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Copywrite 2001-2004, California Science Center
Media Contact: Shell Amega, Paula Wagner or Isela Castillo
Media Contact: 213.744-7446
May 22, 2002
Winners of 2002 California State Science Fair Announced
Two-Day Event Concludes with Awards Ceremony at the California Science Center

LOS ANGELES - Winners of the 2002 California State Science Fair were announced among a cheering audience of students, parents and teachers during an awards ceremony held May 21, 2002 at the California Science Center. The fair drew 956 students from counties statewide, with finalists selected by a volunteer pool of over 300 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education.

Top Awards

Ian R. Whittinghill, an 11th grade student at The Thatcher School in Ojai (Ventura County) was selected for the Dr. & Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman Project of the Year–Senior Division and received a $10,000 cash prize. His project category was Aerodynamics/Hydrodynamics and his project was titled "The Effect of Mass Flux on the C* Efficiency of Aluminized Grains in an N2O-Fed Hybrid Rocket Motor." Christine Haas, an 8th grade student from Reyburn Intermediate in Clovis (Fresno County) was chosen for the Dr. & Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman Project of the Year–Junior Division award and received a $5,000 cash prize. Her project category was Pharmacology/Toxicology and her project was titled "Effects of a Natural Poison on Mosquito Development: Year III." Two special committees, one for each division, reviewed every first place winning project in each subject category in order to select the best project in each division.

Derek C. Mohr, a senior at Desert High School in Edwards (Kern County), was named California State Science Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize. His project entry was in the category Physics & Astronomy and titled "The Hot Zone: Achieving Virus Incubation Conditions with Phase Change Materials Using Thermoelectric Heat Pumps." This award is presented to the high school senior who, in the opinion of the judges, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for success in science.

California State Science Fair Results

Mary Alice Reyburn, a science teacher at Chaparral Middle School in Moorpark (Ventura County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year–Junior Division and Duane Nichols, a science teacher at Alhambra High School in Alhambra (Los Angeles County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year-Senior Division. Each received a $2,000 cash prize.

Jeffrey N. Rudolph, executive director, California Science Center, commented "The fair helps students learn that they can be scientists and that it can be fun and satisfying to exercise their creativity, intellect and curiosity." The Science Center's involvement with the annual event dates back more than 40 years and is part of its mission to stimulate and nurture public interest in science, math and technology.

Special Recognition Awards

  • John D. Isaacs Scholarship, a $12,000 scholarship in marine science was given to Shara D. Cohn (Sacramento County).
  • Silicon Boule Award, representative of today's high technology, uniquely acknowledges distinctive performance in the physical sciences. The award is the recipient's choice of either a laptop computer or a silicon boule. The Senior Engineer Physicist winner is Derek C. Mohr (Kern County); Senior Engineer Scientist is the team of Gabe E. Klapman and Peter A. Lee (Monterrey County). The Junior Engineer Physicist winner is Naneh T. Apkarian (Orange County); and the Junior Engineer Scientist is Lara A. Injeyan (Los Angeles County).

Information on other Special Recognition Awards as well as the complete list of subject category award winners can be viewed at www.casciencectr.org/CSSF/. Reporters may also call the Science Center's Communications Department at (213) 744-7446 for winners from their area.

Editor's Note: California Science Center is located at 700 State Drive-Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CA 90037. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. Admission to the exhibits is free. IMAX Theater tickets range from $4.25 to $7.00. Both the Science Center and IMAX Theater are wheelchair accessible. Visitors can enter the parking lot at 39th and Figueroa Street. Parking is $6. For general information, phone (323) SCIENCE or visit our website at www.casciencectr.org.

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