Tanque Verde High School Student Karah Mayer Recipient of AVASC Foundation Special Award of ISEF 2020

karah mayer
 
 

We are proud to announce that Tanque Verde High School student, Karah Mayer, has been recognized as one of the AVASC Foundation Special Award winners of the Regeneron ISEF 2020.  AVASC Foundation is an educational and medical service foundation dedicated to recognizing academic talent and providing services to the needy. Karah's project was in Cellular and Molecular Biology: UG-RichRNA Is Key to Alleviating Neurodegeneration in a Drosophila Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

According to Karah’s mother, Robin Mayer, “Ever since Karah's 6th grade class (with former Agua Caliente Elementary teacher Kathy Murphy) attended the ISEF Outreach Day in Phoenix in 2016, Karah has made it her goal to be an ISEF finalist.  She was selected as an eighth grade observer to ISEF in 2018 in Pittsburgh, an experience Karah described as one of the best weeks of her life.  When she learned that her project this year won first place at the SARSEF science fair and she was selected to be an ISEF finalist, she was ecstatic.  Unfortunately, the pandemic forced the cancelation of ISEF, which had been scheduled for the middle of May in Anaheim, California.”

Nonetheless, Regeneron and other ISEF sponsors put together an incredible virtual program that Karah was “thrilled to attend,” according to Robin Mayer.  Karah was not aware that some of the sponsors had decided to award prizes based on abstracts and short videos that the finalists submitted.  “To say that Karah was surprised when the award letters arrived in her email is an understatement,” Robin Mayer added.

For Karah's project on fruit flies and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Karah was awarded a Special Award from the AVASC Foundation. Karah won a second award of $1,000 from another ISEF sponsor, DCAT - Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association. These are in addition to the generous $2,500 scholarship that the SARSEF Board of Directors gave to each finalist this year. 

In the DCAT sponsor award letter, Karah was recognized by Executive Director, Margaret Timony. “Our committee thought that the online presentation of your innovative research demonstrates a curiosity, dedication and professionalism that will serve you well as you pursue a college education and career in science. We are pleased that you will use this award to further your studies,” Ms. Timony stated.

Another significant factor that contributed to Karah's success with her project this year was the creation of the S.T.A.R. Lab (Students Taking Advantage of Research) at the University of Arizona.  Both Karah and Emily Ignatoff (a rising senior at TVHS) were accepted to participate in the S.T.A.R. Lab back in October 2019.  Each of them was paired with a mentor at the U of A and worked on their projects for several months.

Robin’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Mayer, expressed how grateful they are for the leadership and teacher dedication within the Tanque Verde Unified School District.  “Karah's teachers have fostered her love of science and her determination to succeed. We truly value the excellent public education that you provide and will continue to support this district in whatever ways we can,” they wrote in a recent communication to TVUSD Superintendent Scott Hagerman.

AVASC Foundation announces Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2020 Special Award winners 
 
JUNE 20, 2020 
 
AVASC Foundation is delighted to announce its Special Award winners of Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2020, conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Student winners are 9th through 12th graders who earned the right to compete at the Regeneron ISEF 2020 by winning a top prize at a local, regional, state or national science fair. AVASC Foundation is an educational and medical service foundation dedicated to recognizing academic talent and providing services to the needy. Since 2001, AVASC Foundation has awarded ISEF projects that display outstanding creativity, ingenuity, and have the potential to alleviate the human condition or mark a substantive advancement in the scientific field. We are grateful to the panel of special awards judges who evaluated the 1,012 project entries and abstracts across 21 categories.
 
First Awards

 BMED010 – Human Genetic Variant OtpQ153R/+ Causes Excessive Weight Gain

and Glucose Intolerance in Mice

Khyathi Divya Thallapureddy. Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, Denton, TX, United States of America

TMED018 – Triangulating Fluoxetine into a Novel Macular Degeneration Therapy via Biochemical, in vivo and Big Data Approaches

Meenakshi Ambati. Albemarle High School, Charlottesville, VA, United States of America

 

Second Awards

ANIM029T – Staying Ahead of the Hit: Using Drosophila melanogaster as an Integrated Model to Elucidate the Neuropathology, Physiology, and Genetic Mechanisms Underlying Traumatic Brain Injury

Shan Lateef, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA, United States of America

Delaney Kathleen Walts, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, Manassas, VA, United States of America

 

ANIM030 – Phytogenic Alternatives to Antibiotics for Organic Broiler Chicken

Production.

Sivaranjani Ramanathan. Kendriya Vidyalaya, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu, India

BCHM013T – Cardiomyopathic Chagas Disease: An Exploration of Diagnostic

Ability via Nanoparticle Biomarker Capture GluOx Pathway, Mass Spectrometry, and Perseus-Based Machine Learning

Raymond Del Vecchio, Centreville High School, Clifton, VA, United States of America

Harini Somanchi, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, VA, United States of America

CBIO009 – A Biologically-inspired, Biomarker-driven, Rapid Early Warning System for Epileptic Onset Prediction and Seizure Detection Using Machine Learning

Pratik Vangal. Sunset High School, Portland, OR, United States of America

CELL017 – UG-Rich RNA Is Key to Alleviating Neurodegeneration in a Drosophila Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Karah Michelle Mayer. Tanque Verde High School, Tucson, AZ, United States of America

CHEM004T – Super Tree Glue: An Investigation and Characterization of an Innovative 4-in-1 Combo Material for the Treatment of Tree Infection

Pui Lam Queenie Choi, Shun Tak Fraternal Association Yung Yau College, Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

Lok Yi Ng, Shun Tak Fraternal Association Yung Yau College, Hong Kong, China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

CHEM037 – Next Generation Ultrafiltration for Wastewater Treatment: Characterization and Performance of Fouling-Resistant Polymeric and Lyocell Cellulose Nanofiber Membranes

Riya Patel, Jericho High School, Jericho, NY, United States of America

ENBM029T – A Novel Obstructive Sleep Apnea Management System

Anjan Sesetty, Poolesville High School, Poolesville, MD, United States of America

Ishaan Jain, Richard Montgomery High School, Rockville, MD, United States of America

 

Acknowledgements: The information for this article was contributed by Dr. Grazyna Zreda and Mrs. Robin Mayer - Thank you!

 

 

Additional Information:

 

For the complete Virtual Regeneron ISEF 2020 Finalists Directory, please click here: https://sspcdn.blob.core.windows.net/files/Documents/SEP/ISEF/2020/Virtual/Finalist-Directory.pdf

 

AVASC - Ashtavadhani Vidwan Ambati Subbaraya Chetty Foundation:

AVASC is an educational and medical service foundation dedicated to recognizing academic talent and providing services to the needy. AVASC will award projects that display outstanding creativity, ingenuity, and have the potential to alleviate the human condition or mark a substantive advancement in the scientific field.

http://www.avasc.com/

 

 

DCAT - Drug, Chemical & Associated Technologies Association:

www.dcat.org

 

ISEF - Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair:

https://www.societyforscience.org/isef/

 

SARSEF - Southern Arizona Regional Science and Engineering Fair:

https://sarsef.org/8907-sarsef-2020-winners/

 

U of A Science - Molecular & Cellular Biology S.T.A.R. Lab:

https://mcb.arizona.edu/outreach/star-lab

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