ORLANDO, Fla. - Since 1999, Dr. Nelson Ying — local scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist — has partnered with Orlando Science Center to celebrate the exemplary achievements of local science students. There are five finalists this year, each inspired by their passions to solve a problem either in their community or across the globe.
Each Grand Prize Winner will receive a $5,000 scholarship, a $1,000 award for his/her chosen science teacher or mentor, and an additional $1,000 for his/her school.
To compete in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, each entrant must perform a research project that has the ultimate goal of benefiting humanity. Projects are presented to a distinguished panel of judges including current and retired engineers, scientists, educators, and Dr. Ying himself.
Kyle Bramblett is a Junior at Titusville High School. With the goal of pursuing a PhD in Environmental Engineering, Kyle’s project is a design of an artificial structure that would have significant effects on increasing the average oyster growth rate.
Kishen Mintra, a Junior at West Shore High School and founder of his school Engineering Club wants to pursue a career in cardio-oncology. His project has the goal of developing an organ-on-a-chip system as a risk prediction tool for assessing damage during radiation therapy on patients.
Laboni Santra is a sophomore at Oviedo High School and has already won several awards for her research on citrus greening. This bacteria has devastated Florida’s nine billion dollar industry, and to address this issue, Laboni designed and fabricated microneedle patches for delivery of therapeutics directly to phloem tissue.
Pooja Shah is a Junior at West Shore High School, an avid basketball player, and hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Her project created a quorum sensing model in green algae. Understanding these organisms can allow researchers to develop solutions to algae blooms, coral reef disease and threats to human health.
Alex Carnes, a student at Lake Highland Prep created an application that would allow parents to non-intrusively monitor their child’s social media accounts for cyberbullying. His passion for computer science combined with his desire to create change has lead him to pursue a computer science and political science double major at Harvard or Stanford.
History of the Ying Competition
Dr. Nelson Ying is a longtime supporter of Orlando Science Center. In 1997, after sponsoring numerous exhibits and serving on the board, he decided to try something new.
“I wanted to do something that can match the OSC mission, that can provide lasting benefit toward STEM education, and that is different from what OSC or other science centers have done,” Ying said.
He and Fred Curtis, also a generous supporter of OSC, started the Ying Competition in 1998 with that goal in mind. Ying hopes to inspire young people to become good role models and successful world-changers with their passion for science and learning.
Ying also sponsors the Dr. Nelson Ying Orange County Science Exposition; the Dr. Nelson Ying Tri-Region Science and Engineering Fair in New York; and the Grand Awards at the Florida Science and Engineering Fair.
For more information on the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, visit www.osc.org/ying-competition/
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