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Arundel High School junior Andrew Karam and South River High School seniors Simone Evans and Helen Dover shared the grand award at the 51st annual Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Expo last night, in the process earning the right for all three to represent Anne Arundel County Public Schools at the International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), which will be held in Pittsburgh this May.

Science Fair Winners Collage

Andrew’s project, “Concealed Weapon Detection Using Infrared/Thermal Image Processing and Machine Learning” created a neural network to detect a concealed weapon.

Simone’s project, “The Web of Mycorrihzal Fungi: Associations Among Orchids, Fungi and Potentially Trees,” explored the relationship between a network of mycorrihzal fungi and their different hosts.

Helen’s project was titled “Survival of the Fittest: Using Biological Concepts to Maximize Efficiency.” She created and tested a genetic algorithm to find the ideal variables and conditions that will produce the best end result to a problem. The algorithm has applications in fields from aerospace engineering to economics.

More than 300 projects in 20 categories presented by young science stars from across the county in grades 6 through 12 were entered in the expo. Students won awards and prizes worth thousands of dollars from organizations such as Armed Forces Communications Association, Anne Arundel Community College, Defense Spectrum Organization, Educational Systems Federal Credit Union, Intel, International Council on Systems Engineering, Society of Toxicology, Society of Women Engineers, and the US Navy/US Marine Corps Office of Naval Research.

Severna Park’s Ethan Prigge won a Grand Award Honorable Mention for his project, “Mycoplasma Meets Its Match.”

Maya Albayrak from Chesapeake Science Point won a Grand Award Honorable Mention for her project, “A Tweet a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.” They have been invited to participate in Intel ISEF as student observers.

The Anne Arundel County Regional Science and Engineering Expo is dedicated to promoting science education and recognizing and rewarding student achievement in science. In addition to the grand award winners, approximately 100 county middle and high school students earned first-place awards at the expo, ranging from special awards from community organizations to category awards based on guidelines from Intel ISEF.

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