More than 350 local students in grades 7 through 12 competed for cash and other prizes at the 8th annual Tri-Valley Science and Engineering Fair (TVSEF). Judging took place on Thursday, March 25, at the San Ramon Valley Conference Center in San Ramon with awards distributed during a ceremony that evening.
More than 100 local scientists, engineers, and science teachers, served as fair judges, deliberating over this year's record number of project entries. Over one-half of the number of judges represented the Livermore Laboratory.
Sweepstakes winners in the Senior Division team category were Lenny Pekelis and Jonathan Vinea, 12th grade students from Monte Vista High School in Danville, with their project, "Bacterial Electroporation."
Also, winning in the Senior Division was Samuel Finlayson, a ninth grade student from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, with the entry "Effect of Chlorine on Lung Function of Outdoor Swimmers."
Senior Division Sweepstakes winners of the fair will go on to participate in the International Fair which in Portland, Ore., in May. In addition, the winners will be offered summer employment at either the Laboratory or one of the Tri-Valley's technical organizations.
Sweepstakes winners in the Junior Division category were Rohan Chakicherla, a seventh grade student from Diablo Vista Middle School in Danville, and the project "Environmental Impact of Manipulation of Traffic Controller Algorithms"; and Jeffrey Joh, eighth grade student from the Iron Horse Middle School in San Ramon who won with his project, "Counteracting Pesticides." Both students will receive $750 gift certificates to Fry's Electronics.
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.
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.
This year's organizing sponsors were Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the Tri-Valley Business Council, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Contra Costa Times, Tri-Valley Community Foundation and Chevron Texaco. The TVSEF is affiliated with the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, IISEF, which is administered by Science Service, Inc.
Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 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 the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.