Carnegie Science Center announces winners of Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair

Seven local students advance to Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair; Three win Carnegie Science awards
Carnegie Science Awards Nominate 2


More than 400 students representing schools throughout the region competed in Carnegie Science Center’s virtual Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF) last month. As one of the oldest and largest science fairs in the nation, PRSEF invites students to present their science, math, and engineering research projects and compete for scholarships and cash prizes.
The virtual fair was hosted through zFairs, an online fair management software that enabled students to upload their project materials and present to judges via video conference. Many students chose to tackle important, relevant issues with their research, with projects that investigated COVID-19, the effects of remote learning, climate change, cancer research, and more. 
Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) Finalists
Seven students were selected to represent the region at ISEF, which will be held virtually next month. These young scientists are:

  • Michael Gao, North Hills Senior High School
    Activation of Novel Autophagy Pathways to Protect Hepatocyte Injury by Chloroquine
  • Zoe Lakkis, Fox Chapel Area High School
    Data Mining to Identify Therapeutic Targets for Rejection
  • Steven Liu, Shady Side Academy Senior School
    Optimizing Nannochloropsis Growing Conditions for Biodiesel Production Through Analysis of Lipid Content
  • Natalie McGee, Mt Lebanon Senior High School
    Examining the Effects of Marine Microplastics on Porifera Microbial Filtration
  • Andrew Ni, Pine-Richland High School
    Interleukin-33 promotes Th17 cell clonal expansion in the B16 tumor microenvironment
  • Rajan Reddy, Winchester Thurston School
    Activation of Pregnane X Receptor for Xenobiotic Detoxification: A Novel Approach to Targeting Pollution-Related Diseases
  • Arvind Seshan, Fox Chapel Area High School
    Enabling High-Accuracy Human Activity Recognition with Fine-Grained Indoor Localization

Carnegie Science Awards
Three students were selected to receive Carnegie Science Awards for their remarkable projects. The Carnegie Science Awards recognize and celebrate the region’s top minds in science, technology, research, and education. The awards will be conferred at the 25th Annual Carnegie Science Awards Celebration in November at Carnegie Science Center. More information on the Carnegie Science Awards can be found at
Awardees are:

  • Nolan Althof, Queen of Angels Catholic School
    Is Child Proof Actually Child Proof?
  • Mason Roberts, Campus School of Carlow University
    How do variations in a police lineup affect eyewitness identification accuracy?
  • Walter Vinoski, Yough Senior High School
    Bassoon Double Reed Analytics

Category Awards
Category Award winners receive cash prizes and medals. The first-place Category Award winners are:
Junior Division (Grade 6)

  • Behavioral and Consumer Sciences: Nolan Althof, Queen of Angels Catholic School
  • Biological Sciences: Indie Pascal, Community Day School
  • Chemistry: Zain Ahmad, Hussain Homeschool
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering: Liam McMahen, Derry Area Middle School

Intermediate Division (Grades 7-8)

  • Behavioral and Social Science: Mason Roberts, Campus School of Carlow University
  • Biology: Devan Fayock, Campus School of Carlow University
  • Chemistry: Liliana D’Andrea, St Elizabeth Elementary School
  • Computer Science/Math: Samuel Tarr, Community Day School
  • Consumer Science: Garrett King, Providence Heights Alpha School
  • Earth and Environment: Isabelle Stanley, Gateway Middle School
  • Engineering/Robotics: Kaitlyn Desrochers, STEM Leadership Center
  • Medicine/Health/Microbiology: Etash Jhanji, Dorseyville Middle School
  • Physics and Astronomy: Lydia Beckerman, Pittsburgh Science and Technology Academy

Senior Division (Grades 9–12)

  • Behavioral & Social Science: Anita Bhat, Freeport Area Senior High School
  • Biology: Andrew Ni, Pine-Richland High School
  • Chemistry: Steven Liu, Shady Side Academy Senior School
  • Computer Science/Math: Arvind Seshan, Fox Chapel Area High School
  • Earth and Environment: Natalie McGee, Mt Lebanon Senior High School
  • Engineering/Robotics: Andrew Pritchard, Central Catholic High School
  • Medicine/Health/Microbiology: Lakshanya Rajaganapathi, Fox Chapel Area High School
  • Physics and Astronomy: Walter Vinoski, Yough Senior High School

ISEF finalists, Carnegie Science Award recipients, and category award winners were invited to submit their projects to the 2021 PRSEF Winners’ Gallery, which can be viewed online at:
Among other honors, 72 students earned Perseverance Awards for longevity of participation in the science fair, and 14 universities awarded a total of 64 scholarships. The full list of PRSEF award winners can be found at:
PRSEF is powered by the Duquesne Light Co. Center for STEM Education and Career Development.

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.

Accessibility: Features for All

Carnegie Science Center welcomes all visitors. We work to assist visitors with disabilities in obtaining reasonable and appropriate accommodations, and in supporting equal access to services, programs, and activities. We welcome visitors in wheelchairs on the deck of our USS Requin (SS 481) submarine. Below-deck visits require full mobility. Hearing assistance devices are available for The Rangos Giant Cinema. Please ask when you buy your ticket.

Please note that requests for accommodations should be made at least two weeks prior to your visit. For specific questions about wheelchairs, strollers, or other programmatic or equipment needs, see the ticket counter located on the first floor of the main building or contact the Operations Department at 412.237.1641 or

About Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh is a family of four dynamic, distinctive museums: Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Carnegie Science Center, and The Andy Warhol Museum. The museums reach 1.5 million people a year through exhibitions, educational programs, outreach activities, and special events.