Student Research


The curriculum at Marian includes Advanced Research courses which allows students to work cooperatively with local professors on college and university campuses, investigating real-world problems through scientific study. Marian annually partners with the University of Notre Dame’s QuarkNet Laboratory where students and professors conduct research for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

For many years, Marian students in the scientific research program have led the region in recognition for earning awards in regional, state, national, and international competitions. Often these students earn merit-based scholarships to colleges and universities based on their research experience and success at Marian High School. Most importantly, these students take with them real-world experience in the methods and practices of research, which often lead to new opportunities while in college and in their careers


Held February 28, 2020, Marian students earned 14 first place ribbons, 15 second place ribbons and 6 third place ribbons for their scientific research projects and presentations. Marian students also earned 26 of the 43 special awards presented.

This year, six projects from Marian were selected to advance to the all-state Hoosier Science and Engineering Fair (HSEF). Only ten projects each year from the entire fair can be selected to compete at HSEF. Madelyn Cerney, Tyler Cybulski, Solomon Letcher, Mark Potts, Talia Thornton, and Minji Yun will compete at the state HSEF on March 28, 2020, for a chance to earn more awards and potentially move on to the national competition. Good luck!

Way to go, Marian Researchers!
click on each name to show their project name and award(s)
“How are Color, Temperature, and Heat Energy Related?” – 2nd place in Chemistry
“Creating a Self-Evaluating Test” – 3rd place in Computer Science; Notre Dame Mathematics Department Award
“Testing the Anti-Microbial Properties of Bromelain from Pineapple on Gram Positive and Negative Bacteria” – 2nd place in Microbiology; Purdue Agriculture Award; St. Mary’s College Dineen Award; NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF
“Testing the Effectiveness of Mosquito Traps” – 2nd place in Biochemistry; NOAA Taking the Pulse of the Planet Award; NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF
“Power Optimization of Electrochemical Reactions” – 1st place in Chemistry
“Does the Quality of the Golf Ball Really Affect Your Play?” – 2nd place in Engineering; Feynman Award for Enthusiasm and Scientific Curiosity
“Self-Healing 3D Printed Prosthetic Thumb” – 2nd place in Engineering; U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps Award
“The Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Daphnia obtusa Populations” – 2nd place in Earth & Environmental Sciences
“Antifreeze Protein's and Rearing Temperature's Effect on Fruit Flies at Upper Lethal Temperatures” – 3rd place in Biochemistry; Harper Cancer Research institute Award
“Biodegradable Straws: Which Material Is Better?" – 1st place in Engineering
“Trypsin Containing Membranes for Protein Digestion” – 3rd place in Biochemistry
“Synthesis of Uranyl Peroxide Crystals” – 1st place in Chemistry; Yale Science & Engineering Association Award; U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps Award; NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF
“Testing Common Water Bottle Brands for Heavy Metals” – 1st place in Earth & Environmental Sciences; Association for Women Geoscientists Award; St. Joseph County Public Library Building a Brighter Tomorrow Award
“Bioplastics: Do They Hold Up to the Competition?” – 1st place in Earth & Environmental Sciences
“Mapping the Lethality of Wallenda in Drosophila Mushroom Bodies” - 2nd place in Animal Sciences
“Crystalline and Thermal Analysis of Uranyl Sulfate Minerals” – 1st place in Chemistry
“Text Analyzer in Java” – 2nd place in Computer Science
“The Effect of Wind Turbine Blade Angles”  – 2nd place in Engineering
“Synthesis of Palladium Copper Alloy Membranes” – 3rd place in Engineering
“Testing the Endothermic Reaction Between Ammonium Nitrate and Water” – 2nd place in Chemistry
“Effects of Ocean Acidification on Mussel Shells” – 2nd place in Earth & Environmental Sciences; American Meteorological Society Senior Award
“The Effects of Vape Liquid on Tetrahymena thermophila” – 1st place in Microbiology; South Bend Medical Foundation Award; NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF
“BPA Leached into Water from Polycarbonate Plastic when In Different Temperatures” – 1st place in Chemistry
“Ballistics of a Potato Cannon” – 1st place in Physics & Astronomy
“Strength of Synthetic Polymers” – 2nd place in Chemistry; U.S. Metric Association Senior Award
“Feeding Modality and Saturation Response in the Jaws of New Zealand White Rabbits” – 1st place in Animal Sciences; NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF
“How Do Gene Expressions Induced by Oxaliplatin Treatment Differ Between Liver and Colorectal Cancer Cells?” – 2nd place in Biomedical Sciences
“A Biodegradable Alternative to Plastic” – 1st place in Earth & Environmental Sciences
“Project GRAND” – 2nd place in Physics & Astronomy; U.S. Air Force Office of Research Award
“Testing CBD Oil with Thin-Layer Chromatography” – 1st place in Chemistry
“The Effect of Cisplatin Versus Docetaxel on Gene Expression in Triple Negative Breast Cancer” – 1st place in Biomedical Sciences; Society for In Vitro Biology 11th Grade Award; Harper Cancer Research Institute Award
“Catalytic Hydrogel Membrane Beads” – 2nd place in Earth & Environmental Sciences; Stockholm Junior Water Prize
“Are Produce Cleaning Sprays Actually Doing Their Job?” – 3rd place in Biochemistry
“Characterization of Luminescent Sensors” – 3rd place in Engineering
“Does Increasing Enclosure Size Enhance Sensitivity of Acoustic Transducers?” – 1st place in Physics & Astronomy; Notre Dame Physics Club Award; Notre Dame College of Engineering Dean’s Award (best Physical Science project in Fair); NIRSEF Award to attend HSEF