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Top Awards

ISEF Finalist and UA Scholarship, Roche Diagnostics Best of Cellular & Microbiological Sciences Award

Grand Award

1st Place

Rare Immune Cells Significantly Associated with Severe COVID-19 Cases

Cellular and Molecular Biology
Karah Mayer

Grade:
12
Teacher:
Dr. Grazyna Zreda

The SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in millions of deaths. Rare immune cells are minor cell types with reduced frequency, and their function in COVID-19 patients is poorly understood. My research uses RStudio to investigate if there are more rare immune cells in individuals with severe COVID-19 compared to healthy individuals, and to observe what rare cell names are associated with severe COVID-19. Single-cell RNA sequencing data was provided, and R was used to organize the data, find the number of rare cell types, and to generate comparative figures. CellKb was used to search the rare cell type names from the marker genes. Rare immune cell types were statistically significantly higher in individuals with severe COVID-19 (p value = 0.01536), suggesting that patients with severe COVID-19 have an overwhelming and unbalanced immune response. Of the seven rare immune cell types, five of them were not matched with a name from the cell database. The two rare cell types that were matched with names (Activated_Granulocyte_1 and 2) were neutrophil cells, which previous research suggests may be related to respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients. The marker genes of these rare granulocyte cells were overexpressed compared to the major cell type, consistent with previous literature that suggests that these marker genes could be heavily involved in the pathophysiological response to severe COVID-19. This research suggests that marker genes of these rare cell subtypes could be used as an indicator of whether someone with COVID-19 may develop a serious case. |


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Research paper

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Observing the effects of Crepuscular rays (rays of sunlight) for an extended period of time on the cultivation of Pleurotus Ostreatus (oyster mushroom)

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Angela Isais

Grade:
10
Teacher:
Elyse Wexler

There is an excess of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) in agricultural farms worldwide that has been wasted instead of used for the cultivation of other vegetation. SMS has many natural benefits that could be used instead of fertilizers that can cause/have caused side effects in nature. When looking online there is many articles about how SMS can be used, and some farms might actually used SMS. Yet, there is a lack of articles covering side effects or results. To answer this question, an experiment was conducted with grow kits that had Pleurotus Ostreatus (oyster mushroom) substate and each was put in out in the sunlight for varying amounts of time. There was 3 kits used, Kit #1 was the control and was put out for 2 hours, Kit #2 was kept inside and not put into the sun at all, Kit #3 was put out for 4 hours and this was in the span of 11 days. This research was conducted to see if it would make a difference in the conditions set, this would help discover if SMS could be used in most/all agricultural farms. The goal of this research is to find a better incentive or alternative to fertilizers and other harmful products used for the cultivation of vegetation, one of them being SMS (which there is an abundant amount of). The research shows that SMS can be used in varying conditions that could benefit multiple agricultural centers and farmers who wish to used a less harmful alternative.


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Research paper

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Softball Buddies

Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics
Janelle Vandermeulen

Grade:
6
Teacher:
Mrs. Brandi Webster

I tested what material a softball bounces off of the highest and used 5 materials. I tested each material three times and found the average.


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Demonstration Video

Sponsored Awards

SARSEF Board of Directors Award

Soil Quality with Respect to the Environment and Public Health

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Yanaba Schroeder

Grade:
12
Teacher:
Natalia Cachora

This project explores soil quality in two different states by taking different samples to quantify pH levels, Sodium Saturation, and Zinc levels through soil tests.


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Grand Award

3rd Place

Sponsored Awards

Texas Instruments 3rd Place High School Award, American Meteorological Society Outstanding Achievement Award

Slowing Down Ice Melt Using Eco-Friendly, Sustainable Eggshells Towards Mitigating Global Climate Crisis

Energy and Environmental Engineering
Matthew Kim

Grade:
11
Teacher:
Mr. Eric Fetkenhour

This project seeks methods to delay ice melting that can consequently reduce the rise in temperature of the atmosphere, as well as natural disasters, such as wildfires. Increased occurrences of wildfires, especially in Western U.S., are more threatening than ever to human health and the environment and thus, preventive methods are required. It turned out that eggshell layers floated on water work as radiant barriers and delay ice melting. Therefore, implementing the eco-friendly, sustainable eggshell layers can be an immediate, feasible action to slow down the ice melting in the polar regions, which can eventually mitigate the natural disaster and protect human health and the environment.


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Research paper

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Overall Effectiveness of Neutralizing Drosophila Melanogaster Through the use of Insecticide​

Chemical and Material Sciences
Tyler Roberson

Grade:
10
Teacher:
Elyse Wexler

This project is meant to measure the effectiveness of insecticide categories on Drosophila melanogaster (Common Fruit Fly) over time. I chose this project as a way of eliminating fly overpopulation in urban areas, since often flies cause extensive damage to food product quality and factories. Overall, the naturally-based insecticide, Geraniol, produced the fastest effect throughout the experiment, with the man-made insecticide, Deltamethrin, killing only a few flies within the time limit, and the unconventional pesticide, Naphthalene, producing the least results with no flies being killed within the time limit. This project is important in finding the most efficient way to control fly populations within a certain amount of time.


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Research paper

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Grand Award

3rd Place

Optimizing Your Zeer Pot

Energy and Environmental Engineering
Helena Loewenstein

Grade:
4
Teacher:
Hailey Sanders

This project describes how to build a zeer pot and looks at how to possibly optimize conditions for its function. I chose this project to learn how to make a non-electric ""refrigerator"" to help prevent food from spoiling in a non-electric environment. I found my zeer pot was cooler (worked better) in breezy conditions and did not cool as well in humid conditions. This project could be important in helping people with no electricity to keep things cool, maybe to reduce food waste and hunger.


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The Dirt Blocker

Engineering, Robotics, and Computer Science
Conner McFarland

Grade:
3
Teacher:
Mrs. Shauna Thomas

My project was designing/building a product that woudl help with chores. I dislike cleaning dirt/stuff out from under our coaches. I built the ""Dirt Blocker""so it would block anything from going under the couch cushions. I was happy with the final result because it worked to block everything.


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Rebuilding the Zeppelin: Power and Purity of Hydrogen

Chemical and Material Sciences
Cameron Tinney Robert Gavin

Grade:
12
Teacher:
Mrs. Melissa Bravenec

This project was done to find the methods of producing hydrogen that leads to the purest form of hydrogen. This goes along with my previous project fixing problems with the airship, and bringing it into the modern world. We found that the aluminum method was the most effective hydrogen producer although the zinc method was cleaner. This is important because it's the next step to improving the Zeppelin, which would be a major asset to have especially in the modern day of shipping.


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Research paper

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Spherical Water

Chemical and Material Sciences
Chloe Donahue

Grade:
8
Teacher:
Rebecca Bhasme

The purpose of this project is to see if I can actually turn a liquid into a solid with just a few materials. I wanna see if I can make a new way for people to drink water. I think this could be good for the environment if we can use fewer water bottles and less|plastic.


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Lab journal excerpts

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