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  Contact: Linda Lucchetti
  Phone: (925) 422-5815
  E-mail: lucchetti1@llnl.gov
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2009
NR-09-03-05

Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair winners selected

LIVERMORE -- Some 249 local students in grades 7 through 12 from Danville, Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, San Ramon and Sunol competed for cash and other prizes at the 13th annual Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair (TVSEF), sponsored by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Judging took place on Wednesday, March 25, at the Robert Livermore Community Center in Livermore, with awards distributed during a ceremony there that evening.

Eder and exhibit
Brigitte Eder, a 12th grade student at Granada High, won first place in the medicine and health category for her project, “Antibiotic Resistance Induced by Subinhibitory Exposure.” Brigitte is the daughter of Lab employee David Eder.
Click for high resolution image

More than 90 local scientists, engineers and science teachers served as fair judges, deliberating over this year's 180 project entries. The majority of judges represented the Livermore Laboratory. Science projects were judged on a wide range of criteria that represent standards of research held by the scientific community.

Sweepstakes winners in the Senior Division are: Harikrishna Rallapalli, an 11th grade student at Pleasanton's Amador Valley High School and a winner of last year's TVSEF senior sweepstakes, who won this year for his project, “Fast Low-Cost Bisphenol-A Detector”; and Vicki Hsieh, a 12th grade student from San Ramon's California High School, who won with her project, “From Nature to Solar Cell: Optimizing the Tobacco Mosaic Virus Coat Protein Scaffold for Organic Light Harvesting.”

Winning in the junior division are: Carina Salcedo, an eighth grade student from Livermore Valley Charter School for her project, “Feeding My Flock,” and Sumana Rallapalli, an eighth grade student from Pleasanton Middle School, for her project “Tribo-Light.” She is the sister of senior sweepstakes winner, Harikrishna Rallapalli.

Alison Burkland
Alison Burklund of the Athenian Academy placed first in the biochemistry category with her project, “Finding the Optimal Decontamination Method for Bacillus Anthracis Spores in a Contaminated Drinking Water System.” Alison is the daughter of Lab employee Ellen Raber.
Click for high resolution image

In addition, 47 special awards in the form of scholarships, cash prizes and other nonmonetary recognition, were distributed from scientific, professional, industrial, education and government organizations.

Senior division sweepstakes winners of the fair will go on to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, May 10-15, in Reno, Nev. Junior division winners are eligible to compete at the State Science Fair.

The public may view the exhibition of student projects at the Robert Livermore Community Center Friday, March 27, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, March 28, from 10 a.m. to noon. There is no charge for admission.


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.