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Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair 2006


2006 Award WinnersThe Santa Cruz County Office of Education celebrated the 20th Annual Science & Engineering Fair with an Awards Ceremony on March 20th, 2006. Many of the 400 students (who braved snow to participate in the fair on March 11th) were rewarded with ribbons, applause, special acknowledgements, and the opportunity to participate in the State and International Science and Engineering Fairs in May. Our judges were volunteer experts in the fields of science, math, and engineering. Most of our judges came from our sponsor, Seagate Technology and from the University of California at Santa Cruz. They evaluated the 285 projects that represented fourteen science and engineering categories. Participants ranged from first grade through twelfth grade.

Close to four hundred students, individually or as part of a team, competed in four divisions, each having fourteen competitive categories, at this year’s Santa Cruz Science & Engineering Fair. The Senior (Grades 9-12), Junior (Grades 6-8), Elementary (Grades 4 & 5) and Primary (Grades K-3) Divisions were subdivided into subject area categories: Behavioral & Social Sciences, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Earth Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Mathematics, Medicine & Health, Microbiology, Physics, Space Science, and Zoology.

Over eighty judges interviewed the students to determine which projects merited honors. Awards were presented to the top four (4) projects in every category and division. One hundred seventy five students were honored at the Science & Engineering Fair Awards Ceremony on March 20.

A special committee of judges reviewed every winning project in each subject category in order to select the Science & Engineering Fair Projects of the Year. Three winners in the Senior Division were presented with a Special Award and will attend the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), May 7-13, in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the California State Science & Engineering Fair on May 22-23, in Los Angeles.

Smita Mascharak (Santa Cruz High School) with her project titled “Identification of the Determinants of Anti-Malarial Drug Action”, Genevieve Mount (Santa Cruz High School) with her project titled “A Forensic Study on the Effects of Seawater and a Winter Coastal Environment on the Growth Rate of local Sarcophagid and Calliphorid Larvae”, and the team of Amy Shipley and Andrea Trader (San Lorenzo Valley High School) with their project titled “SNPs and their Correlation with Alzheimer’s” will be representing Santa Cruz County at these prestigious events that provide incredible academic experience for students and offer over $100,000 in cash awards and special prizes.

Thirty-eight top Junior and Senior Division projects and the associated fifty-two finalists will attend the CA State Science & Engineering Fair at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, May 22-23 2006 to represent Santa Cruz County.

Special Awards judges awarded cash prizes, special gifts, and Certificates of Recognition for a wide variety of special projects. The following Special Awards were awarded on March 20, 2006:

  • Seagate Technology Grand Awards
  • IEEE Awards
  • Association for Women Geoscientists: Geoscience Excellence Awards
  • Best Sustainable Agriculture Projects
  • Naval Research Operations Achievement Awards
  • Terrassist Foundation Special Awards
  • US Air Force Achievement Awards
  • Plantronics Special Awards


Congratulations to the following award winners.


2006 Award Winners 2006 Award Winners
2006 Award Winners

International Science and Engineering Fair

2006 Award Winners The Santa Cruz County Intel International Science and Engineering Team had a fabulous time in Indianapolis.This is the fourth year in a row that Santa Cruz County has sent an all girl team, it was made up of Smita Mascharak and Genevieve Mount from Santa Cruz High and Amy Shipley and Andrea Trader of San Lorenzo Valley High. They managed to meet people from all over the world as they competed in the largest high school science fair in the world. In their week in Indiana they made made new friends from England, Northern Ireland, Tuscon, Arizona, Puerto Rico, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Jordan, Texas and Kentucky just to name a few. Their adult chaperone, Laurie Mount had as much fun as they did. Congratulations to Smita who took a second place Grand Award in Chemistry as well as honorable mention by the American Chemistry Association. Her project was Identification of the Determinants of Anti- Malarial Drug Action.
2006 Award Winners



Santa Cruz Science Students Again are Outstanding at the State and International Competitions

2006 Award WinnersThere are many reasons why the Santa Cruz County Science & Engineering Fair is Number One in the State. First and foremost are the outstanding students and dedicated teachers that promote scientific research in Santa Cruz County. Second is the incredible support students receive from parents and volunteers in the fields of science and engineering.

And most importantly is the 100% sponsorship generously donated to students by Seagate Technologies.

This year Santa Cruz County students received ten extremely prestigious awards at the California State Science & Engineering Fair (CSSF) and at INTEL’s International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). These acknowledgements come from scientists and engineers who are top in their fields and expect excellence and integrity from student work.

First Place CSSF Winner and Second Place ISEF Winner in Chemistry:
Smita Mascharak
Project: Identification of the Determinants of Antimalarial Drug Action
Grade 11, Santa Cruz High School

First Place CSSF Winner in Microbiology
Alex P. Mandel
Project: Using Solar Energy to Make Drinking Water Safe
Grade 8, Pacific Collegiate School

Second Place CSSF Winner in Mathematics and Software
Marie E. Nielsen
Project: Searching for Perfection: Utilizing Patterns to Calculate Perfect Numbers
Grade 8, Pacific Collegiate School

Second Place CSSF Winners in Applied Mechanics/Structures and Mechanisms/Manufacturing
Brian C. Orser and Dylan W. Vandenberg
Project: From Grains to Grease, to Gallons of Gas:A Search for Efficient Biofuel
Grades 11, Kirby (Georgiana Bruce) Preparatory High School

Third Place CSSF Winner in Chemistry
Shamik Mascharak
Project: Are Vegetables Stealing Zinc from Your Diet?
Grade 7, Pacific Collegiate School

Third Place CSSF Winners in Zoology
Lindsey Sanders and Liza Angila
Project: Amphibian Diversity in the San Lorenzo Valley
Grades 12, San Lorenzo Valley High School

Third Place Winner in Mathematics and Software
Kristina Fung
Project: Cycling Antibiotics to Control Antimicrobial Resistance: A Mathematical Model
Grade 8, Pacific Collegiate School