Students Win Awards at Regional Science & Engineering Fair/One Qualifies for International Competition

Eighteen Fox Chapel Area School District students recently won awards at the Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (Covestro PRSEF) and one student qualified for an international science fair.

Fox Chapel Area High School junior Shania Khatri was named one of four overall winners and qualified to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) – the Olympics of student science competitions. The international competition will be held May 14-19, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. Nearly 1,700 students from 75 nations will compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips, and the grand prize – a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm, Sweden. Shania also received the MU Alpha Theta affiliate award for her project entitled “Using Bayesian Network Modeling to Locate Breast Cancer Genes.”

Fox Chapel Area High School freshman Ameya Velankar was named the first place winner in the senior behavioral and social science category. Sophomore Zachary Lakkis received a second place in the senior biology category and also won the Society for In Vitro Biology affiliate award. Senior Moira McCormick received a sponsor award from the Duquesne University Department of Biological Sciences. Sophomore Sanjana Harish received a sponsor award from the Arconic Foundation.

Dorseyville Middle School eighth grader Amulya Garimella won first place in the intermediate biology category and was also named one of three overall winners in the Carnegie Science Awards intermediate division program. She has been invited to attend the Carnegie Science Awards Ceremony in May. She also received the Young Women in Biology sponsor award. Seventh grader Theodor Urban won first place in the intermediate engineering/robotics category. Eighth grader Sanjay Seshan received a third place in the intermediate earth/space/environment category and won sponsor awards from the Allegheny County Health Department and the Arconic Foundation. Sixth grader Aiden Dorneich was named a third place winner in the junior physical sciences & engineering category. Aiden also won the CHEVRON Honorable Mention sponsor award, as well as sponsor awards from the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers Inc. and the Michael Baker Corporation. All the Dorseyville Middle School students who won first-third place category awards were also named Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars) Middle School Program nominees. Other Dorseyville Middle School winners were eighth grader Elizabeth Schwarzman and seventh grader Janise Kim who both won fourth place in the intermediate behavioral and social science category, eighth grader Vinisha Sant who won a fourth place in the intermediate biology category, seventh grader Zoe Lakkis who won a Slippery Rock University sponsor award, and sixth grader Jonathan Li who won a Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation sponsor award.

The following students received Perseverance Awards for the number of years they have been participating in the Covestro PRSEF: seniors Moira McCormick and Ayan Sinha (Honorary Scientists); sophomores Zachary Lakkis and Ji-Yool Moon (Associate Scientists); and sophomore Gina Wang, freshmen Jasmine Eng and Ameya Velankar, and eighth graders Amulya Garimella, Vinisha Sant, and Elizabeth Schwartzman (Junior Scientists).

Dorseyville Middle School also received a school award for being the school with the most winning entries in the intermediate division.

The Covestro PRSEF is open to students in grades 6-12 from 21 counties in Western Pennsylvania and one county in Maryland. More than 1,200 students competed for more than $1 million in cash prizes and scholarships. All of the students who participated in the fair conducted individual science research, constructed a display, and explained their work to a committee of judges. The science fair was held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh March 31 and April 1, 2017.

The Covestro PRSEF, a program of Carnegie Science Center’s SciTech initiative, has been a Pittsburgh tradition since 1940. It is affiliated with the Society for Science & the Public (SSP).

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