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

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 https://carnegiesciencecenter.org/carnegie-science-awards.


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: https://sites.google.com/view/prsef2021.


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: https://carnegiesciencecenter.org/educators/2021-prsef-winners.


PRSEF is powered by the Duquesne Light Co. Center for STEM Education and Career Development.

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