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L.A. County Science Fair names top student scientists

April 1, 2012 |  1:36 pm


Judges at the Los Angeles County Science Fair named the top two winners of the competition on Saturday out of the more than a thousand students who had their experiments on display.

Kenneth Lee, a senior from Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, received the top sweepstakes prize for the senior-level division made up of high school students. He won for his project in the biochemistry and molecular biology category: "The Role of Testosterone in Hepatocyte Apoptosis in High Fat Diet-Induced Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease." His teacher on the project was Peter Starodub.

At the junior level for middle-schoolers, Raymond Gilmartin, an eight-grader at South Pasadena Middle School, took the sweepstakes prize. He had a project in the physics-aerodynamics and hydrodynamics category: "Spare the Environment, Spoiler the Car."  His teacher on the project was Emily Hoffman.

Judges also awarded first-, second- and third-place medals, as well as honorable mention prizes, in a number of other categories, with animal physiology and biology, behavioral science, biochemistry and molecular biology, chemistry, engineering and mathematics and computer science, among them.

An exhibit hall at the Pasadena Convention Center was lined with rows of tri-fold poster boards featuring the projects, some of which will proceed to a statewide science fair and then on to the international level. 

The science fair, in its 62nd year, had more students involved than in recent years, with 1,063 students taking part. The students came from public and private schools, as well as from those of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. The number of girls participating has eclipsed the number of boys in recent years — a trend that continued this year with 564 girls and 499 boys.


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— Rick Rojas 

Photo: Paige Hartley, 15, works on a contraption she created at the Trash for Things stall at the science fair. Credit:  Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times