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September 9, 2008
Science fair winners named as semifinalists in Society For Science and the Public competition
Uzair Mohammad of the Livermore Valley Charter School, talks with Steve Mattos, science fair judge from Intel. Uzair's project "Generation Nation" won in the Junior Division sweepstakes category at the 2008 Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair held in March.
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Six award winners of the 2008 Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair sponsored by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in March are among 300 students selected nationwide as semifinalists in the Society for Science and the Public (SSP) U.S. Middle School Competition, it was announced this week.
The students will vie for more than $40,000 in scholarships.
The local students selected are: Nikhil Gupta and Gokul Ramesh of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District, Garrett Stevenson of the Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District, and Uzair Mohammad, Dana Hartman and Kevin Johnson of the Livermore Valley Charter School.
According to the SSP, the 300 semifinalists represent 42 states and Puerto Rico and include 177 males and 123 females. The students, in 5th through 8th grades when their entry was submitted, won the nomination by excelling at their regional or state science fair.
Each entrant submitted written essays of their science, math and engineering projects. Projects of selected semifinalists included research on water purification and fuel cells, mathematical algorithms, and the amount of lead present in a student lunch box.
Kevin Johnston, from the Livermore Valley Charter School, discusses his project with fair judge Wolfgang Stoeffl. Kevin won the Junior Division sweepstakes category at the 2008 Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair for his project "Suburban Skyglow: Using Astrophotography to Analyze Light Pollution."
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On Sept. 17, 30 national finalists will be named from among the 300 semifinalists and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. for a four-day event to be held in October.
In the nation's capital, finalists will compete for more than $40,000 in scholarships provided by the SSP. The top 10 winners will be selected based on presentation of their original science fair project and participation in team scientific activities to be held at the Koshland Science Museum and announced Oct. 22.
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory conducts the Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair (TVSEF) in March every year. The fair is geared for students in grades 7 through 12 from Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol.
Students compete for cash and other prizes, as well as a chance to represent the TVSEF at the next level of competition either the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair or the California State Science Fair.
"Given the caliber of science projects submitted to the Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair, it's no surprise that these students were selected for the SSP competition," said Nadine Horner, fair director. "We wish them all the best of luck."
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (https://www.llnl.gov) is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.