March 23, 2016
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Local students receive top honors at Synopsys Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair

Carrie L Martin, martin59 [at], 925-424-4715

Nearly 700 Bay Area students participated in the fifth annual Synopsys Alameda County Science & Engineering Fair held recently at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

This regional competition, organized by the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair Association (a nonprofit 501C3), drew more than 2,500 attendees to the open house hours and the award ceremony that culminated the three-day event.

Students showcased an impressive breadth of science and engineering research through projects ranging from alternative sources of energy to plant science, with a large proportion in engineering and biological sciences.

science fair

The winning projects will move forward to the California State Science Fair and the prestigious Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, where students from 75 countries bring their best projects to compete for more than $1 million in prizes and scholarships donated by universities and corporations from around the world. Grand Awards went to the following high school students:

  • Sandhya Kalavacherla, Amador Valley High School, Pleasanton (Drew Melby, teacher). Kalavacherla’s project was on a mating-based split ubiquitin approach to determine membrane protein interactions with cellulose synthase interactive (CSI-l) protein.
  • Abheer Singh, American High School, Fremont (Larry Millard, teacher). Singh’s project was on the inhibition of bacterial mutagenesis through polyubiquitination — a solution to antibiotic drug resistance.
  • Venkat Krishnan, American High School, Fremont (Joshua Baker, teacher). Krishnan’s project covered the use of Lucas-Kanade optical flow modeling-based computer Visioni algorithms and sensor fusion to create a novel low cost autonomous emergency first responder system.
  • Sonia Sachar, Irvington High School, Fremont (Wai-pan Chan, teacher). Sachar investigated using a machine-learning approach for predicting drug efficacy.


science fair

Two middle school projects on water research also earned Grand Awards. These students will move on to the California State Science Fair and the national Broadcom Masters competition, which brings together the top 10 percent of middle school students and their research projects from the United States. Grand Awards went to:

  • Shreya Ramachandran, Stratford Middle School, Fremont (FeMarie Bustos, teacher). Ramachandran researched the effect of soap nut greywater on soil and plants.
  • Anay Bhakat, Quarry Lane School, Dublin (Andrea Peoples-Marwah, teacher). Bhakat researched the use of a tool to measure the water given to a plant by controlling the water received.

See the full listing of the Alameda County students and schools involved and their related awards.

The annual fair is sponsored by several corporations including Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Synopsys Outreach Foundation, Oracle, Chevron, Kaiser Permanente, Sandia National Laboratory, Professional Engineers in California Government, East Bay Community Foundation and Alameda County Water and Waste Water Agencies and several private donors.

For more information contact Fair Director Patti Carothers, 925-426-7879 or visit the website.