North middle school student wins young scientist award

A love of sharks has translated into an award for a local student.

Center Grove Middle School North student Ava Fisher was named a state merit winner in the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

Students across the country were challenged to solve an everyday problem. Fisher, who will be entering the seventh grade in August, decided she wanted to save sharks, so the teen designed a way to repel sharks from fishing lines.

Sharks are repelled by magnets and stay away from shark repellant. Fisher decided that a hook with magnets and a repellent would save sharks from being caught on lines that are meant to catch fish.

Fisher describes her interest in sharks as a hobby and helping save them was an idea she got when she was given the task during a science class.

Sharks are often misunderstood and some people only know about sharks from television shows and movies, Fisher said.

“I really wanted to do something that had to do with sharks,” she said. “It’s not a popular topic here in Indiana.”

A few years ago, Fisher became interested in the animals, reading books about them and learning that they got caught and injured by fishermen.

When she was given a science assignment to design something that would help the world, she knew she wanted to help sharks.

She studied and found that sharks are repelled by magnets and that companies make shark repellant.

She decided a repellant for hooks would be the best way to repel sharks.

Her award-winning project was done.

Fisher remembers how little she knew about sharks and how much she was able to learn about them with a little reading, she said.

“I think it was the fact that I knew so little about them and learned so much more,” she said. “They are really cool now.”

She is one of 35 state merit winners in the competition. Students create a short video describing their invention or solution, according to a news release from the contest.

Fisher was selected due to her innovative thinking, exceptional communication skills in her video and her science smarts, the news release said.

She was given a certificate, a Kindle HDX and a 3M Stylus Pen.

Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.