Friends School of Minnesota 8th grader Emi Topp-Johnson’s project on corn fungus qualified for the State Science Fair, which took place over spring break.

Emi’s display won a Bronze Star from the Minnesota Academy of Science (the organization that runs the state science fair), for being in the top 20% of all middle school projects.

Emi’s paper also won two awards:

  • The Graduate Women in Science Award for Best 8th Grade Paaper
  • Award for Best Middle School Paper from the Minnesota Academy of Science.

Emi did her Science Fair project independently, as FSM only does Science Fair in alternate years and 2013-14 was a History Day year (Emi’s History Day documentary Charles Drew and the Blood Bank is moving on to State). The title of her project, and her paper, is: Behind the Kernels, A Study of 5 Fungal Endophytes and their use in Biocontrol Against the Common Maize Pathogen Ustilago maydis.

Emi’s interest in mold and fungus was piqued while working on her 2012-13 Science Fair project. So FSM science teacher Steve Moe connected her with Dr. Georgiana May at the U of M who studies corn and the effects that different fungus has on corn. Over the summer and throughout the fall, Emi went to the research lab 2-3 days a week. During that time, she learned how to work in a lab, and to conduct her experiment.

Congratulations to Emi for all her phenomenal work!

Emi Topp-Johnson receives awards for her project
Emi Topp-Johnson receives awards for her Science Fair project
Behind the Kernels, A Study of 5 Fungal Endophytes and their use in Biocontrol Against the Common Maize Pathogen Ustilago maydis