Two seniors from the area ranked among the top 20 global finalists for the Google Science Fair.
Described as the “largest and most prestigious online science fair in the world,” the Google Science Fair offers students ages 13 to 18 the chance to pursue their interests in various STEM fields.
Ethan Jacobs, a senior at Byram Hills High School in Armonk, and Isha Puri, a senior at Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua, are just two of the 20 global finalists. In addition to the United States, finalists also hail from India, China, New Zealand, Ireland, South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Russia and Taiwan.
Each of the top 20 finalists will be flown to Google Headquarters in Silicon Valley, where Google and its partners, National Geographic, Scientific American, LEGO, and Virgin Galactic, will present awards to the winners.
Ethan’s project involved the optimization of environmental DNA detection methods while analyzing the presence of river otters in the Northeast.
“In my research, I worked on improving a new method of eDNA detection and analysis called GoFish Nested PCR using a nested amplification protocol with the design of 12S broad-range and MiFish species-specific primers,” said Ethan. “I used this methodology to analyze the presence of eDNA in three rivers for four different non-marine mammals: river otter, beaver, muskrat, and raccoon.”
Global finalist Isha studied scalable and freely accessible machine learning–based web applications for the early detection of dyslexia.
“I built an application that can accurately screen children for dyslexia using just the standard inbuilt laptop webcam!” said Isha. “My application records a video of a child reading a standard passage on the screen, tracks the movements of the pupils using a highly accurate eye-tracking methodology, and then determines the average fixation duration.”
Isha also won the New York State top Google Science Fair Research Project, which was announced at the end of April.
For more information about the Google Science Fair, click here.
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