LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Winners of the 2016 California State Science Fair were announced during ceremonies that took place May 24, 2016 at the California Science Center. This year's Fair drew 941 students from 421 schools statewide, with finalists selected by a volunteer pool of 356 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. Students took home a combined total of nearly $60,000 in cash prizes.
The Science Fair's presenting sponsor was Northrop Grumman Corporation with additional support from Chevron Corporation, GoDaddy.com, LLC, Southern California Gas Company, THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation and Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Brian Xia, 11th grade, Canyon Crest Academy, San Diego (San Diego County), was selected for Project of the Year - Senior Division and received a $5,000 cash prize. His project was titled "Single Molecule Based Transgenerational Therapies to Extend Healthspan and Prevent Multiple Aging Related Diseases." Andrew Chiang, 7th grade, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, San Jose (Santa Clara County) was chosen for Project of the Year - Junior Division and received a $2,500 cash prize. His project was titled "Force Sensing Techniques for Robotic Arms." Two special committees, one for each grade division, reviewed all first place winning projects from every subject category in order to select the best project in each division.
Varun Mandi, a senior at Troy High School, Fullerton (Orange County) was named California State Science Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize. The project entry was titled "Examining Coding and Non-Coding Regions of Enhancer Landscapes in Vascular Cells (VSMCs) Stimulated with Angiotensin II." This award is presented to the high school senior who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for success in science.
Dr. Nikki Malhotra, a teacher at Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks (Ventura County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Senior Division and Ms. Elizabeth (Kayee) Conrad, a teacher at MacPherson Magnet School in Orange (Orange County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Junior Division. Each received a $2,000 cash prize.
Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center commented, "Students spend so much time in class learning about STEM concepts; it is always wonderful when they have a chance to apply this knowledge and try to solve real world issues. When students can experiment and explore by creating their own projects, they're doing what science is all about and they love it." The Science Center's involvement with the annual event dates back more than 50 years and is in keeping with its mission to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning.
Art Lofton, Sector Vice President, Global Mission Excellence for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems stated, "Northrop Grumman congratulates Andrew Chiang, Junior Division Project of the Year award winner and Brian Xia, Senior Division Project of the Year award winner, and applauds all of the 2016 California State Science Fair competitors. You are our next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians. You are our future."
In addition to the top awards, a complete list of Category Award winners as well as information on recipients of Special and Recognition awards can be viewed at www.californiasciencecenter.org/CSSF/. Reporters may also call the Science Center's Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 for winners from their area.
California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm, except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. General admission is free. Timed tickets are required for the Space Shuttle Endeavour exhibition and may be obtained online for $2. IMAX Theater tickets range from $5.25 to $8.50. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can enter the parking lot at 39th /Exposition Park Drive and Figueroa Street. Parking is $12 per car. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit www.californiasciencecenter.org.
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SOURCE California Science Center Foundation