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ENTM News : Sarah Cooper, Jeff senior, wins at science fair

Sarah Cooper, Jeff senior, wins at science fair
​Steve Yaninek

Sarah Cooper science fair winner.jpg

Congratulations to Sarah Cooper whose research on seed pesticides and corn planter lubricants with Christian Krupke was recognized at both the regional and state science fairs this past month (photo attached).  

In early March at the Lafayette Regional Science and Engineering Fair, Sarah placed second in the Environmental Sciences category and won two special awards: the Interdisciplinary Science Research Award and the Young Scientist of Promise Award. She also advanced to the State Science Fair competition at IUPUI last week where she was awarded the Student Award for Geoscience Excellence and the Purdue University College of Agriculture Award. Sarah is a senior at Jefferson High School and is advised by Joe Ruhl. See below for a description of Sarah’s work.
The effects of particle size of planting machine lubricants on pesticide abrasion of corn seed
"I worked with Dr. Krupke in researching if the particle size of different planting machine lubricants has an effect on how abrasive they are based on how much pesticide they rub-off of corn seed. I tested three lubricants: graphite, talc, and Bayer's new fluency agent (BFA). I found that graphite had the smallest particle size, followed by the talc, and then the BFA had the largest particle size. My results showed that graphite removed the most pesticide from the corn seed, followed by the BFA, and the talc removed the least. This correlation shows that smaller particle size tends to make a planting machine lubricant more abrasive, but it is not the only characteristic to consider. The ultimate goal of the experiment is to pinpoint characteristics that allow a planting machine lubricant to contaminate agricultural environments with pesticide so that they can be avoided.”