4 place in county science fair

By Sarah Novicoff

Four students placed in the senior division of the Los Angeles County Science Fair and will present their projects at the California State Science Fair.

The fair, which took place March 29-31 at the Pasadena Convention Center, “provides a yearly setting for middle and high school students to show off their investigative skills and creativity,” according to the fair’s website.

Christian Stewart ’15 won first place in the Engineering Applications Division for building a prototype system for a low-cost unmanned aerial system for civilian use. He also developed the software to control and monitor the system. Stewart also won the National Society of Professional Engineers Award and the Office of Naval Research Award.

Divya Siddarth ’14 won first place in the Behavioral and Social Sciences for her research on the health benefits of yoga, tai chi and aerobic exercise in older adults. She found those who participate in yoga and tai chi performed better on all mood variables measured and reported fewer sleep problems as compared to aerobic exercise participants. This is the fifth year she will compete at the state fair.

“I loved doing my project and presenting to the judges, the participants, as well as the other people who visit the fair,” Siddarth said.

Winning second place in the General Physics division, Kevin Zhang ’14 wrote a program to prove that smaller biochemical molecules like RNA form more easily than DNA and found a numerical relationship between the probabilities that any single molecule would form based on a randomized system.

Larry Zhang ’14 placed third in the Biochemistry division by locating introns and exons on a DNA sequence based on the frequency that particular nucleotides, or molecules that make up DNA and RNA, occurred next to one another.