County Students Earn Honors At State, International Science Fairs

Students from 15 Fairfax County high schools won awards and earned recognition at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held last week in Pittsburgh and at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair (VSSEF) held in April in Norfolk.

Yon Kyu (Daniel) Jang of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology  (TJHSST), working as part of a team with two other students from New York and California, took third place in the Energy and Transportation category at the ISEF for the project, “Au- and Pd-Nanoparticle Catalysts in Novel Nafion Composites for PEM Fuel Cell Power Enhancement.” The team also received a special award from United Technologies Corporation of $3,000 in UTC stock.

Finishing in fourth place at the ISEF were:

  • Benjamin Cobb and Conor Moran of Chantilly High School in Cellular and Molecular Biology for “Discovery of a Mechanism for the Glucocorticoid Chemotherapy Resistance in Cancer.”
  • Arrush Choudhary of Chantilly High School in Energy and Transportation for “A Novel Method to Increase the Lipid Yield of Chlorella vulgaris: An Exploration of the Role of Cofactors on the Inhibition of Starch Synthase (E.C.”
  • Yohan Sumathipala of TJHSST in Environmental Management for “A Novel Apparatus for Catalytic Oxidation of Glycerol Produced During Biodiesel Synthesis.” Sumathipala also won a special award from the United States Army of $1,500 and a gold medallion.
  • Jason Cui of Langley High School in Medicine and Health for “Improving Cancer Therapy: A Novel Therapeutic Treatment Utilizing Cordycepin Synergy to Decrease Adverse Treatment Effects.”

At the VSSEF, first place winners were:

A complete list of FCPS winners at the VSSEF can be found below.

Animal Sciences


Second Place:
Yash Bhatnagar (TJHSST)
Honorable Mention:
Saniya Suri (TJHSST)


Behavioral and Social Sciences


Honorable Mention:
Team of Abigail McCranie, Isabela Medina, and Rachel Orlowsky (Centreville High School)




Supraja Chittari (Fairfax High School)
Third Place:
Andrea Li (TJHSST)


Cellular and Molecular Biology


Third Place:
Cynthia Li (TJHSST)




Third Place:
Team of Adrienne Doebrich and Emily Harmon (TJHSST)
Honorable Mention:
Michael Bollman (Centreville High School)


Computer Science


Second Place:
Parth Chopra (TJHSST)
Third Place:
David Pearson (Herndon High School)


Engineering: Materials and Bioengineering


First Place:
Daniel Tavakol (Madison High School)


Environmental Management


First Place:
Gina Li (Langley High School)
Third Place:
Kai DeBus (Lake Braddock Secondary School)
Honorable Mention:
Team of Ann Bryan and Emily Casey (Marshall High School)


Environmental Science


Second Place:
Team of Anna Desmarais and Tara Razjouyan (Madison High School)


Mathematical Sciences


Honorable Mention:
Archis Bhandarkar (TJHSST)


Medicine and Health


Honorable Mention:
Syed Hossain (Herndon High School)


Physics and Astronomy


Second Place:
David Luftglass and Zachary Williams (Woodson High School)
Honorable Mention:
Hun Sung Lee (Fairfax High School)
Jong Seok Won (Fairfax High School)


Plant Sciences


Second Place:
Team of Nancy Ding, Katie Hsia, and Hanna Tso (TJHSST)
Honorable Mention:
Brenna DeBellas (Oakton High School)


VSSEF 2012: Special Award Winners
American Society of Naval Engineers, Dahlgren-Rappahannock Chapter


Michael Danyliw (Annandale High School);
Team of Sabine Ahmed-Iqbal and Sabretta Singh (Centreville High School);
Team of Brian Tong and Michael Sherburne (Robinson Secondary School);
Team of Alper Turgut and Ryan Applin (Woodson High School)


ASM International Foundation


Team of Ananthavel Gurusamy and Lakshay Akula (Westfield High School)




Team of Ann Bryan and Emily Casey (Marshall High School);


International Council of System Engineers (INCOSE)


Team of Ananthavel Gurusamy and Lakshay Akula (Westfield High School)
Hayden Chun (TJHSST)


Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)


Computational Science
Team of Marvin Qian and Ye Tao (TJHSST);
Hun Sung-Lee (TJHSST);
Archis Bhandarkar (TJHSST);
Applied Sciences Awards:
Jason Cui (Langley High School);
Team of Ananthavel Gurusamy and Lakshay Akula (Westfield High School)


Stockholm Junior Water Prize


Team of Mohammad Rahimi and Murwarid Rahimi (South County Secondary School)


U.S. Air Force


Soniya Pateriya (Chantilly High School)


U.S. Army


Engineering Awards:
Hayden Chun (TJHSST)
Mathematics-Computer Science Awards:
Darwin Li (TJHSST)


U.S. Navy-Marine Corps


Jason Cui (Langley High School)


Virginia Biotechnology Association


Team of Connor Hann and Bina Kakusa (TJHSST); Andrea Li (TJHSST)