Years of Dedication Leads to Spot in International Competition


Bridget Protsman and Carrie Wadycki

Kaylyn Risse (10) is advancing to the Intel ISEF International Science Fair competition.

“[A science fair] takes a lot of dedication time-wise. That’s the biggest thing. You have to have time and then dedication to make a good project. You also have to want to learn,” Risse said.

The project that Risse conducted this year was making a technique to study the properties of a biofilm with impedance. Risse placed first in the sophomore division at the LC competition and the Calumet Regional Science Fair. Risse’s victories earned her a place at the international level.

“Last year, I was studying the stages of the growth of bacteria, and I wanted to study more of a specific stage. That was the stationary stage, which forms a biofilm. That’s where I got my idea,” Risse said.

Risse conducted her experiment in a laboratory at Purdue West Lafayette.

“I started my research in August and started to go down to Purdue in late December,” Risse said.

Risse has been competing in science fairs for six years. She earned a place as a student observer at last year’s international competition; this will be her first year competing at the international level.

“It’s so much fun. You learn a lot and make new friends,” Risse said.

The Intel ISEF International Science Fair will be held in Pittsburg, Pa., from May 13-18.