"I didn't fail the test, I just found 100 ways to do it wrong."
Benjamin Franklin
"I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy."
Marie Curie, Nobel Prize in Physics 1903, 1911

Austin Area ISEF Winners

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 and Environmental Sciences/Environmental Effects on Ecosystems

Aseel Rawashdeh, Anderson HS, AISD

Third Place Award - Physics and Astronomy/Astronomy and Cosmology

Sam Christian, LASA HS, AISD

Fourth Place Award - Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design/Triboelectricity and electrolysis

Armaan Srireddy, Westwood HS, Round Rock ISD

Fourth Place Award - Materials Science

Christopher Huh, Westwood HS, Round Rock ISD

Fourth Place Award - Physics and Astronomy/Astronomy and Cosmology

Camille Chiu, College Station HS, College Station ISD

Special Awards

2nd place USAID Global Health

Aseel Rawashdeh, Anderson HS, AISD

Students Representing the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival

Aseel Rawashdeh Anderson HS, AISD, Earth and Environmental Sciences/Environmental Effects on Ecosystems

Larvicidal “Trojan-horse”: Experimentally Developing a Novel Low-Cost and Eco-Friendly Mosquito Vector Control Treatment

Aseel created a potential low-cost eco-friendly mosquito control method. Essential oils (which are toxic to mosquito larvae) are injected into brewer’s yeast cells which are then freeze dried making a fine lightweight powder. This powder can be added to the water where mosquito larvae exist, the larvae will feed on the yeast and also ingest the toxic essential oils.

Sam Christian LASA HS, AISD, Physics and Astronomy/Astronomy and Cosmology

A Possible Alignment Between Orbits of Visual Binary Stars and Their Planetary Systems

Using the Gaia and TESS space telescope databases of stars with exoplanets, Sam performed an analysis to investigate how planets around binary stars (two stars orbiting each other) orbit and how the planets orbits possibly align with the stars. Computationally intensive fitting of data was performed on supercomputers at Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). This research aims to differentiate between various formation and evolution scenarios.

Armaan Srireddy Westwood HS, Round Rock ISD, Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design/Triboelectricity and electrolysis

Developing a Wearable Triboelectric Nanogenerator to Operate Self Powered Biosensors

Armaan developed a method to generate electricity from body movements, such as walking etc., using small light weight silicon patches that generate electricity as they create friction with the skin. These small patches could produce enough power to operate self-powered wearable biosensors used for such things as temperature monitoring, hydration, etc.

Christopher Huh Westwood HS, Round Rock ISD, Materials Science

Carbon dioxide conversion to hydrocarbon fuel utilizing metal catalyst

Chris demonstrated a way to recycle CO2 using metals such as iron, lithium, zinc, and manganese. This CO2 can be recycled back into usable hydrocarbon fuels to be used again, creating a net carbon zero.

Camille Chiu College Station HS, College Station ISD, Physics and Astronomy/Astronomy and Cosmology

Predicting the Impact of Stellar Kinematics and Dynamics on Habitability in the Milky Way

Camille created a mathematical model using satellite data. This model was applied to data from the Gaia satellite on over 6 million stars, including over 1,000 confirmed exoplanet systems, by calculating each star’s path through the Milky Way and predicting its probability of sustaining life at each point in space and time. The model predicts that there are habitable planets located throughout the Galaxy and that most confirmed exoplanet systems have a hospitable external environment that could sustain life, thus contributing to our understanding of the constraints on life in the Milky Way.

Team of Pratham Babaria and Ethan Chandra Harmony School of Endeavor HS (Austin), Charter, Physics and Astronomy/Astronomy and Cosmology

A Mathematically driven physical analysis and confirmation study of exoplanet HD 189733 b and others in close-by star systems using principles of Machine Learning/Linear Algebra, Bayesian Statistical tests, and Computational Python Programming

Pratham and Ethan created a way to use digital cameras, existing databases and artificial intelligence to successfully detect exoplanets (planets outside of the solar system).

Rajvi Babaria Vista Ridge HS, Leander ISD, Biochemistry/Medical Biochemistry

Using Hodgkin-huxley differential equations to determine the inhibitory effects of potent neurotoxins that lead to the damaging of voltage-gated channels in mammalian neuron cells leading to Multiple Sclerosis.

Using biochemistry and advanced mathematical equations, Rajvi was able to deduce that certain anti-cancer drugs can lead to symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis. This potentially sheds light on how the disease itself works and potential treatments.

Aniket Naravane Lake Travis HS, Lake Travis IS,DComputational Biology and Bioinformatics/Genomics

Refinement of SNP mutations of Atopic Dermatitis related Filaggrin through existing R packages

Aniket created new software algorithms to analyze existing gene data to narrow down and find specific genetic mutations that cause Eczema. This information could be used in gene therapy to treat the disease. These algorithms could potentially be modified to aid in gene therapy for the treatment of other diseases as well.