Two Watershed School students earned three awards at the 2011 Maine State Science Fair at the Jackson Laboratory.

The fair, sponsored by Jackson Laboratory, attracted more than 100 scholars.

Junior Devin Fletcher was second runner-up to the grand-prize winner. Fletcher won first in the Physics and Astronomy category for using high-speed video analysis to correct injuries in the sport of fencing. Fletcher’s project stemmed from a mandatory project she did on the dynamics of sport fencing as a sophomore in Pete Kalajian’s physics class. The project expanded and adapted to include video-analysis and injury prevention.

Watershed first-year student Hunter Schade garnered third in the same category for his project on the solar rotation period. Over several months, Schade followed and drew sun spots to determine the rotation rate of the sun, as well as its dependence on solar latitude.

In addition, two other Watershed students also made presentations: William Alexander presented on the orbital period of Titan, and Alec Paul presented on the magnitude of RZ-Cassiopei, an eclipsing binary star.

“I really enjoyed the opportunity to practice my public speaking in front of the judges. I feel like I’ve been well prepared by my experiences at Watershed,” said Paul.

Fletcher’s enthusiasm for her project was manifest during her presentation, and one judge, a physician and former fencer, talked animatedly with Fletcher for 20 minutes in the hall after the presentation. “It’s incredible to have spent so much of my life disinterested by science only to find a spark and have it lead to such success,” said Fletcher.

“I’m always impressed by the poise and confidence of our students,” said Kalajian, Watershed’s physics and astronomy teacher. “The project-based nature of science education at Watershed makes participation in the Maine State Science Fair a natural fit.”

The Watershed School is a fully accredited independent high school committed to offering students a demanding academic experience within the context of a small and supportive learning community. For more information, call 594-1873 or visit watershed-school.org.