After-School » The Bruin Experiment

The Bruin Experiment

The Bruin Experiment (Facebook page) is a club started in 2014 by UCLA neuroscience students. The club's goal is to help young students pursue technological and scientific interests, with opportunities to learn and experience hands-on science.

The club was piloted at the Los Angeles Center For Enriched Studies (LACES), then expanded to also include Palms Middle School. Later other schools were incorporated: Mark Twain Middle School, Webster Middle School, the Lake Avenue Community Foundation, and the KIPP Sol Academy.

Each year, UCLA students who are members of the club visit the two schools for 10 after-school mentoring sessions (Wednesdays from 3:15pm to 4:45pm) providing fun preparatory activities and presentations to excite middle school students about science, and to educate them about the scientific method. During part of each visit, students break into groups to cultivate ideas and select experiments.

The program culminates in a grand science fair in UCLA's Ackerman Grand Ballroom, with hundreds of people in attendance. To add to the friendly nature, Palms and LACES students participate in a UCLA Park Day where they socialize before they compete against each other in the science fair.

Thank you to Daniel Haeim, Katie Mowris, and Ethan Haik, co-founders of The Bruin Experiment, and to the rest of the UCLA mentors!

Program Description

UCLA undergraduate mentors will come to Palms once a week on Wednesday from 3:15 to 4:45 PM. We will start with a demonstration regarding either the scientific method or engineering design process. The presentation about the demo will incorporate a critical concept relevant to the demonstration and to the students’ projects.

At the end of the four-month endeavor, each student will have completed a science fair project of their choosing. All students and associated parents/teachers/friends will be invited to come to UCLA for a science-fair, where the students share their ideas and present their projects.

Spring 2025 Science Fair

Saturday in April, date to be announced

UCLA Ackerman Grand Ballroom

Spring 2024 Science Fair

(Note: Palms attended the Science Fair with UCLA volunteers, but not with The Bruin Experiment this year.)


  • Grand Prize winner: Joshua Gupta-Pontius
  • President’s Award: Isabel Gudino
  • Special 10 Year Anniversary Award for Sustainability: Aanya Khattar
  • 2024 Sticker Design: Aanya Khattar
  • Honorable Mention: Arva Parikh
  • Honorable Mention: Julia Grzegoczyk


  • Most Creative: Reese Manuel
  • Most Innovative: Lexi Kampa
  • Most Aesthetic: Darlene Santiago
  • Most Unique: Aditi Kumar

2021 Science Fair Results

Palms had four first place winners!

  • Curie category: Micah Smith
  • Einstein category: Alyssa Ferrufino
  • Seabord category: Katalin Rison
  • Turing category: Teara Wedlow

President's Award:

  • Aarna Kumar

Other awards:

  • Most Ambitious: Lior Wilensky
  • Most Applicable: Rowan Sellers
  • Most Artistic: Selma Emekci
  • Most Creative: Shaya Dadmehr
  • Most Enthusiastic: Naomi Lahav

Honorable Mentions:

  • Barathi Balamurugan
  • Taraya Carter
  • Azra Emekci
  • Chloe Hovorka
  • Sophie Hyun
  • Elise Kao
  • Alexander Linares
  • Valentine Schieneman
  • Noah Smith
  • Christopher Neal Thompson
  • Ian Thompson
  • Malinda Veloz Venegas

2020 Science Fair Results

The Science Fair was not held due to the coronavirus.

2019 Science Fair Results

The results were not reported to our website team.

2018 Science Fair Results: Palms Wins Third Year Running!

Palms students' excellent science projects and commitment to the scientific method spelled victory at The Bruin Experiment Science Fair, held on Sunday, April 8, 2018, at UCLA's Ackerman Grand Ballroom. Student projects covered topics such as water pollution, whether music affects how food tastes, color, sound, plant growth, computer hacking, germs, memory, personality type, and many more. Palms was the overall winner, coming in ahead of Webster Middle School and Mark Twain Middle School. This year, TBE presented one winner from each school as well as several honorable mention awards from among all the students. The Palms winners were as follows:

Overall Palms Winner:
Madeline Doi

Honorable Mentions:
Brendan Messinger
Danika Pienkos
Adnan Shavers

Congratulations to all who participated! Special thanks to the UCLA student mentors for providing sound guidance along the way.

2017 Science Fair Results: Palms Wins!

Palms students competed against each other and against other middle school students in The Bruin Experiment after-school program's annual UCLA Science Fair, held in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom at UCLA, on April 22, 2017.

Palms students won first, second, and third place, as well as four honorable mentions!


  1. Navaneeth Srinivasan
  2. Samuel Fuchs
  3. Lana Neulander

Honorable Mention:

  • Summer Hamzeh
  • Charlene Huang
  • Amelia Moss
  • Tristan Zabala

2016 Science Fair Results: Palms Wins!

2016 Science Fair trophy

The 2016 Palms Science Fair team poses with the trophy

Palms students in The Bruin Experiment after-school program competed in the UCLA Science Fair, held in the Ackerman Grand Ballroom at UCLA, on April 10, 2016.

They presented the results of their experiments, alongside peers from the Los Angeles Center For Enriched Studies, to a panel of judges.

Palms results

Second place overall:

  • Lana Neulander

Honorable Mention:

  • Samuel Fuches
  • Jeong-Min Hwang
  • Praykash Jeysankar
  • Ella Krieger
  • Alta McGruder
  • Victoria Rivera
  • Adrian Shavers
  • Zaynep Yulek

Of the 9 Honorable Mentions awarded, 8 went to Palms students. Based upon the average scores of all the projects, Palms was declared the winner of the Science Fair.

The Bruin Experiment 2022-2023

science experiment

Home-made light bulbs!

Lana Neulander won Second Place for her Dirty Money! project. See photo in slideshow above.