By Jacqueline DiBartolomeo
When the science fair comes around every year, students anticipate showing off the experiments that they have worked on. Although dozens of kids enter the Science Fair annually, only one can claim the coveted “Best in Show” title. This year, on Feb. 1, here at Paul VI, it was Allison Nguyen ‘19.
Nguyen’s experiment was called The Study of Graphene Oxide in Dental Applications. When asked about her experiment’s purpose, Nguyen said, “The purpose of my experiment was to determine if, when a dental filling composed of graphene oxide or composite resin material is created, then a dental filling composed of 10 mg of graphene oxide would be the strongest when force was applied.” Nguyen said her goal was “to create an organic imitation of a dental filling composed of graphene oxide and composite resin material in order to create stronger dental fillings.” Nguyen went on to say that the results of her experiment were successful, and expected, given her hypothesis and research.
Ever since she was a child, Nguyen has had an interest in orthodontics and the study of dentistry, and it all stems from a funny story. “When I was younger, I had a twin tooth, which is a tooth that consists of two teeth combined together but stems from one root, which had to be extracted. Ever since then, I have taken a real interest in orthodontics and studies involving dentistry.” Because of this childhood experience, Nguyen decided that she wanted to conduct an experiment that incorporated some aspect of dentistry into it.
Nguyen feels grateful that she had the opportunity to showcase her experiment to the public. When asked how it felt to win first place overall out of every single project there, Nguyen said, “It was a truly humbling experience and an unexpected moment of surprise for me. I want to thank all of my family, friends, and mentors who had supported me throughout the process.”
Although the science fair is over, Nguyen’s triumph will not be forgotten just yet. Because of her fantastic “Best in Show” win, Nguyen will have the opportunity to showcase her experiment and research at the Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium at James Madison University on March 19-20.
After the regionals are over, her project may help other with new findings in the field of dentistry one day. “I hope future researchers and scientists will be able to use my experiment for further advances in dentistry.” She is excited about the opportunity and cannot wait to see where her project takes her next.