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SPA students earn 20 awards at Minnesota State Science Fair, three students move on to international competition
Posted 04/01/2019 01:12PM

On March 30-31, Upper School Advanced Science Research students participated in the Minnesota State Science Fair. Fifteen students earned spots at State by qualifying at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair on March 1-2, 2019 and of those 15 students, 11 students registered and competed at the state competition over spring break. Students who competed at State included Sameer Bijwadia, Maddy Breton, Richard Chang, Anthony Chen, Brennan Keogh, Gabriel Konar-Steenberg, Abdelrahman Mokbel, Melissa Nie, Nathan Sobotka, Nitya Thakkar, and Kelby Wittenberg.

The Minnesota State Science Fair featured the top projects from all of the regional science fairs that took place across the state earlier this month and even amongst the stiff competition, SPA students recorded excellent results. Nitya Thakkar was named an Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) finalist, and she will join Melissa Nie and Ethan Dincer (who took both regional spots for ISEF at the regional competition in March) on the fully-funded week-long trip to ISEF in Phoenix in May 2019. Kelby Wittenberg and Gabriel Konar-Steenberg were both named ISEF alternates. ISEF is the world's largest and most prestigious international pre-college science competition.  

Additional awards were also given by the state competition and sponsoring vendors to honor excellence in scientific research. Congratulations to the following students:

Gold Grand Award (top 5% of projects at state)

  • Kelby Wittenberg

Silver Grand Award (the next 10% of projects at state)

  • Maddy Breton
  • Anthony Chen
  • Melissa Nie
  • Nathan Sobotka
  • Nitya Thakkar

Bronze Grand Award (the next 15% of projects at state)

  • Brennan Keogh
  • Gabriel Konar-Steenberg

3M - Most Innovative Project

  • Kelby Wittenberg | 2nd place which included a $300 cash prize and an invitation to present at 3M in May

Seagate Emerging Scientist Award

  • Maddy Breton
  • Anthony Chen
  • Gabriel Konar-Steenberg
  • Melissa Nie
  • Nathan Sobotka
  • Nitya Thakkar
  • Kelby Wittenberg

Stockholm Junior Water Prize from the Water Environment Federation

  • Sameer Bijwadia

American Meteorological Association Outstanding Achievement for Excellence in Atmospheric or Related Science 

Gabriel Konar-Steenberg

Finally, at the Twin Cities Regional Science Fair, 11 students qualified for the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) Competition from the research paper competition. Only Nathan Sobotka was able to compete due to spring break conflicts and at JSHS, he was awarded the 2019 Presidential Award for Life Sciences for his research paper.

Congratulations to all of our student researchers!
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