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MERP students participate in California science fair
MERP students participate in California science fair

Nineteen Santa Catalina School students entered projects in the 2021 Monterey County Science and Engineering Fair, with five advancing to the state fair. The group included 13 seniors and six juniors, all in the Marine Ecology Research Program.

Audrey Avelino '22, Anna Cole '21, Angelia Shi '21, Holly Liu '22, and Rain Hu '22 participated in the 2021 California Science & Engineering Fair held April 13. They advanced after winning the following awards at the Monterey County fair:

  • Audrey's study* looked at population changes of purple sea urchins, sunflower sea stars, purple sea stars, and giant kelp due to sea star wasting disease. She won first place in the environmental division and received the American Meteorological Association Award.
  • Anna and Angelia teamed up for their project, "Testing potential triggers of foraging behaviors in the sea urchin Strongylocentrotus purpuratus." They won first place in the plant and animal sciences division and earned the Association of Women Geoscientists Award.
  • Holly's study, "Heavy Metal Concentration in Seafood from Chinese Major Industrial Centers," placed second in the environmental division. She received the California Association of Biomedical Research Award.
  • Rain placed second in the math and computer science division for her project, "An AI Disease Diagnosing Model Using Voice Feature." She received the Yale Science & Engineering Award.

Here are the other Monterey County science fair winners and participants:

  • Seniors Maddie Elkin and Alex Nickle, "Copper exposure reduces olfactory orientation efficiency on Catfish Corydoras," second place in the environmental division.
  • Nicole Korinetz '21, "Improving a low-cost Arduino pH controller to measure, record, and control pH in a closed loop aquarium system," second place in the engineering division.
  • Seniors Allison Berkowitz and Clare Watson, "Detecting Photosynethic Rates in Intertidal Algae."
  • Seniors Sarah Scheetz and Dylan Barry-Schoen, "Fluctuations in abundance of Harmful Algal Bloom species in the Monterey Bay assessed over time in relation to various factors."
  • Auggie Davis '21, "Testing an accessible method for aging rockfish using otoliths."
  • Juniors Olivia Gorum, Carson Vogel, and Alix Detrait, "The Long-term Impact of SSWD on Mussel Beds and Changed Visitation Rates on the Intertidal during COVID-19," third place in the environmental division, NASA Earth Sciences Award.
  • Emma Murphree '21, "Quantifying shifts in Monterey Peninsula Marine Protected Area kelp coverage using GIS."
  • Seniors Sofia Lamarque and Maddie Mizgorski, "Changes in Batstar Metabolic Rates in Response to Olfactory Prey Cues."

*Official title: "Population changes of Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, Pycnopodia helianthoides, Pisaster ochraceus, and Macrocystis pyrifera due to SSWD"

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