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ETHS students participate in the Illinois Junior Academy of Science Regional Science Fair

March 15, 2019 12:24pm CT


In March 2019, two ETHS seniors participated in the Illinois Junior Academy of Science (IJAS) Regional Science Fair at Niles North High School. Zachary Andalman and Michael Frim both received a gold rating for their project submissions.


Andalman, who also received the Best Project Award, presented a computational analysis of what happens to stars as they move past supermassive black holes, the largest type of black holes in the universe. Using a highly advanced computer simulation on one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Andalman was able to generate theoretical datasets. The ETHS senior’s analysis unveiled new details on how stars are ripped apart and help form an accretion disk around the black hole.


Based on the findings, the student’s work will be compared to real events currently observed by astronomers. Andalman will also be the lead author of a paper that will be submitted by a research group at Northwestern University, led by Professor Alexander Tcheckhovskoy.


Frim presented an analysis of small circular and semi-circular formations near the splash point of Newtonian fluids, i.e. water, honey, and other organic solvents, on a hard surface using high-speed video imagery. The study, which was filmed at 75,000 frames per second, is the first of its kind. Based on Frim’s experiment, a phase space of these different properties, referred to as trickle events, were mapped out for the very first time. These types of effects could have possible implications in agriculture, car manufacturing, and environmental studies.


The IJAS is an organization dedicated to encouraging students across Illinois to view science as an interdisciplinary study applicable to society and its interactions with the environment. To learn more, visit