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Down To A Science: 7 Greenwich High Students Earn Awards At Intel Fair

From left: Augustina Stefani, Luca Barceló, Connor Li, GHS Science Research Teacher/Adviser Andrew Bramante, Rahul Subramaniam, Shobhita Sundaram, and Michelle Xiong (Not pictured: Ethan Novek). Photo Credit: Contributed
Greenwich High School junior Rahul Subramaniam Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. – A record seven students from Greenwich High won awards to attend the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.

Luca Barceló received an Intel ISEF second place award in the Environmental Engineering category ($1,500), and was awarded a $48,000 scholarship to the University of Arizona for his project: Crowd-Sourced Detection and Mapping of Nitrate Water Pollutants via a Mobile Web- Based Image Analysis System.

Luca wrote an app that can detect nitrate pollutants in water based on a Smartphone photograph. This pollution data can then be posted, along with the GPS coordinates, to create a "crowd-sourcing" map of water pollution, so that avoidance and/or cleanup can be planned.

Shobhita Sundaram received an Intel ISEF fourth place award in the Cellular and Molecular Biology category ($500), and also received a $1,000 Special Award from NSA for her project: Detection of Premalignant Pancreatic Cancer via Computational Analysis of Serum Proteomic Profiles.

Shobhita developed a software algorithm that can examine mass spectroscopy data of a patient's blood, before the onset of any signs of pancreatic cancer, and can predict whether that person will eventually develop the disease. The application of her algorithm for pre-diagnosis of this deadly disease represents a major breakthrough for pre-testing of those with a family history or suspicion of the disease.

Rahul Subramaniam, a sophomore, received first place in the Microbiology category, a $3,000 award, and Best in Category, a $5,000 award. ( Click here for a Daily Voice story on his project.)

His project was called an Early Warning System for Zika Virus in Mosquito Populations Based on Real-Time Field Detection of Viral RNA in Mosquito Saliva.

He created an inexpensive and consumer-friendly mosquito trap with a food-source that would change color in 20 minutes if any of the feeding mosquitoes were infected with Zika.

Four additional Greenwich High School students were awarded the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Intel ISEF to present their projects:

  • Agustina Stefani: Carbon Capture and Storage via Silver Nanoparticle Catalyzed Hydration of Carbon Dioxide.
  • Connor Li: Optimization of Vertically Aligned Boron Nitride Nanotube Membranes via Magnetic Arrangement in a Lyotropic Precursor for Water Transport Applications.
  • Michelle Xiong: Development of a CNT/ZnO/TiO2 Membrane for Visible-Light Induced Photocatalytic Filtration of Water-Borne Organic and Bacterial Pollutants.
  • Ethan Novek: Novel Low-Temperature Carbon Capture Using Aqueous Ammonia and Organic Solvents.
Each of the seven students conducted their research as part of the Greenwich High School Science Research course led by teacher/adviser Andrew Bramante.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Each year, 1,800 high school students from more than 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for $4 million in prizes.

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