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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Bangor High School hosted the Maine State Science Fair today. It's the only science fair in the state of Maine to be affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the largest fair of its kind in the world.

"There are projects here that are interested in chemistry, there are projects that are looking at microbial motors, microbial engines. Some projects are looking at the movement of super nova," said Mike McKernan,Director of the Maine State Science Fair and Director of STEM and undergraduate education atthe JacksonLaboratory.

The projects at the Maine State Science Fair are so much more than your average baking soda volcano.

"The basic premise of my project is to create a filter using plant materials and a sustainable and cost effective way to implement them in developing countries," said Mary Butler, a junior at Bangor High School competing at the fair.

Nearly150 students from a dozen Maine high schools in seven scientific categories displayed their months, even years of research and work on poster boards Saturday.Forty twojudges were split up amongst the categories to evaluate the students' projects.

"Obviously we want projects that are creative and innovative. Everyone looks at 'how much light plants need to grow.' So we're looking for projects that are different and that show that the kids put actually extra thought into what they were doing," saidjudge ElisabethAdkins, adoctoral candidate at theJackson Laboratory.

McKernan said, "We're going to pick three students who will represent Maine at the International Science and Engineering Fair. We're also selecting student winners in each of seven categories."

Butler was a winner at last year's fair. She got the chance to compete with other students from across the globe. An experience she wont soon forget.

"I didn't expect it! There were so many people there. It was a little bit overwhelming sometimes, but it was really cool to see people from all over the world and the projects that they were coming up with."

The students of the three winning projects are Demitri Maxim ofGould Academy in first place with the project "A diagnostic device for chronic allograft rejection and ovarian cancer," Roger VanPeski, Abby Harvey and Andrew Reilley ofMaine School of Science and Mathematics in second place with the project "The effects of DNA methylation and acetylation on obesity in mice," and Dan O'Brien of Bangor High School in third place with the project "Analyzing the hemodynamics in the left ventricle through MRI-based complex fluid dynamics models." Congratulations of all winners and competitors.

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