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Academy of Environmental Science and Technology
Forest Hill Community High School

Palm Beach County Science Fair Projects

Science Fair Projects:
>Science Fair Home
Temperature Effects on the Growth of the American Alligator
Captive Florida Panther Scent Enrichment
Cetacean Vocaliztion Freuency Related to Size, Migration Status, and Social Stucture
Do Fish Prefer Natural or Artificial Reefs?
Fertilizer Effects on the Growth of the Dutch Iris
Florida Panther Population Viability Analysis
Computer Animations of Mitosis
>Academy of Environmenal Science and Technology Home
Forest Hill High School’s Environmental Science Academy involved 13 students in the High School Science Fair, held February 15, 2002, as well as the 42nd Annual Palm Beach County Science Fair, held on February 20, 2002. The aim of the projects is to introduce the students to the scientific method and to allow them to pursue their interests from a research perspective. The photo collage of students in front of their displaysstudents select a topic, research it, create an experiment, collect results, and analyze the acceptance or dismissal of their hypothesis. This research experience is then compiled into a research paper, poster presentation, and, for some, a PowerPoint presentation used for the competition phase of the Science Fair. It is a rewarding endeavor for the students, exposing them to real-world applications of the questions they generate regarding the plants, animals, and processes they are interested in.

Please use the links to the below or to the right to access each student's project.


Temperature Effects on the Growth of the American Alligator
Rosie Steffen, David Paladino, Anthony Zeitland

This project’s development was greatly assisted by Miss Linsin and involved the loaning of 2 baby American Alligators from Gatorama. The students housed the alligators in two separate tanks, one heated with a lamp and the other maintained at room temperature. Results showed increased growth for the warm environment alligator, and it consumed considerably more food (sardines and crickets) than the other alligator.

Captive Florida Panther Scent Enrichment
Jessica Collins, Janine Wallach, and Cheyanne Niedringhaus

These students took part in a study aiming to enrich the life of a captive Florida panther at the Palm Beach Zoo. The students worked with the zookeeper on selecting two scents, one representing a prey scent and the other a female musk scent. The scents were placed into the panther’s arena, and then the students recorded his location every thirty-seconds for the next hour. Results showed more interest in the prey scent that the musk; however, overall the panthers activity was not greatly enhanced.

Cetacean Vocalization Frequency Related to Size, Migration Status, and Social Structure
Sylvia Megyerdi

Sylvia was very interested in conducting an experiment on dolphins and compromised on a project the exposed her to many research projects on marine mammal vocalizations. She compared size in length and weight to vocalization frequency and found that the larger whales emit lower frequency sound while smaller dolphins emit more high frequency vocalizations. This result was understood when looking at how sound functions in water with low sounds traveling very far distances related to the large whale’s solitary lifestyle and extensive migrations patterns.

Do Fish Prefer Natural or Artificial Reefs?
Mara Young and Lorraine Douglas

Using data collected by volunteer scuba divers from the REEF organization, the students were able to examine reef fish species abundance and density values for two sets of natural and artificial reefs. By comparing the results on reefs that were at a similar location, size, and depth, the students found that more fish species and greater abundances were found for the natural reef, but time will tell if in the future the newly established artificial reef results become more close to that for the natural reefs.

Fertilizer Effects on the Growth of the Dutch Iris
Brandon Tufts and Jill Hudson

For this project, the team potted three Dutch Iris bulbs and watered them with water, 30-10-10 fertilizer, or 20-30-20 fertilizer and measured the greatest growth for the bulb stalks. The 30-10-10 potted plant showed the greatest growth results, and the students attribute this to the higher nitrogen amount, that encourages rapid growth.

Florida Panther Population Viability Analysis - Impacts of Adult Male and Female Mortality Rates
Michael Fosberg

A study of the wild Florida panthers was the motivation for the current project. Using advanced computer modeling programs, Michael was able to determine the possibility of extinction values for every ten years during the next century. He varied the mortalities of adult males and females in the remaining population of 66 wild panthers and found that the highest extinction probabilities occurred when the female population was affected not the male.

Computer Animation of Mitosis
Derek Batt

This student, whose accomplishments with computer graphic design won him a place in the State science fair competition last year, has returned this year with another technologically advanced project. He is designing a computer animation of the process of mitosis hoping this mode of learning will be more stimulating than traditional textbook depictions of this process.

For More Information:

Sasha Linsin
Forest Hill Community High School
690l Parker Avenue, West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
(561) 540-2493


U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Center for Coastal Geology
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Last updated: 15 January, 2013 @ 12:42 PM (KP)