Intel ISEF, the world’s largest pre-collegiate science competition, took place May 2019 in Phoenix, AZ. It was attended by close to 1,800 students from 80 foreign countries and territories as well as state and regional fairs in the US, including seven projects from the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival.

Grand Awards

Second Place Award - Earth & Environmental Sciences

Jack Delli-Santi

Fourth Place Award - Animal Sciences

Sindhuja Uppuluri

Special Awards

Honorable Mention Award from NASA

Camille Chiu

Students Representing the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival

Animal Sciences, Sindhuja Uppuluri; Westwood HS/Round Rock ISD

Silybum marianum and Rauwolfia serpentina as Novel Agents for Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment and Lifespan Extension in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model

Sindhuja tested Milk Thistle and Indian Snake Root (two commonly available herbs) on roundworms to better understand their role in a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s. Positive results showed she may be on the right path.

Biochemistry, Michelle Lee; Westwood HS/Round Rock ISD

Functional Studies of Methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 4 (MBD4)

Michelle did a biochemistry study involving a protein found in cells which is mutated (malfunctioning) in many forms of cancer. Her study identified chemical bonds and processes which may play an important role in cancer research.

Earth & Environmental Sciences, Jack Delli-Santi; Lake Travis HS/Lake Travis ISD

The effect of CarboxyMethyl Cellulose on the filtration capabilities of Zebra Mussels

Jack tested a commonly available food additive which is used as a thickening agent on the invasive Zebra Mussel. Zebra Mussels must siphon and filter large quantities of water to survive, Jack’s clever idea was to stop up their siphons with a food thickening agent. This may lead to a future treatment that can safely bring the invasive species under control.

Energy: Traditional/Alternative/Energy Efficiency, Team of Ayla Saeed & Nora Boumaraf; Austin Peace Academy/Private

Using Carbon Nanotubes to Create Flexible Fuel Cells

Ayla and Nora developed a fuel cell that uses carbon nano fibers instead of metal electrodes. This could help in the creation of more light weight and efficient fuel cells.

Physics & Astronomy, Camille Chiu; College Staton HS/College Staton ISD

Testing the Accuracy of the Tangent Point Method for Determining the Milky Way’s Rotation Curve

Camille, using radio telescope and satellite data, did some calculations on the Milky Way galaxy rotation. Her findings support a previous theory that there may not be as much dark matter in the Milky Way as scientists previously predicted.

Plant Sciences, Emily Crawley; Brenham HS/Brenham ISD

Space Botanist: Effects of Fertilizer on Tomatoes Grown Upside Down in 75% Regolith

Emily simulated soil conditions on Mars and investigated what fertilizers would help grow tomatoes on that planet.

Translational Medical Science, Bridget Li; Vandegrift HS/Leander ISD

A Novel Therapy for Neuroinflammation: Targeted Delivery of N-Acetylcysteine to Microglia Using PAMAM Dendrimers and PLGA Nanoparticles

Bridget studied nano-particles as a delivery mechanism to make NAC (cheap over the counter anti-inflammatory supplement), more effective. NAC by itself is not readily absorbed or used by the body easily.


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