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Gainesville teens to compete in international science fair

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Three teenage Alachua County scientists will compete at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Top scores at the Alachua Region Science and Engineering Fair secured the students’ spots at the prestigious event.

ZoEllen Warren, Alachua County School Board’s supervisor of science, said the fair gives the students the opportunity to put everything they’ve learned to the test.

“A science fair includes language arts,” Warren said. “It includes reading. It includes math, and it’s not just science-specific. Students get the opportunity to put everything together and use the information that they’ve learned along with the scientific process to investigate a topic of their choice.”

At the regional level, Meenakshi Bose won best in show and first place in the medicine and health category for her project “Year 3: The Role of Various Heat Shock Proteins and Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease.” Lucinda Peng also won a best in show and first place in the physics and astronomy category for “Foot Stroke Patterns During Running,” and Jessica Lee placed first in the behavioral and social category with a project focusing on children of Chinese descent.

All three students are from Eastside High School’s International Baccalaureate program.

Warren said that by participating in these science fairs the students are able to gain a more practical application of what they learn in class.

“In the long run, I think students learn more about what science includes, what it’s all about,” Warren said. “It’s not just sitting at a desk and working from a textbook. Students learn that science is everywhere, and it includes everything.”

The three high school students scored high enough to automatically qualify for the international fair, but they will still go to the Florida Science and Engineering Fair in Lakeland on March 26 before attending the international fair in Phoenix.

At the international fair, students from about 50 countries compete. The Eastside students will get the chance to meet students from around the world as well as Nobel Prize winners.

“The international experience is something they’ll never forget,” Warren said.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair begins May 12.

Emily Stanton wrote this story online.

About Matt Sheehan

Matt can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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