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2018 California Science & Engineering Fair Winners Announced

LOS ANGELES, May 4, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Winners of the 2018 California Science & Engineering Fair were announced during ceremonies that took place April 24, 2018 at the California Science Center. This year’s fair drew 934 students from 397 schools statewide, with finalists selected from a volunteer pool of scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. Students took home a combined total of over $60,000 in cash prizes.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s event was Northrop Grumman Corporation with additional support from Chevron Corporation, Gilead Sciences, Inc., THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, and The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation.

Maggie S. Chen, 12th grade, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego (San Diego County), was selected for Senior Division Project of the Year and received a $5,000 cash prize. Her project was titled “Nanotherapeutics Enhanced Artificial Liver Against Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.”

Espen Slettnes, 7th grade, Abel Academy, Castro Valley (Alameda County) was chosen for Junior Division Project of the Year and received a $2,500 cash prize. The project was titled “Minimal Embedding Dimensions of Rectangle k-Visibility Graphs.” Two special committees, one for each division, reviewed all first place winning projects from every subject category in order to select the best project in each division.

Nitya Parthasarathy, 12th grade, Northwood High School, Irvine (Orange County) was named California Science & Engineering Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize.  The project entry was titled “BiasCheck: An Artificial Intelligence Based Tool to Evaluate Bias in Social Media.” This award is presented to the high school senior who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for success in science.

Cathy Messenger, a teacher at Los Gatos High School in Los Gatos (Santa Clara County) was named California Science & Engineering Fair Teacher of the Year – Senior Division and Christopher Petriccione, a teacher at Curtis Middle School in San Bernardino (San Bernardino County) was named California Science & Engineering Fair Teacher of the Year – Junior Division. Each received a $2,000 cash prize.

Jeffrey N. Rudolph, president and CEO of the California Science Center commented, “Science is a valuable tool for understanding our world. Students use science, technology, engineering and math to reach evidence-based conclusions about their research and also develop critical thinking skills.”  The Science Center’s involvement with the annual event dates back more than 60 years and is in keeping with its efforts to stimulate and nurture public interest in science learning.

Sandra Evers-Manly, vice president, Global Corporate Responsibility stated, “Northrop Grumman congratulates all of the exceptional  2018 California Science and Engineering Fair competitors and we extend a special acknowledgement to Espen Slettnes, Junior Division Project of the Year award winner and Maggie S. Chen, Senior Division Project of the Year award winner.  We know each competitor worked extremely hard to get to the state competition and we couldn’t be more proud of all of their accomplishments and what they mean to the future and science, engineering, technology and innovation around the world.”

In addition to the top awards, a complete list of Category Award winners as well as information on recipients of Special and Recognition awards can be viewed at www.californiasciencecenter.org/CSSF/. Reporters may also call the Science Center’s Communications Department at (213) 744-2144 for winners from their area.

California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Admission to the exhibits is free. Timed tickets are required for the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibition during peak attendance periods and may be obtained online for $2. IMAX Theater tickets range from $5.25 to $8.50. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can enter the parking lot at 39th/Exposition Park Drive and Figueroa Street. Parking is $12/car. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit www.californiasciencecenter.org.

SOURCE California Science Center Foundation

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Rod is a blogger, writer, filmmaker, photographer, daydreamer who likes to cook. Rod produces and directs the web series, CUPIC: Diary of an Investigator. He is also the editor, producer and administrator of TNC Network.

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