Posted: May 26, 2009

2009 California State Science Fair winners announced

(Nanowerk News) Winners of the 2009 California State Science Fair were announced during ceremonies that took place May 19, 2009 at the California Science Center. This year's fair drew 963 students from 35 counties statewide, with finalists selected by a volunteer pool of over 300 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. Students took home a combined total of over $60,000 in cash prizes.
Northrop Grumman, the presenting benefactor of the 2009 California State Science Fair, provided essential funding for this year's event, with additional support from THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation, along with other corporate and community supporters.
Top Awards
Anna K. Simpson, a 11th grade student from Patrick Henry Senior High School, San Diego (San Diego County), was selected for the Patricia Beckman Project of the Year - Senior Division Award and received a $10,000 cash prize. Her project was titled "A Mobile Autonomous Chemical Detecting Robot." David A. Zarrin, an 8th grade student from Redwood Middle School, Saratoga (Santa Clara County), was chosen for the Patricia Beckman Project of the Year - Junior Division Award and received a $5,000 cash prize. His project was titled "Creating a GVS: Gyroscope-based Water Vessel Stabilizer." Two special committees, one for each division, reviewed all first place, winning projects from every subject category in order to select the best project in each division. The awards are given in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman.
Ronit B. Abramson, a senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego was named California State Science Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize. The project entry was titled "Cell Wall Formation from Marine Diatom Protoplasts: Implications for Novel Transformation and Nanotechnology Techniques." 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.
David Knight, a teacher at University High School in Irvine (Orange County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Junior Division, and Susan Johnston, a teacher at Livermore Valley Charter School in Livermore (Alameda County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year - Senior Division. Each received a $2,000 cash prize.
Jeffrey N. Rudolph, President and CEO of the California Science Center, commented, "So much of the study of science is spent memorizing facts, which is not fun. 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 40 years and is in keeping with its efforts to stimulate and nurture public interest in science, math and technology.
In addition to the top awards, 242 students placed 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and Honorable Mention in the Category Awards. A complete list of Category Award winners as well as information on recipients of Special and Recognition awards can be viewed at
Source: California Science Center
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