Niles West's Angelov Wins Top Microbiology Award, D219 Students Win Prizes at Intel ISEF
From left: Ayana Jamal, Elan Ness-Cohn, Ariella Hoffman-Peterson, Best in Category winner Felix Angelov
Felix Angelov and Haley Sproull.
Five District 219 students were among 1,500 of the brightest high school students in the world assembled at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s premier science fair for high school students, last week in Pittsburgh, PA. District 219 sent five finalists to the competition: Felix Angelov from Niles West and, from Niles North, Ayana Jamal, Ariella Hoffman-Peterson, Haley Sproull and Elan Ness-Cohn.
Intel ISEF awards first through fourth place awards in 17 categories. At the May 18 awards ceremony, Niles West’s Felix Angelov was 1 of only 17 students to take a “Best in Category” award, placing him in the top 1 percent of all students presenting work at the Fair. He took home the top microbiology award for identifying how chemical signaling between certain types of bacteria might help prevent disease. He worked with bacteria that are a close—but harmless—relative of the germs that cause cholera. He found a way to block the bacteria from recognizing a chemical trigger that causes real cholera germs to release their poisons. Angelov won a $5,000 cash prize for the achievement, as well as a $3,000 first place award in Microbiology. Due to his win, Niles West will receive $1,000, as will Angelov’s affiliated science fair, IJAS.
Niles North’s Ayana Jamal earned a fourth place Grand Prize award in the Health and Medical Sciences category and fellow student Haley Sproull received a fourth place Grand Prize award in the Environmental Management category. Both students received a $500 prize. Jamal also received a special $1,000 first place award from the Endocrine Society and a fourth place $250 award from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry.
Jamal, Hoffman-Peterson and Angelov were invited to present their work at the 2012 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting held in October.
Angelov was also awarded a special award from the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. The International Summer Science Institute at the Weizmann Institute of Science provides students with an opportunity to work alongside Weizmann Institute researchers, as well as learn about life in Israel. Angelov won an all-expense paid four-week trip and scholarship to the Bessie Lawrence International Summer Science Institute.
One highlight of the Intel ISEF Fair was the Excellence in Science and Technology panel discussion with eight Nobel Laureates. Hoffman-Peterson was selected to present her question during the panel discussion and was invited to a special luncheon with Nobel Prize Laureates, including District 219 alumni Martin Chalfie (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2008, Niles East Class of 1965) and H. Robert Horvitz (Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine 2002, Niles East Class of 1964).
This is the third consecutive year that District 219 has qualified students for Intel ISEF. District 219 Director of Science Lois Wisniewski stated, “This is an amazing opportunity for our students. Once they travel down this path, there’s no limit to what they can achieve.”
The finalists are enrolled in the STEM Inquiry and Research (SIR) at District 219. SIR teachers are Ruth Gleicher, JulieAnn Villa and Britt Czupryna (Niles West) and Jacki Naughton (Niles North).
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair includes some of the most promising rising student entrepreneurs, innovators and scientists from around the world. These top students hailed from 446 affiliate fairs in 70 countries, regions and territories for the chance to compete for over $3 million in scholarships and prizes. Finalists are selected annually from hundreds of affiliated fairs. Their projects are then evaluated onsite by more than 1,200 judges from nearly every scientific discipline, each with a Ph.D. or the equivalent of 6 years of related professional experience in one of the scientific disciplines.
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