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Plano ISD Students Excel at International Science Competitions

May 20, 2016

Plano ISD students continued their winning tradition at two recent international science competitions - the 9th Annual International Sustainable World (Energy, Engineering & Environment) Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) and the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF). Advancing to these competitions were 14 students who qualified to compete at Intel ISEF and 16 students who qualified to participate at I-SWEEEP.

"Our students did a tremendous job at the Intel ISEF held in Phoenix, Arizona," reported Karen Shepherd, secondary science coordinator. "We had two students win Best in Category awards. Only 22 of these awards are presented, and we are the only school district in the world to capture two of them. Also, at I-SWEEEP, five of our students won gold medals."

International Science & Engineering Fair

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), a program of Society for Science & the Public, is the world’s largest international pre-college science competition. Approximately 1,700 high school students from more 75 countries, regions, and territories are awarded the opportunity to showcase their independent research and compete for approximately $4 million in prizes. Millions of students worldwide compete each year in local and school-sponsored science fairs; the winners of these events go on to participate in regional and state fairs from which the best win the opportunity to attend Intel ISEF. Intel ISEF unites these top young scientific minds, showcasing their talents on an international stage, where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work. 

Winners were announced on May 12 and 13 in Phoenix, AZ. Congratulations to the following Plano ISD award winners.

Best of Category ($5,000) & First Place ($3,000)

  • Tiasha Joardar, Plano West Senior High School -
    Development of a High Efficiency Solar Cell Using Adaptive Self-Cooling
  • Nicky Wojtania, Plano West Senior High School - Optical Encryption with Cellulose Nanocrystals: Polymer and Amino Resin Cellulose Composites Decorated with Nanoparticles

Second Place ($1,500)

  • Austin Wolfgang Katzer & Jason Tanner Smith, Jasper High School - The Bee's Knees: The Effect of Secondary Metabolites in Place of Neonicotinoid Pesticides on Apis mellifera and Drosophila melanogaster
  • Brian Jason Du, Plano West Senior High School - Novel Inhibitors of Glucose Transporter 1 (GLUT1) for Cancer

Third Place ($1,000)

  • Burzin Poras Balsara & Malav H. Shah, Clark High School - True-HEV: An Innovation for Hybrid Electric Engines

Fourth Place ($500)

  • Divya Prabhakaran, Plano East Senior High School - Understanding Parkinson's Disease: Basal ganglia Dysfunction's Role in the Visual Adaptation of Speech
  • Adhya Beesam and Shriya Beesam, Plano East Senior High School - Linked Fuzzy Inference System: A Novel Approach to Schizophrenia Diagnosis

Special Awards

Innovation Exploration Award (California Institute of Technology) | American Intellectual Property Law Association | The IEEE Foundation Presidents' Scholarship Award ($10,000), Second Award ($250)

  • Tiasha Joardar, Plano West Senior High School - Development of a High Efficiency Solar Cell Using Adaptive Self-Cooling

Innovation Exploration Award (California Institute of Technology)

  • Nicky Wojtania, Plano West Senior High School - Optical Encryption with Cellulose Nanocrystals: Polymer and Amino Resin Cellulose Composites Decorated with Nanoparticles

American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science | Bessie Lawrence International Summer Science Institute ($6,000 value)

  • Brian Jason Du, Plano West Senior High School - Novel Inhibitors of Glucose Transporter 1 (GLUT1) for Cancer

University of Arizona Tuition Scholarship Award

  • Divya Prabhakaran, Plano East Senior High School - Understanding Parkinson's Disease: Basal ganglia Dysfunction's Role in the Visual Adaptation of Speech

Plano ISD Students Who Advanced to Intel ISEF

Brian Du
Austin Katzer
Jason Smith
Adhya Beesman
Shriya Beesman
Nicole Wojtania
Tiasha Joardar
Darshan Shaastri
Malav Shah
Burzin Balsara
Yesh Doctor
Kshitij Sachan
Shreeya Chodavadia
Divya Prabhakaran

Plano West Senior High School
Jasper High School
Jasper High School
Plano East Senior High School
Plano East Senior High School
Plano West Senior High School
Plano West Senior High School
Plano East Senior High School
Clark High School
Clark High School
Plano East Senior High School
Plano East Senior High School
Plano East Senior High School
Plano East Senior High School


International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering & Environment Project Olympiad

Hundreds of international visitors attended the world's largest international science fair, the 9th Annual International Sustainable World Energy, Engineering & Environment Project Olympiad (I-SWEEEP) April 27 through May 1 in Houston. Some 385 highly qualified projects from 62 countries were displayed at the George R. Brown Convention Center. A total of 564 young high school researchers and 300 teachers attended the event. Finalist students were selected to compete at I-SWEEEP by winning a top prize at state or national science fairs in their respective locales.

Congratulations to the following Plano ISD award winners.

gold winners

Plano ISD students who celebrated their gold medal awards were Ritik Patnaik, Yesh Doctor, Kshitij Sachan, Arjun Menta and Elena Koung.

Environment Awards

Management and Pollution

  • Elena Koung - Gold
  • Amy Lu & Anaiza Irani - Silver
  • Brian Nguyen - Silver

Health and Disease Prevention

  • Yesh Doctor & Kshitij Sachan - Gold
  • Arjun Menta - Gold
  • Brian Du - Silver

Engineering Awards

  • Ritik Patnaik - Gold
  • Aditya Arjun - Silver
  • Nicky Wojtania - Silver
  • Nuhan Ahnaf - Bronze
  • Natasha Chugh - Honorable Mention

Energy Awards

  • Tiasha Joardar - Silver
  • Anup Arvind - Bronze
  • Aditya Panigrahi - Bronze

Special Awards

  • Aditya Arjun - Texas Tech Department of Plant and Soil Science, $1000 Scholarship
  • Arjun Menta - Tunisian Association for the Future of Sciences and Technology; Gold / Full Expense Paid Trip
  • Arjun Menta and Elena Koung - Consumer Energy Alliance, Energy Day Award
  • Ritik Patnaik - Korean Science Service, $300

Plano ISD Students Who Advanced to I-SWEEEP

Aditya Arjun
Natasha Chugh
Arjun Menta
Brian Nguyen
Elena Koung
Kshitij Sachan & Yesh Doctor
Muhammad Ahnaf
Ritik Patnaik
Amy Lu & Anaiza Irani
Brian Du
Jaideep Patil & Aditya Panidrahi
Nicky Wojtania
Tiasha Joardar
Anup Arvind

Jasper High School
Jasper High School
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano East S.H.S.
Plano S.H.S.
Plano West S.H.S.
Plano West S.H.S.
Plano West S.H.S.
Plano West S.H.S.
Shepton High School

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ISEF

I-SWEEEP