Young scientists take Pittsburgh for International Science Fair

Three West Shore students competed in the International Science and Engineering Fair this past week. Held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from May 10th to 15th, the competition is the largest pre collegiate science competition in the world. Sophomore River Grace and freshmen Muhammad Abdulla and Calista Foo made the trip along with biology and science research teacher Mary Anderson.

During the trip, along with judging, the students had the opportunity to meet Nobel laureates, tour the Carnegie Science Center, and, at a student mixer, meet scientifically talented individuals from around the world.

“The entire experience was really fun,” Foo said. “I absolutely loved the pin exchange because I was able to meet so many people from different countries and all the pins were so unique. Seeing the different cultural outfits people wore was so interesting.”

Foo did her research on the effects of trace elements on bioceramics.

“What I found funny was that during the opening ceremony, the host was trying to talk to people from different countries, so he’d go up to random ethnic looking people,” Foo said. “When he asked where they were from, however, they all happened to just be from different states in America.”

The fair involves over 1,700 students from more than 75 different countries, ranging from the United States and France to Burkina Faso, Mozambique, and the Syrian Arab Republic.

Grace won 3rd place in the category of animal sciences for his research on the evolution of nervous system function and behavior in a micro-vertebrate, the Brahminy Blindsnake. Abdulla won a $1000 special award from Mu Alpha Theta for his project entitled “Deterministic and Stochastic Analysis in Biomedical Engineering: Chaotic Dynamics vs. Brownian Motion.” Abdulla was the only Brevard student to win money.

“The kids did amazing,” Anderson said. “Brevard County brought 9 students, and 3 of them were from West Shore. Out of all the Brevard students, River [Grace] placed the highest. They had a great time in Pittsburgh and I am very proud of them all.”