Students Succeed at ACSEF

By: Staff Writer Ruiwen Shen

Senior Vaishnavi Shrivastava and Sophomore Jessika Baral participated in the Alameda County Science and Engineering Fair (ACSEF) on March 20-22 in Pleasanton. The first day, participants from Alameda County middle and high schools set up their project boards, project report binders, log books, 10 copies of the project abstract, and demonstration tools at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. The next few days consisted of judges and viewers wandering among the projects listening to the students present their scientific process.

Baral was the High School Grand Prize runner-up this year for “Novel Usage of the Natural Phytochemical 3,3-diindolylmethane as an Anti-cancer Therapeutic and Preventative Agent for Melanoma.” She had previously entered the Alameda County Science Fair in 2012. About her recent experience she said “It was a lot of work to get all the data and make the poster but it was definitely worth it. During the science fair, the judges weren’t too scary and there were a lot of people my age running around all the time so that helped brighten the overall atmosphere.”

Having won the High School Grand Prize, an honor bestowed upon four projects, Shrivastava will be advancing on to the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Her project was titled “A Noninvasive Regenerative Stem Cell Treatment for Osteoporosis through an Injectable Nanocomposite Orthopedic Implant and Low-Intensity Pulsed Ultrasound Stimulation.” This is her second time winning the High School Grand Prize. Last year, she attended California State Science Fair (CSSF) and ISEF for “Progressing Targeted Cancer Therapy and Diagnosis: Analyzing the Role of MicroRNA Target Interactions and Expression Signatures for Glioblastoma Progression.”

Shrivastava said, “For several years, I had been fascinated by brain cancer, and I began conducting research under a university professor to develop a method for its early diagnosis. I found out about ACSEF [last year] from previous Mission students…In retrospect, judging turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the fair, where I had the thrilling opportunity to discuss my research with experienced scientists. To my delight, for two consecutive years at ACSEF, I was selected as the 1st Place Grand Prize Winner at the fair to compete internationally as a finalist at the Intel ISEF, where I met esteemed Nobel Laureates and brilliant researchers from over 70 countries. ACSEF has really been a platform for me to showcase my research, and my 2014 and 2015 experiences have been among the highlights of my high school career. Although my end goal was not ACSEF, my success at the fair resulted from months of grueling research, which was the true reward.”

Photo of Senior Vaishnavi Shrivastava to be posted shortly. 

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