Savannah-Chatham County Public School System

STEM Student Wins Grand Award in Biochemistry at Georgia Science Fair

Published on: 5/18/2021


STEM Academy @ Bartlett eighth grade student Ella Shaffer was recently awarded the Grand Award in Biochemistry in the Junior Division of the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. Ella's project, “How do low glycemic sugar alternatives affect bread yeast growth?" compared multiple natural sweeteners in the process of baking bread.  The project won first place for biochemistry at the Regional Science Fair earlier this year before advancing to state.

Ella previously attended Heard Elementary where students begin working on science fair projects in third grade. That year, Ella's science fair project won first in the region testing yeast growth with sugar, honey, and sweet-n-low.   Students are encouraged to build on previous year science fair projects. In 7th grade she tested fruit/vegetable juices (apple, orange, carrot, celery) with yeast growth. This year (8th grade) she tested yeast growth with low glycemic sugar alternatives. She talked with Deanna Fanning (Ecology Club advisor at STEM) about her variables for this year's competition.

Dr. Jimmie Cave, STEM principal, says, “I'm extremely proud of Ella and what she's been able to accomplish during her middle school career at The STEM Academy. Her latest achievement, the Grand Award in Biochemistry, is outstanding! Ella is an exceptional student and a budding scientist. I'm looking forward to hearing about her next accomplishment."

“It has been a pleasure to watch Ella grow academically during her time here at STEM. She has already accomplished so much, and I have no doubt that will continue as she enters high school. Her strong work ethic and affinity for science were evident in her Science Fair project," states Lauren Kelly, The STEM Academy STEAM Coordinator.

To learn more about the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and view the winning projects, visit

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