Guo, Mysore, Saha dominate awards at regional, state science fairs

MADISON – Connie Guo, Urvi Mysore and Sahishnu Saha from James Clemens High School compiled a remarkable list of honors at both the North Alabama Regional Science & Engineering Fair or NARSEF and the state-level Alabama Science & Engineering Fair or ASEF.

Guo and Saha were selected as finalists and were invited to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair or ISEF in Los Angeles, Calif. at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 11-17.

At ISEF 2024, the world’s largest pre-college STEM competition, students competed for approximately $6 million in awards.

“It’s truly an honor for a student to be chosen to compete or participate at ISEF,” Dr. Virginia Vilardi said. With the Alabama Academy of Science in Wetumpka, Vilardi is State Coordinator for ISEF. “Only 1,800 students from throughout the world get to do so each year, out of the more than 1 million that compete in the 500 affiliated fairs.”

Science Fair sponsor at James Clemens is Kathryn Weir, a National Board Certified Teacher who teaches biomedical science/forensics. Guo is a senior; Mysore and Saha are juniors.

For the first time, James Clemens students were nominated to the international fair from the North Alabama fair. “Typically, only two students are nominated to ISEF from NARSEF, but this time it was three students, and two were from James Clemens,” Saha said. Along with Guo and Saha, Gabe Gordon from Life Christian Academy was invited.

The James Clemens students amassed numerous honors:

* Connie Guo — Special Awards at NARSEF: U.S. Army Special Awards, Senior Certificate; Docent’s Award for Excellence, $1,000, Best Project; Robotic Systems & Communication Technology, second place.

* Urvi Mysore — Special Awards at NARSEF: The Aerospace Corporation Robert H. Herndon Award; Computational and Bioinformatics Sciences, third place.

* Sahishnu Saha — Special Awards at NARSEF: U.S. Army Special Awards, Overall Winner; U.S. Space & Rocket Center Docent’s Award for Excellence; Biomedical Engineering & Biomedical and Health Sciences, first place.

In state-level competition, Auburn University hosted ASEF on April 13. Sahishnu Saha and Urvi Mysore won awards in their respective categories. Saha ranked in second place for the state contest in Category 800: Biomedical Engineering & Biomedical and Health Sciences. Mysore took third place in Category 1200: Computational and Bioinformatics Sciences.

Now in its 70th year, NARSEF provides a platform for students in grades 5-12 to showcase their independent research and compete scholastically with their peers. This state fair is affiliated with the International Science and Engineering Fair or ISEF.

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