Louisiana Students Compete at International Fair and Win Big

The world’s largest high school science research competition, the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, was held recently in Pittsburg and featured 20 projects from Louisiana students. Many of the students took home honors for their entries, receiving category awards, special awards, scholarships, and cash prizes.

Students from Shreveport, New Orleans, Lafayette and Natchitoches competed this year. This year’s international fair included more than 1,500 students from 446 affiliate fairs in approximately 70 countries, regions and territories. The cost of seven students’ travel was covered by LSU and other Louisiana science fair sponsors. The Louisiana students invited to compete in the international fair had previously won top awards at the Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair.

Henry Lin won five special awards and received a total of $4,700, taking home the biggest prize for Louisiana. His project, “A Generalized Holographic Model of Cosmic Accelerated Expansion,” placed second in the Physics & Astronomy category, awarding him $1,500. He was also awarded $1,200 from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society, as well as $500 from the American Statistical Association; the Priscilla and Bart Bok Second Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and the American Astronomical Society; $1,000 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; and an all-expense paid trip to the European Organization for Nuclear Research at CERN in Switzerland.

Joshua Kubiak, of Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts in Natchitoches, placed third in the Chemistry category and took home $1,000. He was also awarded Honorable Mention by the American Chemical Society in the Special Awards category.

Sean Nathan, also of Caddo Parish Magnet High School, was awarded $1,000 for placing third for his project in Microbiology and received $250 from the Patent & Trademark Office Society at the Special Award presentations.

Kinga Malkinska, of Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, placed fourth in the Energy & Transportation category, awarding her $500. She also received $1,500 from ProConn Power, Inc. in the Special Awards category.

Christina Collins of Caddo Parish Magnet High School was awarded $500 by the American Physiological Society for her project.

Gina Biddick of Ovey Comeaux High School in Lafayette, and Nathan (mentioned above), won college scholarships at the science and engineering fair. Biddick was awarded a full-tuition scholarship from Drexel University valued at $150,000. The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia awarded Nathan $15,000 in tuition each year for four years.

“Once again, Louisiana students shined at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair,” said Lisa Graves, director of the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair. “Their successes at the international level demonstrate what young bright minds we have in our state and their continued research efforts to find solutions in the areas of health, technology and issues that face our world. Congratulations to all of these winners who worked extremely hard on their scientific research and continued success in the future.”