May 11, 2005
Hamilton High School senior Diana Eheart, 18, took action three years ago after she saw Ecstasy damage the lives of friends and relatives.
The student scientist from Chandler started researching possible Ecstasy drug treatments in a medical project that eventually expanded to include testing laboratory rats at Arizona State University.
This week, Eheart and six other East Valley students with projects of their own will show off their work on the world’s largest stage of this type: The Intel Science and Engineering Fair at Phoenix Civic Plaza.
Never before has the annual international event come to Arizona, and the East Valley students are hoping they can represent their state well.
"The students here represent a cross section of scientific endeavors from around the world," said Brenda Musilli, Intel director of education.
Nearly 1,500 high school students representing 45 nations will compete for $3 million in scholarships handed out by Nobel Prize winners and volunteer judges.
Other East Valley entrants include:
• Andrew Gamalski from Hamilton and Vinayak Muralidhar from Tempe’s Corona del Sol High School. The pair will present research on effective ways to manufacture semiconductors.
• Hamilton junior Reya Das, who studied environmentally friendly alternatives to synthetic indigo dye used in clothing.
• Hamilton senior Michael Xu, who studied fuel cells.
• Corona del Sol student Kevan Christensen, who studied ways to fight bark beetles that have ravaged Arizona’s forests.
• Chandler High School senior Emily Ricq, who studied ice fractures on one of Jupiter’s moons.
The students had a chance Tuesday to relax and meet famous scientists. Today is the day they face the judges.
Seven experts in their field will grill entrants with questions designed to trip up the students and measure how well they know their subjects. Parents and teachers are not allowed in the presentation area during this process.
"You just have to know your stuff and read a lot of journals," said Eheart, who will attend ASU this fall on a presidential scholarship.
Awards will be announced Thursday and Friday.
Public visitation days
What: Intel International Science and Engineering Fair
When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to noon Friday
Where: Phoenix Civic Plaza, 111 N. Third St.