CSEF Students Win Major Awards at the 2013 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair

HAMDEN, Conn., May 18, 2013 – Four Connecticut students captured Grand Awards yesterday at the 2013 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science fair.  The students traveled to the ISEF, held in Phoenix, Ariz., to compete with more than 1,500 high school students from over 70 countries, regions and territories around the globe. The event gave students an opportunity to showcase their independent research and vie for more than $3 million in total prizes. The Connecticut student delegation went to the ISEF, all expenses paid, as part of their prize for earning top awards at the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF) held in mid-March this year.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our state’s outstanding students,” said Bob Wisner, president of the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair.  “Once again, our state has taken some of the major awards at this international competition and we are very pleased with their strong showing among their peers from around the world.”

At May 17 ISEF Grand Awards ceremony, the following awards were announced:

• Kaitavjeet Chowdhary, a senior at Glastonbury High School, earned a third-place ($1,000) Grand Award in ISEF’s Microbiology category.  In his project called, Morphogenesis of and Chromosome Segregation in Escherichia coli Branching Mutants, Chowdhary sought to understand how certain enzymes cause a unique “y-shaped branching” of E.coli and how this branching affects chromosome segregation.  Understanding these questions will provide key insight into the fundamental processes for how bacterial cells control cell shape as well as into chromosomal dynamics.  The work holds promise for applications such as antibiotic drug development.   At a separate ISEF Special Award ceremony held Thursday night, Chowdhary also earned a Third Award ($1,000) from the American Society for Microbiology.

• Mallory Madfes, a senior at Greenwich High School, earned a third-place ($1,000) Grand Award in ISEF’s Engineering: Materials & Bioengineering category.  In a project titled, Promotion of Wound Healing via a Novel Hydrophilic Dressing, she developed a method for delivering medicine directly to wound sites to minimize the development of infection and promote quicker healing.  This research offers an alternative to orally administered medications that can result in adverse drug reactions.

• Rebecca Murray, a junior at Greenwich High School, earned a fourth-place ($500) Grand Award in the ISEF’s Physics and Astronomy category, with her project, Laser-Induced Propulsion of Anticancer-Doxorubicin Using Low-Power Laser Optical Tweezing.  She explored the use of a relatively low-powered Helium-Neon laser to move complex chemotherapy drug molecules across an interface without harming the molecules.  Practical application of this method could be used to transport miniscule amounts of drug molecules across a cell membrane.

• Emily Baczyk, a senior at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, earned a third-place ($1,000) Grand Award in ISEF’s Environmental Management category.  In a project called, A Model-Based Approach to Predicting Species’ Responses to Climate Change by Characterizing Community Dynamics, Baczyk developed a general temperature-dependent community model to predict how a climate change-induced temperature rise of 4° over the next 100 years might affect the composition of ecological communities occurring along an elevational or latitudinal temperature gradient.  At a separate ISEF Special Award Ceremony held Thursday night, she also won a Third Award ($1,000) from NASA.

For pictures of the CT delegation, visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/ctsciencefair/sets/

*** For more information about ISEF, visit http://www.societyforscience.org/isef/

***  For newsletters from the students describing their ISEF experience go to  2013 CSEF ISEF Newsletters.

The Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair is made possible by a grant and volunteer support from its presenting sponsor United Technologies Corporation and by contributions from industrial and individual supporters.

Download PDF of 2013 CSEF ISEF Winners

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