International honors for Polaris student


May 22, 2014


The following news release is shared on behalf of Polaris K-12 School. Congratulations to student Taylor Seitz who won 3rd Place in the International Science and Engineering Fair in the Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering category.


Contact: Andrea Evans, teacher
Polaris K-12 School


ASD Polaris BioTaPP student places third in the International Science and Engineering Fair


Polaris K-12 juniors Taylor Seitz and Alisa Aist, both members of the school's Biotechnology Training and Preparatory Program (BioTaPP), earned the top two places in the Alaska Science and Engineering Fair and went on to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Los Angeles, California, last week where Taylor won third place for her work.


Alisa and Taylor competed in ISEF along with 1,600 other finalists from more than 40 countries.


Taylor won third place overall in the division of Engineering: materials and bioengineering for her work in developing an on-site lateral flow test to detect the presence of paralytic shellfish poisoning. Taylor is in the early stages of obtaining a patent for her lateral flow test. For winning third place, she also received $1,000.


Alisa entered the ISEF competition with her research in examining the effect of a halibut and salmon disease, Ichthyophonus, on the production of proteins in infected fish.


"Each year, approximately 7 million high school students around the globe develop original research projects and present their work at local science competitions with the hope of making it to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of Society for Science & the Public," said ASD STEM Coordinator Kathryn Kurtz. "Only the best and brightest—winners of local, regional, state, and national competitions—are invited to participate in this week-long celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math. At the event, these young innovators share ideas, showcase cutting-edge research, and compete for more than 5 million in awards and scholarships."


Polaris and Chugiak High School students have the opportunity to take a STEM research course through the BioTaPP program.


"The concept of applicable research, and the specific high-level techniques learned in the course, has been wholeheartedly embraced by Taylor and Alisa," said Polaris BioTaPP Teacher Andrea Evans. "A combination of the BioTaPP Program, the existence of the Alaska  Science and Engineering Fair, support from administration, the school, and the girls' families, and the way these two students made the most of all these factors allowed them to go as far as they have with their scientific research."


Taylor and Alisa will continue their research in the Polaris BioTaPP research program next year.


NOTE: Attached is a photo of Alisa (pictured left) and Taylor.


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