Utica, NY (WIBX) - A sophomore student from Rome Free Academy took first place at the 34th Annual Regional Science Fair at Utica College.

Mary Ann Bulawa's project, "Optimizing Algae Growth," earned her two years half tuition to U-C and a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, in Pittsburgh.

Grace Atik, a freshman from Clinton, was the runner-up. Her project, "We Didn't Start the Fire," earned her a one year half-tuition scholarship at the college.

Top junior honors went to Neila Rekic and Katelyn Zaleski, students from John F. Kennedy Middle School, for their project, "The Electrolyte Challenge."

Middle and high school students from Oneida and Chenango counties took part in this year's event, competing for prizes from several organizations, including the American Meteorological Association, Intel and the U.S. Army.