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Umatilla Middle student wins top honors for state science fair

TAVARES – Lexie Clow Alexandra “Lexie” Clow, a 7th grade student at Umatilla Middle School, won top honors in the recent State Science and Engineering Fair of Florida for a device she created to help keep children from dying, forgotten in hot cars.


She won 1st place in the Junior division for the Engineering category; a $250 cash award from the Florida Engineering Foundation; the $500 cash Dr. Neilson Ying Scholars Grand Award; certificate and nomination packet from Broadcom Masters, and Best in Fair for the Junior Division in Physical Science! 


More than 900 students participated in the three-day event at the R. P. Funding Center in Lakeland on March 26-28. Participants had previously won at the local and regional levels.


Lexie’s project, “Forgotten Baby Syndrome – Year 2,” focused on Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke, which claims the lives of about 40 children every year when they are left behind in hot cars. Last year, she engineered a device to decrease the occurrence of these types of deaths and earned 3rd place in the statewide competition. The device detects weight in a baby car seat and ambient temperature, then sets off an alarm if a child may have been left behind in a hot car.


She continued her research for this year’s fair, and is now seeking a patent for the device she created. She has started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the fees.


We had 11 students from Lake County represent us at the state Science Fair. They are:

  • Alexandria Clow, "Forgotten Baby Syndrome - Year 2," Umatilla Middle School
  • Victoria Usrey, "Vroom, Beep, Whirr! VEX-IQ," Windy Hill Middle School
  • Sophia Boardman, "Rockin' Guitar Strings," Imagine Charter School
  • Ryan Sanders, "Blocking RFID Signals," Imagine Charter School
  • Claire Classon, "Engineering Efficient Compost Irrigation," Montessori of Roseborough
  • Brooke Buchanan, "Are We Walking on Star Dust?" Gray Middle School
  • Anneke Dykhouse and Emily Busto, "Chemotxis in Phyarsum," East Ridge High School
  • Cole Kainz, "What Type of Wing Design Produces the Least Drag?" Mount Dora Christian Academy
  • Bryce Buchanan, "How Does the Environment Affect Planarian Regeneration," South Lake High School
  • Thalia Mullen, "Wave Hello to New Power," Mount Dora Christian Academy


The following students won awards:


Thalia Mullen

  • $50 cash award and certificate from Pasco Regional Science Fair
  • Nomination for ½ tuition for Florida Institute of Technology

 Cole Kainz

  • Honorable Mention in Engineering


 Brooke Buchanan

  • 4th Place in Environmental
  • Certificate of Achievement from the Association of Women Geoscientists

 Claire Classon

  • 4th Place in Environmental Engineering

 Ryan Sanders

  • Medallion and certificate from the office of Naval research

 Sophia Boardman

  • $25 cash award from Indian

 Alexandria Clow

  • $250 cash award from Florida Engineering Foundation
  • $500 cash award for Ying Scholar Grand Awards
  • Certificate and Nomination packet for Broadcom Masters
  • 1st Place in Engineering
  • Grand Award Winner for Junior Division