The 2021 Metropolitan Science and Engineering Fair took place in a new format this year, with all sessions being organized online. The pre-selection of the research project presentations was based on the projects reports and recorded video presentations by the MSEF participants. Finalists were invited to the online meeting with judges, where they presented their research.
In late March, the winners were announced. Sixty-six students representing 15 schools were recognized during an online Awards Ceremony that was streamed on YouTube. Overall, 146 students from the Omaha Metro area schools, and over 100 judges, participated in this year’s MSEF.
Traditionally, ACS Omaha Local Section supports the Metro Science Fair by sponsoring special awards for projects focused on chemistry-related problems. The Excellence in Chemistry prizes are awarded for the best project ($50 + an ACS beaker mug) and the runner-up ($25 + an ACS beaker mug) in both Junior and Senior divisions.
The 2021 Excellence in Chemistry awards recipients are:
- Elisha Mufungizi (Omaha Bryan HS/UNMC High School Alliance, mentor: Mrs. Terri Gulick) – Adapting CRISPR/i Technology in Studying Chlamydia Growth and Development
- Reema Guda (Millard North High School, mentor: Dr. Babu Guda) – COVID-19: In-depth Analysis of Coronavirus Mutations and Their Implications for the Future Outbreaks
- Naomi Long (McMillan Magnet Center, mentor: Mr. John Huber) – Which Fruit Has the Most Vitamin C
- Siri Doddapaneni (Brownell Talbot School, mentor: Mr. Jay Sauer) – Beat the Pandemic with DIY Oxygen
Congratulations to all the winners, and we wish you the best in your future academic and research endeavors! Our deepest appreciation also goes to the mentors of the winners who devote their time and effort to raise the next generation of chemists!