Local High School Students Win Big in Science Fair

Some very smart teens won big in the 'world's largest science fair,' and managed to help fight cancer and battle nuclear terrorism in the process.

The team of Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff from Lafayette, California received the top prize in the International Science and Engineering Fair, a competition sponsored by Intel.

For their project, "Treatment of Simulated Cancer Cells with Compton Scattering-Produced Secondary Radiation," the two received $75,000 for developing a potentially more effective, cheaper cancer treatment that places tin metal near a tumor before radiation therapy.

"The winning project is selected on the basis of outstanding and innovative research, as well as on the potential impact of the work," according to the website for the Society for Science & The Public, "in the field and on the world at large."

Two other teams were named "Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award" winners, each taking home $50,000.

The first of the Award winners, Taylor Wilson from Reno, developed one of the lowest dose and highest sensitivity interrogation systems for countering nuclear terrorism in their project titled "Countering Nuclear Terrorism: Novel Active and Passive Techniques for Detecting Nuclear Threats."

The second team of Pornwasu Pongtheerawan, Arada Sungkanit and Tanpitcha Phongchaipaiboon from Thailand won for "Bio-based Packaging Plastics from Fish Scale." Their project determined that a gelatin found in fish scales could be successfully used in modern day fish packaging – an invention that could have positive, long-term effects for the environment.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest high school science research competition, according to Intel.


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Judging took place on Tuesday and Wednesday. The three finalists will travel to Stockholm for the Intrnational Youth Science Seminar, where they will attend the Nobel Prize ceremonies.

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