As it has for many years in the past, this year the VFS Hampton Roads Chapter presented multiple special awards at the Tidewater Science & Engineering Fair (TSEF). The Junior Division (Middle School) award winners received $200 for first place, and $100 for second place. The Senior Division (High School) award winners received $250 for first place, and $200 for second place. These awards are given to the students with the best projects supporting “the multidisciplinary fields of vertical flight, traditional rotorcraft platforms disciplines, and related support industries.” The winners were judged to be the best versed with their work and performed the most unique experiments. Their teachers have also received a $100 award for supporting the STEM community and leading their students to these great achievements. Finally, the Tidewater Science Congress was also gifted $1000 to continue TSEF and help continue it well into the future.
The Junior Division first place award winner was Nathan Shaw for his work on optical sensor performance under degraded visual environments. The second-place award winner was Gavin Fitzgerald, who investigated the performance effects of linear magnetic actuator arrangement.
The Senior Division first place award winner was Erin Jones for her work studying the long-term effects of cognitive training. Her work investigated whether mental training tasks could improve cognitive performance in high schoolers. This work could lead to improved training for pilot focus and performance. Second place award winner in the senior division was Jack Shoemaker who investigated machine learning in weather forecasting.
The awards were presented by the Chapter’s Education Director Dr. James Stephenson.