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SD Teens Vie For Prestigious Prize In Science/Engineering Competition

Aired 5/18/12 on KPBS News.

Four high-school girls from San Diego have won forty-thousand dollars for their cutting-edge science projects.

Aired 5/17/12 on KPBS News.

Four San Diego high school students -- all girls -- are competing in an international science/engineering fair with a $75,000 prize at sake.

Four San Diego teens -- all girls -- are finalists in one of the largest youth science and engineering competitions in the world. The winner walks away with $75,000 in cash.

Apoorva Mylavarapu, Sara Simpson, Melissa Fagan and Manita Singh, all San Diego students, are finalists in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
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Above: Apoorva Mylavarapu, Sara Simpson, Melissa Fagan and Manita Singh, all San Diego students, are finalists in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh offers a total of $3 million in cash and scholarships for the best teen science projects. About 1,500 students from nearly 70 countries are competing.

The four-high school finalists from San Diego spoke with KPBS about the potential medical benefits of their research:

Melissa Fagan is 17 and a junior at San Diego Jewish Academy. Her project, she said, is "to create a more efficient way of introducing silver into infected wounds to help prevent bacterial colonization."

Apoorva Mylavarapu is 15 and a sophomore at Torrey Pines High. "One of my major conclusions is instead of focusing neural treatments toward general regions of the brain we should rather be targeting treatments toward specific clusters of neurons," she said.

Manita Singh is 18 and a senior at Canyon Crest Academy High school. "My project involves using stem cells to create bone tissue," she said. "The bone that I created can be used to treat individuals with osteoporosis."

Sara Simpson is 15 and a sophomore at Patrick Henry High. "I created two mathematical equations that can be extended to explain neuron behavior during Parkinson’s disease."

Winners will be announced on Friday night. All four of students say if they win, they’ll use the money for college.

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