Eight student scientists from Valley schools collected top prizes Friday at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Indianapolis.
Nearly 1,500 state and regional science fair champions from 47 countries participated in the traveling event, which came to Phoenix in 2005.
Albert Shieh, a junior at Scottsdale’s Chaparral High School, finished second in the biochemistry category and collected $1,500. Last semester, he and a research partner from Phoenix Country Day School in Paradise Valley also finished first in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition and collected $50,000 each.
The students are working on research that will make it easier to find the genetic roots of inherited diseases such as Alzheimer’s and bipolar disorder.
Other Valley winners came from Tempe’s Corona del Sol High S chool, Chandler’s Hamilton High School, Mesa’s Dobson High School, Gilbert High School and Phoenix’s Brophy College Preparatory.
Vinayak Muralidhar, 16, a prize winner who will graduate on May 25 as Corona del Sol’s co-valedictorian, said recognition from the judges is nice. But the main benefit of science competition is networking with students and professionals from around the world who all share a passion for research.
“Participation in science fairs has introduced me to so many people,” he said. “I really feel like I’m part of a nice group.”
$1,500 second-place awards
• Jing Luo, 17, Hamilton High School, Chandler. Environmental science category. Project title: “Toxicity and Ecological Implications of Nanomaterials to Phytoplankton.”
• Albert Shieh, 16, Chaparral High School, Scottsdale. Biochemistry category. Project title: “Novel Algorithms for Automated SNP Genotyping.”
• Vinayak Muralidhar, 16, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe, and Andrew Gamalski, 17, Hamilton High School, Chandler. Team projects category. Project title: “A New Algorithm to Minimize Factory Inefficiency Through Penalty Reduction”
$1,000 third-place award
• Michael R. Mitchell, 18, Brophy College Preparatory, Phoenix. Biochemistry category. Project title: “Protein Analysis of Primary and Recurrent Human Malignant Gliomas.”
$500 fourth-place award
• Hersh Goel, 17, Gilbert High School; Corina Oprescu, 16, Corona del Sol High School, Tempe; and Michael Allen Fan, 18, Dobson High School, Mesa. Team projects category. Project title: “A Hybrid Reaction-Diffusion Cellular Automata Model of Glioblastoma.”