Four local students advance to International Science & Engineering Fair
PITTSBURGH, March 28, 2015 — Nearly 1,100 students representing nearly 120 schools throughout the region competed yesterday in Carnegie Science Center’s 76th annual Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF)—one of the oldest and largest science fairs in the nation. This year’s participation was among the highest in the history of the local science fair. Awards totaled $1 million in cash and scholarships, and winners were announced at a ceremony at Heinz Field today.
Four students were selected to represent the region at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) – to be held May 10-15 in Pittsburgh. These young scientists are: Mihir Garimella, Fox Chapel Area High School, for his project “Biologically Inspired Flying Sensor Platform for Emergency Response”; Suvir Mirchandani and Konrad Urban, Fox Chapel Area High School, for “Automated Illustration of Text to Improve Semantic Comprehension”; and Anna Wan, Pittsburgh Allderdice (in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood), for “Targeting Hippo-Regulated Cell Polarity in Breast Cancer.”
ISEF will bring together nearly 1,700 students from 72 nations and territories to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips, and the grand prize: a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm. Carnegie Science Center was instrumental in the selection of Pittsburgh to host ISEF in 2012, 2015, and 2018.
Suvir Mirchandani and Konrad Urban also were selected to receive Carnegie Science Awards in the senior division (Grades 9-12). Also selected were the Junior Division (Grade 6) team of Benjamin Bermann and James Votruba-Drzal, of Falk Laboratory School (in Pittsburgh’s Oakland neighborhood), for “Future Energy: Algae Based Biofuel”; and Haley Nichols, also of Falk Laboratory School, in the Intermediate Division (Grades 7-8), for “Investigating the Health Benefits of Himalayan Sea Salt.” Carnegie Science Awards, which recognize achievement in innovation, education, and entrepreneurship, will be conferred at a ceremony on May 8 at Carnegie Music Hall in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Keynote speaker at today’s PRSEF Awards Ceremony was Dr. Jeanne Van Briesen of Carnegie Mellon University, winner of the 2015 Carnegie Science Award in the Environmental category.
Among other honors, more than 125 students won Perseverance Awards for longevity of participation in PRSEF, and 19 universities awarded more than 100 scholarships.
2015 Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair First Place Category Award Winners
All first-place category award projects will be on display at Carnegie Science Center from now through Monday, April 6.
Junior (Grade 6)
Consumer Science — Emma Malkin, Falk Laboratory School, Oakland section of Pittsburgh
Life Science — Benjamin Bermann and James Votruba-Drzal, Falk Laboratory School, Oakland section of Pittsburgh
Physical Science — Shira Metzuyanim, Community Day School, Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh
Intermediate (Grades 7–8)
Behavioral and Social Science — Dani Short, Our Lady of Fatima, Hopewell Township, Pa.
Biology — Haley Nichols, Falk Laboratory School, Oakland section of Pittsburgh
Chemistry — Blake Neiderlander, Logan Middle School, North Versailles, Pa.
Computer Science/Math – Adele Fernando, Ingomar Middle School, Franklin Park, Pa.
Consumer Science — Roma Ranade, Ingomar Middle School, Franklin Park, Pa.
Earth/Space/Environment — Saarang Mulukutla, Sewickley Academy
Engineering/Robotics — Thomas Anand, Blessed Pope John Paul II Science Cooperative, Wexford, Pa.
Medicine/Health/Microbiology – Ethan Schroeder, Mary Queen of Apostles, New Kensington, Pa.
Physics — Dominic Polsinelli, Mary Queen of Apostles, New Kensington, Pa.
Senior (Grades 9–12)
Behavioral and Social Science — Alexandra Borelli, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Oakland section of Pittsburgh
Biology — Bridget Kranz, Cambria Heights Senior High School, Patton, Pa.
Chemistry — Michael Warren II, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, Oakland section of Pittsburgh
Computer Science/Math — Suvir Mirchandani and Konrad Urban, Fox Chapel Area High School
Earth/Space/Environment — Sarthak Navjivan, Fox Chapel Area High School
Engineering/Robotics — Mihir Garimella, Fox Chapel Area High School
Medicine/Health/Microbiology — Thomas (Ik-Hyun) Kim, North Allegheny Senior High School, Wexford, Pa.
Physics — Thomas Pascucci, Freeport Senior High School
For a complete list of winners at all levels in all categories, visit http://www.scitechfestival.org/pdf/Category_Award_Winners_3_28_15.pdf
About Carnegie Science Center
Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.
About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Founded by Andrew Carnegie 120 years ago, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums dedicated to exploration through art and science: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach more than 1.3 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.