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Media Contact: Shell Amega
213-744-7446
May 26, 2006

Winners of 2006 California State Science Fair Announced
Two-Day Event Concludes with Awards Ceremony

Los Angeles –Winners of the 2006 California State Science Fair were announced among a cheering audience of students, parents and teachers during an awards ceremony hosted by the California Science Center on May 23, 2006 at the Science Center School. The fair drew 960 students from 35 counties statewide, with finalists selected by a volunteer pool of over 300 scientists and engineers from private industry and higher education. Students took home a combined total of over $50,000 in cash prizes, with major support for the Fair provided by THE MUSES of the California Science Center Foundation and Raytheon.

Top Awards
Michael Viscardi, a 12th grade student at Josan Academy in San Diego (San Diego 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 was titled “The Solution of the Dirichlet Problem with Rational Boundary Conditions.” David M. Cohn, III, a 7th grade student from The Rhoades School in Encinitas (San Diego County) was chosen for the Dr. & Mrs. Arnold O. Beckman Project of the Year—Junior Division award and received a $5,000 cash prize. His project was titled “From Ashes to Life: Burned Region Plant Regeneration/Soil Transformation”. Two special committees, one for each division, reviewed all first-place, winning projects from every subject category in order to select the best project in each division.

Christine Haas, a senior at Clovis East High School High School in Clovis (Fresno County) was named California State Science Fair Student of the Year and was presented with a $1,000 cash prize. Her project entry was titled “The Effects of Aesculus californica on Mosquitoes and the Characterization of Its Larvicidal Compounds”. 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.

Dawn O’Connor, a teacher at Ascencion Solorsano Middle School in Gilroy (Santa Clara County) was named California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year—Junior Division, and Wayne Garabedian, a teacher at Clovis West High School in Fresno (Fresno 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
Sean Pi of Los Angeles County Silicon Boule Award. Representative of today’s high technology, the Silicon Boule Award, which uniquely acknowledges distinctive performance in the physical sciences, is the end piece of an ultrapure monocrystalline silicon boule.

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