The yearly Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship, held March 18 in downtown San Jose, was once again a big success for US and MS Harker students.
Denzil Sikka, Gr. 12, was one of two Top Senior High Award winners from Harker, earning a Dr. Paul Callahan Technical Paper Award for having one of the best technical papers shown at the fair dealing with physical and biological sciences. Her paper, titled “Aging is Predictable – Biomarkers of Aging: Age Prediction by Use of Mathematical Models of Biomarkers” also netted her a $100 prize. She also received a $200 cash prize for winning the Intel Excellence in Computer Science Award.
Harker’s second Top Senior High Award winner was Isaac Madan, Gr. 10, for his paper “The Impact of the Planar Cell Polarity Pathway Function on the Structure of the Cerebellum.” Madan took home the Grand Prize Alternate in biological sciences and earned a trip to the state science fair.
Madan and Haran Sivakumar, Gr. 11, who also earned a trip to the state science fair, both placed first in the Medicine/Health/Gerontology category. Rahul Ahuja, Gr. 12, earned a second place award in the Individual Project subcategory and received an honorable mention from the U.S. Army.
Harker also had a number of winners in the competition’s Computers/Mathematics category. Andrew Stanek, Gr. 12, took first place in the Individual Project subcategory, and received second place in the Technical Paper subcategory. Senior Dominique Dabija was given a second place award in both the Technical Paper and Individual Project subcategories.
In the Biochemistry/Microbiology category, Elena Madan, Gr. 12, Alex Han, Gr. 11 and Peter Gao, Gr. 10, were all second place award winners for Individual Project. Madan also received a $200 cash prize from the Palo Alto chapter of the Association for Women in Science. Aaron Lin, Gr. 12, was awarded $100 and an Achievement Certificate from the Santa Clara County Biotech Education Partnership.
Ramya Rangan and Kathryn Siegel, both Gr. 9, won an honorable mention for their team project in the Botany category, while Emily Carr, Gr. 12, was awarded a certificate and a medal from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for her project in the Environmental Sciences category. Senior Anand Natarajan’s paper, “Spatial Control of Gene Expression using CT-guided Collimated X-rays to Modulate Transcription,” earned him a first place award in the Technical Paper category, with fellow senior Baladitya Yellapragada taking a second place award in the same category for the paper “Virtual Worlds for CPR.”
Lastly, but not leastly, Jerry Sun, Gr. 10, earned a first place award for Technical Paper in Zoology for his work, “Cinnamomum Verum Bark Essential Oils Affect on the Movement of Ants.”
On the MS side, students came up big in the Physics category. Vikas Bhetanabhotla, Gr. 7, took home a second place award in Individual Project, and also received a Certificate of Achievement from the NASA Ames Research center, as well as a VIP visit to the NASA Ames facility and an honorable mention from the United States Coast Guard. Fellow seventh graders Allen Cheng and Daniel Pak also hauled in a second place award for their team project, which received an honorable mention from ASM International, formerly known as the American Society for Metals. Another seventh grader, Brian Tuan, received an honorable mention for Individual Project, as did Michaela Kastelman, Gr. 8, who also hauled in a $100 cash prize and earned a $100 donation to the MS science department from Trimble Navigation.
Ashvin Swaminathan, Gr. 8, was the winner of a first place award in the Individual Project area of Biochemistry/Microbiology, while Jennifer Dai, Gr. 7, and Suchita Nety, Gr. 8, received honorable mentions for Individual Project in the same category.
In Engineering, Varun Gudapati, Gr. 8, was the winner of a second place award for Individual Project and received the first place award from ASM International, which included a $100 cash prize. Vikram Sundar, Gr. 7, was another Engineering award recipient, receiving an honorable mention from ASM International and a HP35s scientific calculator from Hewlett-Packard.
Ramakrishnan Menon and Benjamin Yang, both Gr. 8, received the second place award for Team Project in Environmental Sciences, and both also received a certificate of achievement from the American Meteorological Society.
In the Medicine/Health/Gerontology category, eighth grader Jacqueline Wang was a Top Junior High Award Winner, winning an Isabelle Stone Award for Best Biological Science Projects, which included a plaque, a $100 cash prize and a trip to the State Science Fair. Wang also earned a first place award for Individual Project, a certificate from the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge and a Board of Directors Award in the Middle School category from the Santa Clara Valley Science and Engineering Fair Association. Zina Jawadi, Gr. 7, received an honorable mention. Nikhil Baradwaj, Gr. 8, was given a Certificate of Merit from the American Psychological Association.
Elsewhere, Paulomi Bhattacharya, Gr. 8, received a first place award for Individual Project in Earth Space/Sciences. Bhattacharya was also invited to the State Science Fair and the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge, and received a Special Award for Geoscience Excellence from the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists.
For the school’s performance at the fair, Harker received an Outstanding School Award, and US biology teacher Kate Schafer won an Outstanding Teacher Award. Congratulations, obviously, are due all around!