Pranav Moudgalya, a 6th grader at Turtle Rock Elementary School, and his partner Michael McPhie devised a project titled “Extraordinary Elodea: A Look into the World of Pollution.” With this project, they qualified for Broadcom Masters and competed at the California State Science Fair
With pollutants such as carbon dioxide steadily rising, they “decided to address the harmful and detrimental effects of acidic rain on a plant called Elodea anacharis.” Plants produce the vital oxygen that we need to survive, so “measuring the effects of pollution on [plants] would greater prove and educate people about the dangers of ecological breakdown.”
After over a month of research, they devised two methods to measure the rate of oxygen production in Elodea when watered with “rain” of different pHs. However, throughout their research, they struggled with finding a way to manually measure oxygen. “[They] had to get creative!]” Luckily, they overcame this problem and after two days of strenuous experimentation, they concluded that Elodea produces the most oxygen in water with a pH of 6, second most in 9, and the least in water with a pH of 3.
Pranav really loves science fair because he is able to have “positive learning experience where [he] connects with other people who share similar interests.” Though working with the hard sciences, Pranav is still able to use creativity, create lasting friendships, and acquire skills he needs for the rest of his life. He looks forward to participating in science fair again next year.