Awards for Academic Excellence

For over 60 years, the Los Angeles County Science Fair has showcased thousands of outstanding student scientific studies. In addition to helping to sponsor the Fair, SCPS has presented its “Awards for Academic Excellence” since 2005. At the Science Fair, SCPS Awards are given for several paleontology related projects each year to students in both the Junior (grades 6-8) and Senior (grades 9-12) Divisions.

 


 

In March, 2015, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were as follows:

  • In the Junior Division, Pamela Cana, a seventh grade student from Luther Burbank Math Science and Technology Magnet received first place prize for her project, “Which Type of Greenhouse Gas Is More Effective for Global Warming?”
  • Seventh grade student Kate Reilly from American Martyrs School received SCPS’s second place prize for her project, “Acid Bath.”
  • Senior Division first prize award went to Albert Barrios, a tenth grade student from King/Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science for his project, “How is the Environment Affecting Sea Anemones?”
  • Hoyt Gong, a tenth grade student from South Pasadena High School, earned  a second place prize in the Senior Division for his project, “Understanding the Role of Climatic Variables on Isotopic Ratios of Rainwater.”
  • Third prize in the Senior Division was awarded to Jonathan Wang, a ninth grade student from Palos Verdes High School, for his project, “Greenland Ice Melt Rises Ocean Tides.”

In March 2014, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were as follows:

  • In the Junior Division, Camille Paquette, a seventh grade student at St. Timothy School, received SCPS’s first place award for her project, “What are the Santa Monica Mountains Made of?”
  • The Junior Division Second Prize went to Dawson Galuzzi, an eighth grade student at South Pasadena Middle School. His project was “Bacteria Beneath the Beach”.
  • Third prize in the Junior Division went to Alexandra Philips, a seventh grade student at AGBU Manoogia-nDemirdjian Middle School, earned SCPS’s third place award in the Junior Division for her project, “Swimming in Acid”.
  • In the Senior Division, Brian Zhang, a tenth grade student at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, received SCPS’s first-place award for his project “Developing a Self Sufficient Mesocosm for Further Applications”.
  • Second prize in In the Senior Division went to James Nowotny, a tenth grade student at Flintridge Preparatory High School. His project was “Finding the Percent Body Mass Consumption of Pterois voltans to Determine Its Invasive Effect on the Tropical Habitats of the Western Atlantic”.
  • Cheyenne Newallis, a tenth grade student at San Pedro School, earned SCPS’s third place award in the Senior Division for her project “The Breeding Season of the Cephaloscyllium ventriosum or Pacific Swell Shark in Captivity”.

In March 2013, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were as follows:

  • In the Junior Division, Mounir Saunders-Newton, a seventh grade student at Flintridge Preparatory Middle School, received SCPS’s first place award for his project “The Effect of Camouflage on Predatory Behavior of Praying Mantis.”
  • The Junior Division Second Prize went to Karyn Yong, an eighth grade student at Ridgecrest Intermediate School. Her project was “Effects of Ocean Acidification on Different Bivalve Shells.”
  • Third prize in the Junior Division went to Anthony Stenzel, a seventh grade student at Holy Trinity School, earned SCPS’s third place award in the Junior Division for his project “Does Runoff Water Affect the Aquatic Invertebrates of Madrona Marsh?”
  • In the Senior Division, Jazlynn Pastor, an eleventh grade student at Ramona Convent Secondary School, received SCPS’s award for her project “It’s Getting Hot in Here!”

In March 2012, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were as follows:

  • In the Junior Division, Sage Streiker, a seventh grade student at St. Timothy School, received her second consecutive SCPS Award. Her first place project in the Junior Division was “Murky Waters: The Impact of Oil Spills and Oil Spill Cleanup Dispersants on Gulf Coast Mangrove Habitats.”
  • The Junior Division Second Prize went to Denise Huang, an eighth grade student at South Pasadena Milikan Middle School. Her project was titled “Ocean Turned Acid”.
  • Third prize in the Junior Division went to Maaike Wielenga, an eighth grade student at South Pasadena Middle School, for her project “Too Salty for Seeds! An Experiment Examining the Effect Salinity Has on Germination”.
  • In the Senior Division, David Zimmerman, an eleventh grade student at Brentwood School, received SCPS’s first place award for his project “Evolution of Competitive Fitness During Periods of Extended Starvation in Shewanella spp.”
  • Second place in the Senior Division went to Stacey Dojiri, for her project “The Effects of Ocean Acidification on the Larval Shell Development of the Red Abalone”. Stacey is a tenth grade student at the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School.
  • Twelfth grade student Christine Chen of Palos Verdes High School received SCPS’s Senior Division third place award for her project “Assessing Polioptila californica population in differing Artemisia californica habitats”.

In April 2011, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were:

  • In the Junior Division, for the second consecutive year, Sawyer Judge, an eighth grade student at St. John Fisher School, received first prize for “Does Crude Oil Affect Decomposition and Fossilization?”
  • The Junior Division Second Prize went to Isabella Smith, a seventh grade student at Robert Milikan Middle School for her project “Tracing the Footprints: Exploring Whale DNA”.
  • Third prize in the Junior Division went to Sage Streiker, a sixth grader at St. Timothy’s School, for “The Effects of Acid Rain on World Monuments”.
  • In the Senior Division, Caroline Frost, a eleventh grader at Chaminade College Preparatory School, received first prize for her project “Scrubbing the Air: Photosynthetic Responses to Carbon Dioxide Concentrations”.
  • Second prize in In the Senior Division went to Jessica Luo, a ninth grade student at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies. Her project was “The Effect of Ocean Acidification on Ocean Productivity”.
  • Arev Hovsepian, an eleventh grade student at Holy Martyrs Armenian High School, received the Senior Division third prize for her project “Combating Acid Rain”.

In April 2010, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were:

  • In the Junior Division, Sawyer Judge, a seventh grade student at St. John Fisher School, received first prize for “Mother Nature’s Teeth”.
  • In the Junior Division, Matthew Reilly, a seventh grader at American Martyrs School, received second prize for his project “Sea of Acid: The Effects of Ocean Acidification on Sea Life”.
  • In the Junior Division, Amy Brennan, a seventh grader at St. Cyril of Jerusalem Elementary School received third prize for her project “Diamonds are Forever”.
  • In the Senior Division, for the third consecutive year, Bonnie Lei, a junior at Walnut High School in Walnut Valley, received the SCPS award. This year, her project was “Description of a New Species of Spurilla with a Proposed Mechanism of Speciation”.

In April 2009, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were:

  • In the Junior Division, Shanaya Seddighi and Gwen Hunter of St. Martin of Tours School, shared the first place award for their project “Habitat Selection of Brine Shrimp”.
  • In the Junior Division, Avi Vogel, an eighth grader at Kadima-heschel West Middle School. received second prize for “Determining What Types of Rock Put Out More Heat by Boiling Them”.
  • In the Senior Division, for the second consecutive year, Bonnie Lei, a sophomore at Walnut High School in Walnut Valley, received the first place award. This year, her project was “Cryptic Species and Synonyms: A Reclassification of the Tropical Spurilla Genus”.
  • In the Senior Division, Emily Carrera of Convent Secondary School received second prize for “Planting Vitamins: The Environmental Effects on Plant Nutrition”.

In April 2008, recipients of the SCPS Awards for Academic Excellence were:

  • In the Junior Division, Elizabeth Brajevich, an eighth grader from Miraleste Intermediate School in Palos Verdes. Elizabeth received the first place award for her project “Acting Fishy: The Comparison of Growth Between Frogs and Trout”.
  • In the Junior Division, Joshua Navaratte, an eighth grader at Hollenbeck Middle School, Los Angeles. Joshua received second prize for “Are Snail and Nautilus Shells Following the Same Pattern: Logarithm or Phi?”
  • In the Senior Division, Bonnie Lei, a freshman at Walnut High School in Walnut Valley. Bonnie received the first place award for her project “To Speciate or Not to Speciate: Population Structure of Haminoea vesicula”.
  • In the Senior Division, Kathryn Fukomoto, a senior at Palos Verdes High School. Kathryn received second prize for “Classroom Radon Potential for School Sites on the Miocene Monterey Formation”.

We look forward to recognizing superior student efforts like these in the years ahead, and to encouraging interest in, and expansion of, the field of paleontology.