From Science Fair to Scientist: How One 6th Grader’s Research Could Change the World
Maya Sushkin, a 6th-grade student from Worcester, Massachusetts was recently selected as the grand prize winner at the Region II Central Massachusetts Science and Engineering fair (Worcester Regional Science & Engineering fair). She competed with 6th, 7th, and 8th graders from the Massachusetts public and private schools systems. She is the daughter of Yin-Ying Lu, a SCADA lead engineer at Schneider Electric Foxboro, MA.
Maya comes from a very green family who are hopeful for a more sustainable Earth. She wanted to do a project that was important and addressed a real-world issue that she could better understand and help solve. While reading a news article about a large chunk of ice the size as Manhattan falling off a glacier in Antarctica, she decided to base her project on the effects of glacial ice melting due to global warming.
Developing the project
Yin-Ying Lu has worked for Schneider Electric for the last 20 years as an engineer partnered with customers on improving their SCADA systems by optimizing generation and delivery of power. She recently became the controls lead engineer for the Cocassett project for her own office building in Foxboro. That project uses efficient and renewable resources through solar power, Combined Heat & Power (CHP), along with a Microgrid / Energy Control Center system to operate the plant more efficiently.
When Maya’s project was selected by her school to be sent to the regional fair, Yin-Ying was excited about the opportunity to work with her daughter on a project she felt so passionately about. Yin-Ying knew that global warming is primarily caused by the need for energy, and she worked with Maya to help develop her ideas into a full-blown research project.