Students from Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches recently took top honors in two of the area’s most prestigious science competitions. Three students from the new, independent high school placed in the Palm Beach County Science and Engineering Fair and two students received special recognition at Max Planck Florida Institute’s Neuroscience Discovery Day.
Freshman Maria Elena Grimmett made history at the 56th annual science and engineering fair. She received perfect scores from all of the judges — the first time that has happened in the competition’s history — and was awarded first place in the Environmental Science category and Best in Show overall for her project “H20h No: Pharmaceuticals Are in My Groundwater!” This is the fourth consecutive year that Grimmett has received first place at the regional science fair.
Grimmett will now advance to the statewide competition with sophomore Gray Newfield, who took second place in the Engineering division. His project, called “The Automatic Closing Box Net,” detailed his patent-pending invention to capture lionfish.
Fellow sophomore Jake Reinhart finished in fourth place in Mathematics for using statistical analyses to determine a winning field strategy for lacrosse. Other participants from Oxbridge Academy included Dorit Bodnick.
As part of the grand opening celebration for its new research facility in Jupiter, Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience hosted a number of interactive brain-related activities during Neuroscience Discovery Day on Dec. 8. Oxbridge Academy junior Samantha Schneider competed against nearly 30 other area high school students in the Neuroscience Inspires Art Contest and Exhibition, and won “Most Creative” for her digital photography piece. Sophomore Corey Beckford was “Best Scientific Content” runner-up in the Battle of the Brains scientific poster competition. Other students who presented their work included Stephen Berkner, David Gorski, Madison Outlaw and Megan Zimmerman.
Oxbridge Academy was founded by William I. Koch and opened September 2011. The school’s mission is to provide a challenging and dynamic education in the classroom, laboratory, art studio and athletic fields that produces leaders through integration of meaningful student research, collaboration, creativity and life-changing service learning. At Oxbridge Academy, students learn through engagement in academic and community-based projects that speak to their talents and interests, and spark their curiosity and passion.
The 56-acre campus features classrooms equipped with advanced technologies, a university-modeled “information commons,” a fully equipped digital media center, a 400-seat performance center and auditorium, visual arts and dance studios, a full-size gymnasium and a fully equipped fitness center. School grounds include an expansive lake, six lighted tennis courts, a swimmi ng pool and several basketball courts.
Oxbridge Academy is now accepting applications for the 2013-14 school year. Upcoming open houses will be held Jan. 9 and Jan. 12. For more information, call (561) 972-9600 or visit www.oapb.org.
ABOVE: Maria Elena Grimmett with her winning project.