Young researchers focusing on horticultural crops were honored this year for their outstanding research at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Pittsburgh, PA, May 13–18. ASHS judges Xuri Zhang (team leader, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood, PA), Jozsef Racsko (OARDC, Ohio State Univ., Wooster), and Lee Stivers (Penn State Extension, Washington, PA) reviewed 70 finalists in Plant Science at this year’s fair.
The First Award ($1000) winner honored by ASHS is Moniyka Sachar, 16, from Irvington High School, Fremont, California, for her presentation “DNA-Binding Protein in Xcv Bacteria Manipulates Plant bHLH Gene to Promote Pathogen Growth during Infection: A Genetic Study”.
Peter Huang Leng, 16, of Father Duenas Memorial School, Chalan Pago, Guam, received Second Award ($500) for “HPLC Extraction of Noni (Morinda citrifolia) Compounds and Its Inhibition of E. coli.”
Third Award ($250) was given to Amelia Lyn Clements, 17, from Ossining High School, Ossining, New York, for her work “Understanding the Evolutionary Consequences of Genetic Duplication and Divergence: A Functional Characterization of the APETALA1/FRUITFULL Homologs in Papaceraceae.”
Left to right: ASHS Judge Xuri Zhang, Amelia Lyn Clements, Peter Huang Leng, and Moniyka Sachar. (Photo credit: SSP)
In addition to the cash awards presented by the Society, ASHS also offers a complimentary student membership, subscriptions to all three journals for the student and their high school library, and a certificate.
“It was a great experience . . . I was very impressed with the work the high schoolers did,” commented judge Xuri Zhang. Said judge Lee Stivers, “I found that working with the other two judges to narrow the pool of plant science exhibits was a delightful way to get to know two ASHS colleagues and feel more connected to the Society. There is nothing quite like collaborating with others to honor budding young horticultural scientists in an international setting to make one feel hopeful about our future.”
The Society thanks our judges for taking the time, and making the effort, to represent ASHS at this year’s fair.
While ASHS certainly promotes horticultural science in myriad ways, this event is one of the very best. The 2013 Intel ISEF will be held in May 12–18, 2013, in Phoenix, Arizona. Special Awards Judging takes place over a 2-day period during the entire fair. If any ASHS Members in that part of the country are interested in participating in this great event (up to three), please contact Mike Neff at
. You won’t regret it!