High school students advance to national science competition

March 16 2006

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - High school students from Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Mishawaka and Noblesville will advance to the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium following competition in the Indiana regional event Saturday (March 11) at Indiana State University.

Ethan Sperry of Terre Haute South Vigo High School placed first in regional competition with research entitled, "A Molecular Analysis of Variation within Micro-satellite Loci of a Controlled Population of White-tailed Deer from Southern Maryland." Sperry was awarded a $2,000 college scholarship. His sponsor, South Vigo High School teacher David Drake, received a $500 award for classroom supplies.

Second place, and a $1,500 scholarship, went to Jonathan Bell of R. Nelson Snider High School in Fort Wayne, for "Development of a Biaxial Acoustically Driven Shaker Table System for the Structural Analysis of Modern Buildings." Bell's sponsor is Barbara Gabet.

Paul Baranay of Marian High School in Mishawaka, placed third and received a $1,000 scholarship for "The Anti-Carcinogenic Effect of HDAC Inhibitors on HDAC6." Baranay's sponsor is Ken Andrzejewski.

The fourth-place winner was Emily Zhao of Terre Haute South Vigo High School for, "Relationship of Protein Essentiality in Protein Interaction Networks Using Mathematics." David Drake is Zhao's sponsor.

Caaminee Pandit of Noblesville High School placed fifth in the competition with, "An Estimation of Heavy Metal Contamination in Soil Using Reflectance Spectroscopy and Partial Least Squares Regression." Pandit's sponsor is Charles Emmert.

The five regional winners are eligible to compete for the top prize worth $16,000 in national competition, April 26 to 30, in Albuquerque, N.M.

Four alternates also were selected in the event any of the top five winners are unable to attend the national competition. Alternates are Jamie Canter of Mishawaka Marian: Nicole Foerg of Winamac Community High School; and Kaleb Naegeli and Jenny Newton, both of Northwestern High school in Kokomo.

Approximately 60 students from throughout Indiana took part in regional competition. The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is funded by a grant from the research offices of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force.

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Contact: Rusty Gonser, assistant professor, life sciences, Indiana State University, and director, Indiana Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, (812) 237-2395 or rgonser@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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High school students from Terre Haute, Fort Wayne, Mishawaka and Noblesville will advance to the national Junior Science and Humanities Symposium following competition in the Indiana regional event Saturday (March 11) at Indiana State University.

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