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May 18, 2012 > Congratulations to State Science Fair winners

Congratulations to State Science Fair winners

Submitted By Claudia Medina

The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) proudly recognizes the outstanding work of eight Alameda County school students who participated in the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair (ACSEF) in March before advancing to the California State Science Fair, held April 30 - May 1. ACOE will honor them during the June 26 Board of Education meeting.

These students competed with close to 1,000 California students with winning projects in their own county or regional fairs. Only one "place award" (1st through 4th) is given out per category; winning one of these awards is an exceptional achievement. Only 24 special recognition awards are awarded.

Six of eight students representing Alameda County received State Science Fair awards. Congratulations to the following students:

Jessika Baral, 7th grader from William Hopkins Junior High (Fremont) won First Place in the Junior Division of Mammalian Biology for her project titled, "A Novel Way to Strengthen Eye Muscles and Enhance Peripheral Vision."

Winnie Chen, 8th grader from Sunol Glen School (Sunol) won First Place in the Junior Division of Product Science (Physical) for her project, "Lead in Makeup."

Mahima S. Chilakanti, 6th grader from Challenger School (Newark) won Fourth Place in the Junior Division of Applied Mechanics & Structures for "Tension on Knee Joint and Quadriceps Muscle."

Moniyka Sachar 11th grader from Irvington High School (Fremont) won Second Place in the Senior Division of Plant Science for her project titled, "DNA-Binding Protein in Xcv Bacteria Alters Plant bHLH Gene to Promote Pathogen Growth during Infection: A Genetic Study." Moniyka also was awarded a $1,000 CAPCA Agricultural Award from the California Association of Pest Control Advisors who recognized the future application of her project to the agricultural business in California.

Kelly X. Zhang, 11th grader from The College Preparatory School (Oakland) received Honorable Mention in the Senior Division of Biochemistry/Molecular Biology for her project titled, "Fluorescent Imaging for Nano-Detection (FIND) of Cancer Cells."

Other participants from ACSEF included Aniruddh Mandalapu, 6th grader from Challenger School (Union City); William Du, 11th grader from Bishop O'Dowd High School (Oakland); and Alice Chu, 11th grader from Mission San Jose High School (Fremont).

Honorable recognition goes out to Moniyka Sachar from Irvington High School (Fremont) and Aditya Sinha from Amador Valley High School (Pleasanton). The two students who won Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair senior division grand prizes will represent Alameda County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), May 12th - May 18th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They will compete with over 1,600 of the best science students from all over the world.

Planning for ACSEF 2013 is underway with a Science Fair 101 series of workshops for students, teachers and parents starting May 20. Interested groups can contact fair director Patti Carothers for more details at (925) 426-7879 or via email:

ACOE is supportive of the efforts of ACSEF and is committed to making Science education engaging and meaningful while meeting state standards. The IMSS Summer Science Institute on July 16-July 27 will be held for teachers from participating districts. Visit for more information.

Photo Caption: (Pictured L to R): Aniruddh Mandalapu, William Du, Kelly Zhang, Patti Carothers, ACSEF director, Winnie Chen, Jessika Baral, Mahima Chillakanti, Moniyka Sachar and Alice Chu.

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