Two Alachua County students advance to international science fair in California

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – After winning top honors at a North Central Florida science fair, the student has qualified for an international fair.

For the third year, Buchholz High School's Helena Jiang won "Best in Show" at the Alachua Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Another student Himanshi Verma of Eastside High School also won the award. Both will automatically move forward to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, which will be held in California in mid-May.

Verma’s project explored "The efficacy of a novel ocular drug formulation in alleviating neurodegenerative diseases". Meanwhile, Jiang won first place in the chemistry division with her project "Characterization of novel reconfigurable mid-IR metalenses enabled by phase change materials".

Two Westwood Middle school students Matthew Settles, and Isaac Savin also won the same title for the junior division. Middle school students are not eligible to advance to the international level.

These four students are among 31 middle and high school students in Alachua County that will represent the region at the state level. Other high school students have the opportunity to qualify for the international fair should they perform well in the state contest.

Senior Division:
Anjana Balachandar, Buchholz High School
Angela Gao, Buchholz High School
Helena Jiang, Buchholz High School
Aditi Shukla, Buchholz High School
Jeffrey Xue, Buchholz High School
Brindha Rathinasabapathi, Eastside High School
Himanshi Verma, Eastside High School
Akash Verma, Eastside High School
Jad Helmy, Gainesville High School

Junior Division
Connor Ely, Ft. Clarke Middle School
Natheniel James, Ft. Clarke Middle School
Grace Yoon, Ft. Clark Middle School
Daniel Tapia-Ruano and Damien Bell, High Springs Community School
Kathryn Law, Howard Bishop Middle School
Quinn Vaughn, Howard Bishop Middle School
Jackson Collins, Oak View Middle School
Aubrey Fournier, Oak View Middle School
Elizabeth Nowicki, Oak View Middle School
Alex Wynn, Oak View Middle School
Jasper Anderson, Westwood Middle School
Emlyn Arner, Westwood Middle School
Kayleigh Denton, Westwood Middle School
Flora Jane Freer, Westwood Middle School
Finn McDermott, Westwood Middle School
Clara Milosevic, Westwood Middle School
Logan Rockwell, Westwood Middle School
Isaac Savin, Westwood Middle School
Matthew Settles, Westwood Middle School
Kiera Shepherd and Lukas Scott, Westwood Middle School