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159 Student Projects Submitted From High Schools in Darien, Greenwich, Westport and Woodbridge

Greenwich, CT, February 6, 2010 – A record 159 students submitted projects from high schools in Darien, Greenwich, Westport and Woodbridge for the tenth annual Southern Connecticut Invitational Science & Engineering Fair (SCISEF) on Saturday, February 6 at Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich. The Fair was sponsored by the Southern Connecticut Science and Engineering Foundation (CTSTEM).

“The commitment, creativity and enthusiasm that the students demonstrated was inspiring,” remarked William Foster II, President of CTSTEM. “Their projects were outstanding and each one of them should be congratulated. The CTSTEM sees them all as winners.”

Each student was required to create an exhibit, make a brief presentation, and participate in a question and answer session. One hundred forty eight volunteer judges evaluated entries in three categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Research Proposals.

The judges came from all over Fairfield, New Haven and Westchester counties, and as far away as Massachusetts, North Carolina and France.*

This 10th anniversary SCISEF was marked by the addition of a keynote speaker at the awards ceremony. John H. Krystal, M.D., Chair of the Yale School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry, spoke about “Stress, Resiliency and PTSD: Insights from Translational Neuroscience.” Dr. Krystal is an internationally recognized expert on the neurobiology and treatment of schizophrenia, alcoholism, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It’s exciting to see SCISEF evolve as it continues to grow and engage more students,” added Mr. Foster. “CTSTEM thanks Dr. Kystal, the student mentors, the participating schools and our community volunteers for their enormous contributions toward making the Fair so successful.”

This year’s SCISEF winners:

Life Science
1st Place (tie) –
Jessica Davis (Staples HS) “Characterization of Cyclic Di-GMP Class II Riboswitches”
1st Place (tie) –
Beth LaBossiere (Convent of the Sacred Heart) “The Study of Fragile X Phenotype Through Injection of KH1-KH2 Domains of Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Fused to Fluorescent Protein in Zebrafish”

2nd Place (tie) –
Christine Cahaney (Convent of the Sacred Heart) “The Validation of Antibodies on Human Motor Neurons Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Leading to a Novel Treatment for ALS
2nd Place (tie) –
Williams Dixon (Amity HS) “The Optimal Amount of Food for the Invasive Tunicate Styela clava”

3rd Place –
Corrine Sommi (Darien HS) “Fluorescent Sensors of Membrane Potential”

Honorable Mention (tie) –
Catherine Coughlin (Staples HS) “Transcriptional Regulation of the Scaffolding Subunit of Protein Phosphatase 2A”
Honorable Mention (tie) –
Andrew Gagne (Darien HS)”Expression of a Lignin Catabolic Orthologue Found in Chromobacterium violaceum”

Physical Science
1st Place –
Jason Gandelman (Staples HS) “Bioinformatic and Synthetic Approaches to Studying Glycation End-Products in Eukaryotes”

2nd Place –
Chris Mulreed (Staples HS) “The Variation of Degree of Chemical Crosslinking in Cylclooctene Polymer to Obtain an Optimal Shape Memory Effect?”

3rd Place –
Jacob Laser (Amity HS) “Sail or Fail”

Honorable Mention (tie) –
Jared Loewenthal (Amity HS) “Testing Apples in Microbial Fuel Cells”
Honorable Mention (tie) –
Thomas Meehan (Amity HS) “How Weight Placement on a Pinewood Derby Car Affects Its Speed”

Research Proposal
1st Place (tie) –
Nicole Granath (Darien HS) “Employing Orally Ingested Interleukin Inhibitors in the Treatment of Celiac Disease”
1st Place (tie) –
Olivia Taylor (Darien HS) “Increasing Coral’s Resistance to Acidity”

2nd Place –
Joshua Greenberg (Staples HS) “Mapping the Development of Red Blood Cells During Embryogenesis”

3rd Place –
Susan Greenberg (Staples HS) “Measuring and Displaying Force Curves to Rowers and Coaches While on the Water”

1st Honorable Mention (tie) –
Katie Critelli (Darien HS) “The implications of Using Fullerenes on Alzheimer’s Disease and other Neurological Conditions”
1st Honorable Mention (tie) –
Mary Furth (Convent of the Sacred Heart) “Using the Narcotic Properties of the Geranium Plant as an Earth Friendly Way of Controlling Japanese Beetle Populations”

2nd Honorable Mention (tie) –
Katie Colford (Convent of the Sacred Heart) “The Effectiveness of a Mesh Delivery System to Treat Gliomas”
2nd Honorable Mention (tie) –
Will DeRocco (Darien HS) “A Proposed Search for Stable Strange Quark Matter in Samples of Lunar Soil”

*Judges’ home towns:
CT: Ansonia, Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeport, Cos Cob, Danbury, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Madison, Middletown, Milford, New Haven, New Milford, Newtown, Norwalk, Old Greenwich, Orange, Prospect, Redding, Ridgefield, Seymour, Sheldon, Southbury, Southport, Stamford, Stratford, Trumbull, Wallingford, Weston, Westport, Wilton
NY: Eastchester, New Rochelle, New York City, Pelham, Port Chester, Rye Brook, White Plains
MA: Norfolk
NC: Winston-Salem
France: Lyon

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