Elisabeth Collins, a chemist in the making

Student achiever

August 07, 2002

The student: Elisabeth Collins, 13

School: Patapsco Middle

Special achievement: Won Best in Chemistry award for middle-schoolers at the Howard County Math, Science and Technology Fair in March.

What was her winning project? The effect of anti-fog agents on swim goggles. "The purpose was to see if different anti-fog agents worked better." While practicing with her swim team, she timed how long it took for her goggles to fog up with several brands of anti-fog spray.

How she came up with the idea: "We all had to do a GT [Gifted and Talented] project for our [science] class." Her project was practical. As a swimmer for the Howard County YMCA, "it happens every day for me. My goggles fog up."

What does she like about chemistry? "I'm interested in the interactions between different phases of matter. I also like it because there's no definite answer. You can always discover something new."

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