High school student wins grand prize at science fair with RNA-Seq experiments

200 young scientist and engineers competed in the 49th Annual Western Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair (WNRSF) March 2-3. The projects represented the top winners from school fairs in 12 Nevada counties, representing over 50 schools.

The top two high school projects will go on to compete in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Phoenix Arizona. Intel ISEF brings together students from more than 70 nations to compete to win well over $5,000,000 in scholarships.

George Ochs, Director of the WNRSF explains why the science fair is so important,

“The science fair is actually so important for a few reasons, one of the things is when you look at this age group, 5th grade and above, the 5th, 6th and middle school students are trying to find their voice. And being here in a community of like-minded students that have the same passion, that’s very important for those students. The other thing that is important, is when you look at their display, it is an interdisciplinary display and it’s the first time that they are actually publishing a document.”

The grand prize winner was Matthew Bauer, a sophomore at The Davidson Academy. His project was titled, “Quantifying Levels of Circularized RNA from RNA sequencing data“. He used mice and computer models as part of his experiment and was able to prove his hypothesis. Matthew explains why he is passionate about biology and computer science,

“So I started computer science a couple of years ago when I got really interested in making video games, actually. But then I realized computer science was a lot bigger than just games. So when I worked under a professor at UNR, Dr. Pedro Miura, and he introduced me to the world of biology and just how complex things really are.”

Matthew will go on to compete at Intel ISEF this spring, and here at News 4 we wish him the best of luck at the international level!

Source – MyNews4.com

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