Tharani Subramaniam in the typical virtual science fair projection mode where students use a quad chart for presenting what they would usually compose as a poster when science fairs are held in person.


Our faculty collaborate with researchers of all ages, including high school researchers. Take high school student Tharanie Subramaniam, for example. For the past two years, she has worked with Dr. Ole Wendroth, Professor, and with Dr. Hanna Poffenbarger's, Assistant Professor, field experiments. Here is Tharanie's first-hand experience:

"My name is Tharanie Subramaniam and I am a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School. I have been working with Dr. Wendroth for the past two years on various projects and have learned a lot about conducting research, and the fields of plant and soil science. Last week, I participated in the 19th Annual Science and Engineering Regional Fair with my project called “Exploring the Impact of Nitrogen on Wheat Growth and Soil Water Properties Through Measurements and Simulations”. In this project, I studied the ability of the Root Zone Water Quality Model 2 program to predict the yield and other variables in a wheat growing season. After presenting virtually to several judges, I was placed first in the Plant Science category and am preparing to present again at the virtual State Science and Engineering Fair at the end of March. Last year, I worked with Dr. Wendroth on my project called “Soil-Water Relationships in Different Soil Horizons and Landscape Positions”. In that project, I studied the hydraulic conductivity of soil samples at different depths and areas of a hillslope in one of Dr. Poffenbarger’s field experiments to see what topographic position had the highest conductivity. I presented this project at both the District and Regional Science Fair where I received 1st place in environmental science. At the 2020 virtual State Science Fair I placed 2nd in environmental science and was given awards from the American Institute of Professional Geologists, and the Association of Women Geoscientists. Despite the challenges with the pandemic, I have been able to continue research at UK thanks to Dr. Wendroth and his team and have enjoyed learning about agricultural practices and plant science. I look forward to continuing my research and preparation for my capstone research project for school, and greatly appreciate the opportunities provided by Dr. Wendroth and the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences!"

Author: Audrey Sparks