More than 500 Minnesota students converged to compete in the 80th annual North Central State Science & Engineering Fair (SSEF). The SSEF is an annual competition that has been the pinnacle of project-based education for the best and brightest Minnesota students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The State Science & Engineering Fair’s mission is to foster students to become informed citizens who are well versed in the methods and ideas of science and to inspire Minnesota students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math.
See "Archives" in sidebar for a full list of 2018 award winners.
Learn more about how Minnesota winners did at the international level.
2018 State Science Fair Highlights!
Seagate Emerging Scientists Receive Their Awards
Seagate recognizes excellence in science research by awarding trophies to the top 10% of students competing at SSEF for the first time and selecting two emerging student scientists for their excellence and innovation. Seagate also commends two outstanding science teachers who find creative ways to nurture students' interest in scientific discovery. Thank you, Seagate!
3M Awards Go To Top Science Fair Projects
3M recognizes innovation and exemplary student research with awards for the top three high school student research projects and the top three middle school projects. Thank you, 3M, for motivating and recognizing our hard-working students!
2018 Award Winners:
· The Intel ISEF Award is offered to students for the top high school projects at the 2018 Minnesota Science & Engineering Fair. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to compete at the International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF), which will be held in Pittsburgh, May 13-18. ISEF is the world's largest international pre-college science competition, featuring more than 1,700 high school students from over 50 countries. For 2018, Minnesota Academy of Science winners of this award were: Parthiv Krishna researching: Development of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems for Semi-Dense Point Cloud Generation in Disaster Scenarios; Louise Kim & Spencer Yueh researching: Unplugged: Quantifying the Effect of Technology on Adolescent Sleep and Mood; Alexa M. Reynders & Benjamin Q. Larson researching: Vertical Flow Assay Detection for Gm2-Ap in Simulated Urine of Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients; Maxwell Rader & Christopher Simmons researching: Robotic Exoskeleton for Rehabilitation Applications; and Camryn Franke researching Optimizing Escherichia Coli Energy Usage for Chemotaxis and Reproduction Through Experimental Evolution.
· The Seagate Rising Star Award recognizes emerging scientists whose projects exemplify high degrees of difficulty, thoroughness, complexity, creativity, innovation and effective communication. Thomas Murphy was the middle school winner for his research: The Effects of Thermochromic Pigment on the Rate of Temperature Decline in the Average American Household. Parthiv Krishna was the high school winner for his research: Development of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems for Semi-Dense Point Cloud Generation in Disaster Scenarios.
· The Seagate Excellence in Science Mentoring Award spotlights outstanding teachers/advisors from around the state who find creative ways to nurture students' interest in scientific research and discovery. Virginia Amundsen of Breck School and Shawn Stafki of Perham High School were recognized for their dedication. Teachers are nominated by their students and win a $1,000 award, with another $1,000 awarded to their school.
· Ecolab offered a Green Award to middle school winner Annalise Purcell for her experiment: Can I use the Amylase Enzyme to Break Down Bioplastics? and to high school student Preethi Kaliappan for his experiment: Determining the Most Effective Enzymes Which Can Improve the Efficiency of Cellulosic Ethanol Production.
· The Ecolab Food Safety Award went to middle school winner Becca Ballard for her experiment: Finding a Natural Preservative for Bread, and to high school winners Molly Carroll & Mari Leland for their experiment: Breaking the Barrier to Safe Food: Identifying Functions for Disruption of Foodborne Pathogen Biofilms.
· The 3M Science Award offered an award to the top three middle school and top three high school projects. The first-place middle school student was Thomas Murphy for his project: The Effects of Thermochromic Pigment on the Rate of Temperature Decline in the Average American Household; second place went to Nova Midwinter; and third place went to Ellie Scheldberg for her project: Making Pollution a Solution. The first-place high school students were Felicia Fox & Michael Pupel for their project: Pain Averting Device (PAS), second place went to Parthiv Krishna for his project: Development of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems for Semi-Dense Point Cloud Generation in Disaster Scenarios, and third place went to Haley Jostes for her project: Using Ceratophyllum Demersum as a Water Filter and Fertilizer in an Organic Farming Cycle.
· The Land O’Lakes Food Innovation Award offered an award to the top three middle school projects and the top three high school projects. The first-place middle school students were Quentin Hughes & Vaughn Hughes for research on: Vertical vs. Conventional Farming: A Nutrition Inquisition • Texting the Brix Factor of Ocimum Basilicum Using Refractometer Analysis; second place went to Muminah Nihaar Mohammed for research on: Determining Dairy Quality; and third place went to Maggie Fuller for research on: How Does the Amount of Beating Time of Egg Whites & Sugar Affect the Quality of a Meringue. The first-place high school student was Yuxuan Geng for his research: From Peels to Superabsorbent Polymer: Creating a More Sustainable Future; second place went to Ayush Shah for research on: Development of a Polymer-Based Fertilizer from Readily Accessible Food Waste; and third place went to Elizabeth Duerr for research on: What's Still Hiding in Your Fast Food Ice.
· Beckman Coulter offered an Engineering award to the top three middle school projects and the top three high school projects. The first-place middle school students were Luke Attlesey & John Attlesey for research on: The Aerodynamics of a Pinewood Derby Car; second place went to Libby Witcombe for research on: UV Defense; and third place went to Joseph Mohr for research on: Arduino - Powered Automatic Tank Filler. The Beckman Coulter Engineering award first-place high school students were Felisha Fox & Michael Pupel for research on: Pain Averting Device (PAD); second place went to Gaurav Behera for research on: Implementing Deep Learning Techniques to Detect Abnormal Cells; and third place went to Joshua Sanders for research on: Designing and Building a Bike Camper to be Weather Resistant.
· The Beckman Coulter Science award went to first-place middle school student Natalya Franz for research on: How Does a Chalky Environment Affect Lung Capacity; second place went to Ella Brisbois for research on: Should We Worry? How Acids Impact the Growth of Aquatic Plants; and third place went to Carissa Chow for research on: Instant Ice Pack Science. The Beckman Coulter first-place high school student was Hemanth Asirvatham for research on: The Battlefield: Eradicating Invasive Biofilms Via a Unique Non-Contact Electroporation Approach; second place went to Sam Aronson & Alex Cheng for research on: Predicting the Risk of Chemotherapy-Induced Cardiotoxicity in Breast Cancer Patients Using Supervised Machine Learning; and third place went to Michelle Mai for research on: The Development of a High Sensitive Home Diagnosis Kit for Group A Streptococcus Bacteria (Gas).
2017 State Science Fair Highlights!
The Intel ISEF Award is offered to the top high school projects at the State Science & Engineering Fair. Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to compete at the International Science & Engineering Fair, which in 2017 will be held in Los Angeles May 14-19. ISEF is the world's largest international pro-college science competition, featuring more than 1,700 high school students from over 70 countries. For 2017, state winners of this award are (below left to right): Hannah F. (Stillwater), Akshat S. (Oronoco), Avni J. (Eden Prairie), Manashree P. (Woodbury). NEW: A fifth student was added to the contingent, since each team consisted of single individuals. Rohan P. (Rochester) also will be going to nationals.
Seagate's Rising Star award recognizes emerging scientists whose projects exemplify high degrees of difficulty, thoroughness, complexity, creativity, innovation and effective communication. The middle school winners were the team of Teagan F. & Erin C. (Duluth, below left) for "measuring the mortality rate of Daphnia magna exposed to tire chip leachate." The high school winner was Pujan P. (Rochester, below right) for his materials science project about preventing the spread of E. coli and other prominent bacteria in commonly touched surfaces.
- Seagate spotlights outstanding teachers from around the state who find creative ways to nurture students' interest in scientific research and discovery. Eric Seidelman of Ordean Middle School (Duluth, below left) was recognized as winner in the teacher 1-10 years category. Ellen Pierce of Northeast Range High School (Babbitt, below right) won in the teacher for more than 11 years category.
3M is a premier sponsor, offering prize money to the top three middle school and top three high school projects. The 2017 Middle School winners were (below left): 3rd -- Kyle L. (Remer), 2nd -- Natalie L. (Andover), 1st -- Hassan M. (Minneapolis). The 2017 High School winners were (below right): 3rd -- Samantha D. & Abigail R. (Golden Valley, 2nd photo below right) for a novel approach to safeguarding valuables during this age of wearable technology), 2nd -- Archana M. (Golden Valley, 2nd photo below second from left) for retinal biomarkers to predict progression of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, 1st - Hemanth A. (Rochester, 2nd photo below center) for developing a novel electroporating toothbrush.
Ecolab's Green Award went to middle school winner Serena C. (Rochester, below left) for an experiment with ultrasound use in eliminating bacteria compared to traditional cleaning methods, and to high school winner Preethi K. (Rochester, below right), who determined the most effective starch-based bioplastic that can be used as an alternative to conventional petroleum-based plastics. Its Food Safety Award went to middle school winner Elizabeth D. (Champlin, not pictured) for "What's hiding in your fast food ice?" and high school winners Morgan T. & Jillian H. (Sandstone, below) for "Does time affect bacterial growth in opened and disturbed baby food?"
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