Harpers Ferry Middle School student wins West Virginia Youth Science Fair

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Meet Andrew Stone, winner of the West Virginia Youth Science Fair.

While all of us are worried about rising gas prices, Andrew’s mind has been focused on the behavior of worms. That’s right, worms.

“I went to a nature center and I saw that worms could eat styrofoam,” said Andrew, “and I was wondering if their castings had the same amount of plant-beneficial nutrients.”

Who doesn’t wonder about a worm’s diet? Well, Andrew has it all figured out.

“So my conclusion,” says Andrew, “was that, yes, it does have the same amount of plant beneficial nutrients so you could use it on plants and it’ll be a really good fertilizer to mix in with dirt.”

Andrew’s next step could possibly be the national science fair in Washington, D.C. Whatever the final result of the fair, Andrew’s mom has an idea of what the future holds.

“I see him being a scientist one day,” says Melissa Stone, “and working in nature. That’s what he wants to do.”

While most moms are troubled by their kids’ Pokemon cards being strewn all over the house, Stone has different frustrations.

“The only downside was having thousands of mealworms growing inside my house over the past two years,” Melissa says.

What is the most satisfying thing about his hard work and diligent research into polymer-eating worms?

Andrew said, “Seeing that the worms could digest these plastics and that they could survive on it and not die from it.”

Andrew is already making plans for a career as an environmental engineer.

The goal of Andrew’s research is to recycle plastics as food for worms. Those worms can then be food for reptiles and birds.

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