Four Discovery students were chosen at the USC Region II Science Fair to participate in the 2016 International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, AZ, May 8th-13th. They were: Luke Marazzo (junior), the male Grand Award winner; Sarayu Das (sophomore), the female Grand Award winner; Ishita Kapoor and Dev Ramesh (sophomores), who were chosen as Observers. Ms. Erin Valentie and Dr. Michelle Wyatt accompanied the group as chaperones. Sarayu and Luke presented their research projects, both in the category of Earth and Environmental Science, to several different judges on Wednesday and then to over 300 Arizona schoolchildren on Thursday as part of the Public Outreach Day. There were 1760 finalist projects and 77 countries/ territories represented.
Of these finalists Sarayu was chosen for a Special Award from the “King Abdul-Aziz & his Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity” that included $1000 cash, a certificate, and a medallion. She also won 4th place in the world ($500) in her category. Observers Ishita and Dev participated in an all-day Observer Caucus that included a Finch Robot Activity where students used coding skills to solve a potential crime, a Video Game Design Activity where students designed, tested, and published their own video games, a “Robotics Road Show”, and a Student Project Share where students shared information about their own projects and research with their peers in a small group setting. They also had the opportunity to view all of the finalists’ projects. All of the students and chaperones enjoyed experiencing Phoenix’ desert landscape and climate as well as the ISEF-sponsored fun-filled evening events. Many thanks to our sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield for funding our trip.