power production in a glucose-oxygen biofuel cell. Katherine was awarded not only for her knowledge of the subject matter, but also for her persistence in constructing her own prototype cell.

The judges for the fair were Notre Dame students Jessica Cioffi, Belinda Hyland, Marc Gazda, and Justin Blake. All are active in ND Energy’s undergraduate programs either through the Energy Studies Minor and/or the Student Energy Board. ND Energy thanks them for giving up their Saturday morning to serve as judges.