J.L. Long student Aarav Patel with his science fair project “Bug Off.” (Photo courtesy of Dipika Patel.)

A J.L. Long sixth grader won the grand prize in physical science at Saturday’s Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair for his project examining the effectiveness of insect repellents.

In addition to winning the grand prize in the junior division, Aarav Patel also took home the first-place ribbon in chemistry over about 20 other contestants.

(Photo courtesy of Dipika Patel.)

“I was very surprised,” Patel said. “I didn’t even think I had a chance, but I guess I did.”

Patel’s project, titled “Bug Off,” compared a control and three Off brand repellents: Deep Woods, Family Care and Botanicals. Through five months of research, he found that Deep Woods contained the most chemicals, but was the best at repelling bugs.

The idea for the project stemmed from Patel’s own “personal annoyance” with mosquitos. The student also said he wanted to find a solution to a common problem and mitigate the spread of diseases.

With a few revisions, Patel will submit his project again at the Texas Science and Engineering Fair at Texas A&M University in late March.

See the complete list of Saturday’s regional winners here.