St. Clair High School’s Hannah Krouper, who was a junior during the 2013-14 academic year, captured top honors late last month at the Missouri Department of Conservation Discovery Nature School State Science Fair, and also has earned a trip to the Genius Olympiad in New York state.

Krouper put together a project titled “The Allelopathic Effect of Common Missouri Plants.”

“It took her six months to complete the project,” SCHS science teacher Ben Martin said. “She started in one direction with plant roots and ended up studying Japanese honeysuckle.

“This is very cool exposure for our town.”

Sam Faith, the MDC educational coordinator for the region, presented Krouper her award last week.

Martin said that Krouper received assistance from MDC employees at Shaw Nature Reserve and some help doing some chemical analysis at the Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis.

“Hannah worked very hard on her project,” the SCHS teacher said. “She was willing to make contact with professional scientists to further her research, which is impressive for a high school student.”

The MDC’s mission is “to protect and manage the forest, fish and wildlife resources of the state and to facilitate and provide opportunities for all citizens to use, enjoy and learn about these resources.”

Information states that it is a “forward-looking agency” that with goals to ensure healthy and sustainable forest, fish, and wildlife resources throughout the state;  manage lands held in public trust and associated infrastructure to ensure continued benefit to citizens and to forest, fish, and wildlife resources; ensure sound financial accountability and transparency in all areas of operation; provide opportunities for active citizen involvement in services and conservation education in both rural and urban areas; and to engage partners at all levels to enhance natural resources and effective delivery of conservation services.

The Discover Nature Schools program is one way the agency accomplishes its goals, information states.

Krouper’s project also ended up being a finalist at the recent St. Louis Science Symposium. In addition, at the Mastodon Regional Science Fair she won the trip to the Genius Olympiad in Oswego, N.Y., later this month. She also earned the Yale Science Association Award for Outstanding Junior and a Monsanto Science Scholarship.

Genius Olympiad

According to its website, the Genius Olympiad promotes a global understanding of environmental issues and the achievement of sustainability through basic science, arts, creative writing, engineering, design and policy development.

It provides challenges and opportunities for secondary school students to instill in them the skills and knowledge needed to be the citizens, leaders, scientists, artists, writers, engineers and policymakers of the future and become agents who will promote and contribute to greater environmental sustainability throughout their lives.

The Genius Olympiad focuses on all aspects of global environmental issues with the following goals:

•To enable high school students around the world to cope with environmental problems and to elicit their abilities to produce solutions.

•To inspire high school students to contribute to the protection and improvement of the environment.

•To equip young generations with environmental consciousness.

•To provide a forum for youth from around the world to come together and share ideas.

•To inform the public about global environmental problems.

The science portion of the Olympiad provides understanding and solutions to environmental problems using scientific knowledge.