Three Iowa Youth Receive Awards at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

international science fair participants from IowaAMES, Iowa –Three Iowa youth received third-place awards at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, May 14-19 in Los Angeles, Calif.  Eight Iowa students were awarded the opportunity to attend or participate in the international event at the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa held in March. SSTFI is an Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development Program event.  

Intel ISEF is the world’s largest high school science research competition, with over 1700 promising young scientists and mathematicians who competed with over seven million young people prior to attending ISEF.

JJ Kapur was awarded third place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences division for his entry “The Turban Myth.” Kapur is currently a high school junior at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.

“Competing at the Intel International Science and Engineering fair was an incredible experience,” said Kapur, “It was truly a breath of fresh air to meet 2,000 of the best and brightest high school students from around the globe.”

Paranav Chhaliyil of Maharishi School was awarded third place in the Microbiology division for “Next-Gen Sequencing Anaylysis of Dental Biofilm Microbiome upon Gifts Nano Charcoal Cleaning.”  

Aaron Wills of Central Lee High School was awarded third place in Environmental Engineering for “Engineered Environmental Containment: Using Lemna Minor L to Reduce Nitrate Levels in Aquatic Environments.”

Mike Anderson, ISU Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth program specialist for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, explained that students qualify to attend the Intel ISEF by being named finalists at ISEF-affiliated science fairs such as the Iowa event. The Intel ISEF gives students the opportunity to present their projects, submit them for judging by scientists and meet other students from around the nation and the world with similar aspirations in science and technology.

Educational programs focusing on the topics of science, technology, engineering and math education have always been an integral part of the Iowa 4-H Youth Development Program. ISU Extension and Outreach sponsors the State Science and Technology Fair every year, giving students the ability to showcase their projects and earn the chance to compete at the Intel ISEF.

“We are working to give all youth in Iowa opportunities to explore careers and academic opportunities,” said Anderson. “Increasing interest and achievement in STEM topics among young people will continue to position Iowa as a leader in education and workforce development.”