Four Local Students Advance to International Science & Engineering Fair

More than 1,000 students representing schools throughout the region competed yesterday in Carnegie Science Center’s 78th annual Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair — one of the oldest and largest science fairs in the nation. Awards totaled $1 million in cash and scholarships, and winners were announced at a ceremony at Heinz Field today.

Four students were selected to represent the region at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) – to be held in May in Los Angeles.  These young scientists are:

  • The team of Connor Ehrgood and Emily Richard, Fort Cherry Jr./Sr. High School, with the project SticKey – Communication Made Easy
  • Shania Khatri, Fox Chapel Area High School, with the project Using Bayesian Network Modeling to Locate Breast Cancer Genes
  • Jahnik Kurukulasuriya, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School, with the project Fusion Genes as Drivers of Breast-Brain Metastasis

ISEF will bring together nearly 1,700 students from 72 nations and territories to compete for scholarships, tuition grants, internships, scientific field trips, and the grand prize: a trip to attend the Nobel Prize Ceremonies in Stockholm. Carnegie Science Center was instrumental in the selection of Pittsburgh to host ISEF in 2012, 2015, and 2018.

 Three students were selected to receive Carnegie Science Awards, which recognize achievement in innovation, education, and entrepreneurship, and will be conferred at a ceremony on May 12 at Carnegie Music Hall in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Awardees are:

  • Junior Division: Jesse Hilko, Freeport Area Middle School, with the project Does the Amount of Carbon in Steel Affect the Strength of a Magnet
  • Intermediate Division: Amulya Garimella, Dorseyville Middle School, with the project Pensieve: Analyze the Genes that Affect Memory
  • Senior Division: Joseph Flot, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy, with the project VZV’s Effect on Host Proteins

Among other honors, more than 100 students won Perseverance Awards for longevity of participation in the science fair, and 20 universities awarded more than 100 scholarships.

2017 Covestro Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair First Place Category Award Winners - All first-place category award projects will be on display at Carnegie Science Center from now through Sunday, April 9.

Junior (grade 6)

  • Behavioral and Consumer Sciences: Eduardo Olivas, Saint John Paul II Homeschool Co-op
  • Biological Sciences: John O'Toole, Saint Kilian Parish School
  • Chemistry: Charles Hickenboth, Saint John Paul II Homeschool Co-op
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering: Jesse Hilko, Freeport Area Middle School

Intermediate (grades 7–8)

  • Behavioral and Social Science: Alexander Burton, Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory School
  • Biology: Amulya Garimella, Dorseyville Middle School
  • Chemistry: Angelika Dewicki, Greensburg Central Catholic
  • Computer Science / Math: Gavin Spallone, Gateway Middle School
  • Consumer Science: Carson Jacob, Providence Heights Alpha School
  • Earth / Space / Environment: Nora Navid, Shady Side Academy Middle School
  • Engineering / Robotics: Theodor Urban, Dorseyville Middle School
  • Medicine / Health / Microbiology: Maggie Hollobaugh, Freeport Area Middle School
  • Physics: Isabella Florian, Mary Queen of Apostles

Senior (grades 9–12)

  • Behavioral and Social Science: Ameya Velankar, Fox Chapel Area High School
  • Biology: Joseph Flot, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy
  • Chemistry: Natalia Hajlasz, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
  • Computer Science / Math: Kevin Chen, Upper St. Clair High School
  • Earth / Space / Environment: Caroline Maltese, St. Joseph High School
  • Engineering / Robotics: Isabelle Lindsay, Freeport Area Senior High School
  • Medicine / Health / Microbiology: Jahnik Kurukulasuriya, Pittsburgh Allderdice High School
  • Physics: Alex Kladny, Freeport Area Senior High School

 For a complete list of winners at all levels in all categories, visit <> .

 About Carnegie Science Center

Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Established in 1895 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a collection of four distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. In 2016, the museums reached more than 1.4 million people through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.

About Covestro LLC

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business with 2016 sales of EUR 11.9 billion. Covestro manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical and sports and leisure industries. The Covestro group has 30 production sites around the globe and employed approximately 15,600 people at the end of 2016.