2015 California State Science Fair Winners Announced

Los Angeles—Winners of the 2015 California State Science Fair were announced during ceremonies that took place May 19, 2015 at the California Science Center. This year’s fair drew 968 students from 425 schools statewide, with finalists selected from a volunteer pool of scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. Students took home a combined total of over $50,000 in cash prizes.

The presenting sponsor for this year’s event was Northrop Grumman Corporation with additional support from Chevron Corporation, Southern California Gas Company, THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and Gilead Sciences, Inc.

The team of Shashank Dholakia and Shishir Dholakia, 10th grade, Adrian C. Wilcox High School, Santa Clara (Santa Clara County), were selected for Project of the Year-Senior Division and received a $5,000 cash prize. Their project was titled “A Search for Exoplanets in Open Star Clusters Using a Novel Photometric Algorithm for the ‘Crippled’ Kepler Mission.” Raghav Ganesh, 7th grade, Joaquin Miller Middle School, San Jose (Santa Clara County) was chosen for Project of the Year-Junior Division and received a $2,500 cash prize. His project was titled “A Wireless, Wearable, and Customizable Electronic Solution to Predict and Prevent Autistic Meltdowns.” Two special committees, one for each division, reviewed all first place winning projects from every subject category in order to select the best project in each division.

Madison P. Meredith, a senior at Monache High School, Porterville (Tulare County) was named California State Science Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize.  The project entry was titled “A Novel Strategy for Augmented NUE: The Use of Actinomycetic Transmembrane Metabolism in Agricultural Crops: Year 3.”  This award is presented to the high school senior who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for success in science.

James Snyder, a teacher at Anderson Valley High School in Boonville (Mendocino County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Senior Division and Wendi Rodriguez, a teacher at The Heritage School in Phelan (San Bernardino County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Junior Division. Each received a $2,000 cash prize.

Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center commented, “So much of the study of science is spent memorizing facts, which is not fun.  When students can experiment and explore by creating their own projects, they’re doing what science is all about and they love it.”  The Science Center’s involvement with the annual event dates back more than 50 years and is in keeping with its efforts to stimulate and nurture public interest in science, math and technology.

Art Lofton, Senior Vice President, Global Mission Excellence for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems stated, “Northrop Grumman congratulates Raghav Ganesh, Junior Division Project of the Year award winner and the team of Shashank Dholakia and Shishir Dholakia, Senior Division Project of the Year award winners, and applauds all of the 2015 California State Science Fair competitors. You are our next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians. You are our future.”

In addition to the top awards, a complete list of Category Award winners as well as information on recipients of Special and Recognition awards can be viewed at www.californiasciencecenter.org/CSSF/.   Reporters may also call the Science Center’s Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 for winners from their area.

California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles.  Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.  Admission to the exhibits is free. Timed tickets are required for the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibition and may be obtained online for $2. IMAX Theater tickets range from $5.00 to $8.25.  Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible.  Visitors can enter the parking lot at 39th/Exposition Park Drive and Figueroa Street.  Parking is $10/car.  For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit www.californiasciencecenter.org.

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