AACPS Students Capture 1st Place Grand Award At Science Expo

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ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD — A team of juniors from Chesapeake Science Point earned first place grand award in the 53rd annual Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Expo.

Two individual projects from Broadneck High School and a team of brothers from North County High School share the second place grand award prize. The announcement would have taken place at the Regional Science and Engineering Expo award ceremony last month, but the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

All four projects now can be submitted as official representatives of Anne Arundel County Public Schools to the 2020 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (Regeneron ISEF), which was scheduled to be held May 10-15 in Anaheim, Calif., but since has been canceled.

The team of Saja Mahdi and Rafee Mirza claimed the first place award at the Expo with their project “Biospectroscopy: The Future of Breast Cancer Detection.” Their project involved developing different breast cancer cell lines and analyzing them in a Ramen Spectrometer. The subsequent data was placed in a machine learning program to determine if the computer could accurately group the cells and determine if breast cancer was present. This research may lead to lower cost and faster test results when screening for breast cancer.

The project done by North County High School brothers Imaad and Aaban Syed, titled “Measure ρ – Optimize Heat Transfer,” earned them a share of the Grand Award. The Syeds’ project focused on measuring the thermal resistivity of soil in varying states and its effect on heat transfer in buried electrical cables.

Broadneck High School had two projects win a share of the grand award prize: Lia Barrow’s project “Cell Migration” and Katheryne Lochart’s “Getting Cryptic with Bioinformatics.” Barrow’s project looked at cell migration models to test for therapeutics that could alleviate the effects of Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of bone marrow cancer, in the blood. Lochart's project examined using bacterial RNA as a data storage system.

More than 275 projects in 20 categories were presented by student researchers from across the county in grades 6 through 12 at the Expo. Individual student awards and prizes worth thousands of dollars were previously announced and distributed to students. These awards were provided by supporting organizations including Educational Systems Federal Credit Union the headline sponsor, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, Anne Arundel Community College, Clean Air Partners, Friends of Jug Bay, International Council on Systems Engineering, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Society of Women Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy/U.S. Marine Corps Office of Naval Research and the U.S. Public Health Services to name just a few.

This article originally appeared on the Annapolis Patch

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