Nelson, Carlson top winners in high school science fair

The Northern Wyoming Regional Science Fair concluded its largest year ever, with 37 projects entered from regional high schools Greybull, Meeteetse, Rocky Mountain and Worland.

With judges from Northwest College and various industry experts from the area, students had the opportunity to discuss, explain and defend their research in one of 16 different content specific categories. “The judges were very impressed with the student’s efforts. It was not an easy job for them to decide some of the categories. All of the students and their teachers should be very proud of what they accomplished during the course of their research projects,” said fair director Joel Kuper.

Grand champion honors went to Greybull senior Emma Nelson with her research on “Evaluating Inhibitory Actions on the NF-κβ Pathway Associated with Reduced CD4 Protein Availability Generated by the Application of Delphinidin”. The project, which is now in its fourth year, looks at specific antioxidants that might inhibit viruses from being able to enter the cell through certain membrane pathways, thus increasing an individual’s ability to withstand viral infections. The research has strong application potential for viral diseases from the common cold to AIDS/HIV. Emma also received first place in the category of Cellular and Molecular Biology and was awarded the visual impact award for her display design. She also received the Delta Kappa Gamma award for the top female exhibitor at the fair.

The runner-up grand champion was Julianne Carlson, a Greybull sophomore. Julianne’s research, entitled “Generation of Energy through Pellet Combustion of Organic Recyclables as a Novel Fuel Source” investigates the ability of certain organic waste products (such as corn silage) as alternative options to produce pellets for residential heating. She also received a first-place award in Energy and Transportation.

Both Emma and Julianne will now advance to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in May. It will be held in Pittsburgh. While there, they will join over 1,500 students from more than 50 different countries around the world. The week-long event includes sessions to share research ideas, a chance to meet Nobel prize winners, special ceremonies and speakers and of course hours of judging in competition for cash prizes, internships, scholarships and awards.

Other GHS students competing in the regional fair and the awards they received included:

Animal Sciences: 3, Jose Araiza

Behavioral Sciences: 1, Tre Nelson

Biochemistry: 2, Makyela Sorensen

Chemistry: 1, Brayan Castro

Earth Sciences: 1, Dustin Fox

Mechanical Engineering: 3, Skylar Grant

Materials Science: 1, Jacob Gifford and Justin Bacus

Env. Management: 1, Dante Sylvester; 4, Kristen Collingwood and Briana Winstead

Env. Sciences: 1, Emma Hunt

Math: 1, Cindy Perez

Microbiology: 1, Eduardo Burgos

Plant Sciences: 1, Sandra Cortes

A number of special awards were also presented to Greybull students from professional organizations and associations. These included:

American Meteorological Society: Emma Hunt

American Psychological Society: Tre Nelson

ASM Materials Education: Jacob Gifford & Justin Bacus

ASU Sustainability Initiative: Makyela Sorensen – Greybull, Dante Sylvester

MU Alpha Theta Math: Cindy Perez

NOAA: Emma Hunt

Ricoh Americas Corporation: Dante Sylvester

All science projects that received first through third place awards will advance to the Wyoming State Science Fair March 1-3 at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. Top projects there will have an additional chance to qualify for the Intel International Fair, as well as numerous state and regional awards.