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University of Iowa News Release

March 9, 2003

High School Students Honored At Science Symposium

Five student presenters at the 42nd Annual Regional Iowa Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) Feb. 19-20 at the University of Iowa earned a trip to the National JSHS in Baltimore, Md. and a $750 scholarship to the UI. In addition, the Applied Academy of Science also awarded the top three students scholarships totaling $4,500 to attend the school of their choice.

The symposium featured a total of 17 student presenters from around the state, plus nearly 200 student delegates and teachers. In addition to viewing the student presentations, attendees also were treated to seminars by Jerald Schnoor, UI professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Sarah England, UI assistant professor of physiology. Student delegates also participated in a variety of tours featuring current research activities on the UI campus.

Megan Srinivas, a junior who attends Fort Dodge Senior High School, took first place with her presentation, "Analysis of the Influence of Education on Household Food Security in Rural Africa," earning her a $2,000 college scholarship to a college of her choice. She will present her paper at the National JSHS to be held April 29-30. Megan will compete with 47 other student researchers for a chance to participate in the World Symposium in London and receive either the London International Youth Science Fortnight Award or Academy scholarships totaling over $100,000. Megan's science teacher, Deb Hoover, will receive a $500 award to be used for books, supplies or equipment.

Rachael Collier of Burlington, who attends Mediapolis High School, placed second with her paper, "Comparative Bioassay of Bt Corn Pollen and Limestone Road Dust on Monarch Larvae Growth and Development." She will present at the national meet as well in the non-competitive session. Her second-place finish earned her a $1,500 scholarship to the school of her choice.

Catherine Swoboda of Pleasant Hill, who attends the Des Moines Central Academy, placed third and earned a $1,000 scholarship with her research on "The Genetic Basis of Abscission Competence." The other two finalists were Minh Tran, who attends Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, and Danielle Wilson, who attends West Central Valley High School in Stuart. Mihn presented a talk, "Heat Formation of Highly Energetic Compounds," and Danielle presented a talk, "Grass for Biomass."

The National Junior Science and Humanities Symposia Program has been held for over three decades by the U.S. Department of the Army, the Office of Naval Research, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Academy of Applied Science, Inc. The Iowa Regional event is hosted by Opportunity at Iowa at the UI.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 301, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Galluzzo, 319-384-0009,