My name is Maille, which is Gaelic and pronounced “Molly”.
I won my first science fair in 6th grade at Joseph Case Junior High School in Swansea, Massachusetts. My project was called “The effect of acid rain on house plants”. As luck would have it my science teacher (Mr. Fonseca) was also my soccer coach. I loved doing projects and did a science fair project every year (required or not) up through my senior year. I enjoyed it so much, that I eventually pursued a career in science and now get to do the grown-up equivalent of science fair projects almost every day.
Today I am environmental microbiologist specializing in aquatic bacteria (which means I can only respond to posts at night and on week-ends). I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Massachusetts (UMD), a Master’s Degree in Biology from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), a post-graduate certification in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Drexel, and a Ph.D. in Oceanography from the University of Connecticut (UCONN).
My passion for science fair projects was recently rekindled when a friend asked me to help her, help her son. He was in 5th grade and required to do a project. The teachers expected it done at home because they didn’t have time to do it in class. My friend is very smart, but since she is not trained in science she struggled with the confusing “informational packet” sent home to guide the students. I was more than happy to help and soon word spread that I loved helping kids with projects. Before I knew it, I was coaching as many kids as I could find from several schools and several grade levels. My own kids are now too old for projects, so I look for curious kids who need help – and that is why I started this website!