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  Contact: Linda Lucchetti
  Phone: (925) 422-5815
  E-mail: lucchetti1@llnl.gov
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 31, 2006
NR-06-03-14
TVSEF Logo

Winners selected at 10th annual Science and Engineering Fair

More than 300 local students in grades 7 through 12 competed for cash and other prizes at the 10th annual Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair (TVSEF) sponsored by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Judging took place on Wednesday, March 29, at the Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore, with awards distributed during a ceremony there that evening. This marks the first year the TVSEF was held in Livermore.

Senior Division Sweepstakes Winner Mina Bionta and judge Cal Wood
Mina Bionta, senior division sweepstakes winner and twelfth grade student at Livermore High Schol, discusses her project, “The Ever-Changing San Francisco Bay Delta,” with judge Cal Wood. Bionta was also a senior sweepstakes winner at the 2005 Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair.

Some 130 local scientists, engineers and science teachers served as fair judges, deliberating over this year’s 227 project entries. The majority of judges represented the Livermore Laboratory. A total of 237 awards were presented.

Sweepstakes winners in the Senior Division category were Mina Bionta, a twelfth grade student from Livermore High School, whose project was “The Ever-Changing San Francisco Bay Delta,” and Farnoosh Nik-Ahd, an eleventh grade student from California High School in San Ramon, whose project was “Role of Keratin Mutations as Susceptibility Genes for Liver Disease in Afro-Americans.”

Also winning in the Junior Division category were Kimberly Freid, eighth grade student from Valley Christian School, with the entry, “How Does Center of Gravity Affect Cranes?” and Lakshimi Vijanderan, eighth grade student from Pine Valley Middle School in San Ramon, with the project “Can You Feel the Heat in Your Feet?”

Senior Division Sweepstakes winners of the fair will go on to participate in the Intel International Fair in Indianapolis in May. Junior Division winners are eligible to compete at the California State Science Fair. Sweepstakes winners in both junior and senior divisions received a $500 cash award from LLNL.

Science projects were judged on a wide range of criteria that represent standards of research held by the scientific community. Participants attend public, private or parochial schools in Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol.

Research categories for fair projects covered a wide spectrum of science such as behavioral and bioscience, biochemistry, botany, chemistry, computer science, earth and space science, engineering, environmental science, gerontology, mathematics, medicine and health, microbiology, physics and zoology.

Junior Division Sweepstakes Winner Kimberly Freid with judge Pat Coyle
Kimberly Freid, junior division sweepstakes winner and eighth grade student at Valley Christian School, talks with judge Pat Coyle about her project, “How Does Center of Gravity Affect Cranes?”

The goals of the annual fair are to motivate students to apply creativity and critical thought to the solution of science, engineering and math problems; to encourage the exchange of knowledge and ideas; and to recognize student achievement.

The Fair is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), the world's largest pre-college celebration of science. Held annually in May, the Intel ISEF brings together more than 1,400 students from more than 40 nations to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips, and the grand prize: a $50,000 college scholarship. 

Click here for more information about the Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a mission to ensure national security and to apply science and technology to the important issues of our time.  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.



Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory that develops science and engineering technology and provides innovative solutions to our nation's most important challenges. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.