Three Tucson students and a local teacher were honored at the 2013 Governor’s Celebration of Innovation Awards.

The awards ceremony, held Nov. 14 in Phoenix, honors companies, academic centers of excellence, lawmakers and individuals that are impacting people’s lives through inspiration and innovation.

Andrew Lettes of Pueblo Magnet High School received honorable mention for the Teacher of the Year award.

Two students — Eric Epstein of Tucson High Magnet School and Shelby Yuan of University High School — were named Future Innovators of the Year Award winners. Each received a check for $1,500.

Epstein was recognized for his project: "Olfactory discrimination between regular and deuterated compounds in European honeybees.”

Yuan was recognized for her project: "Preparation of Magnetic Nanovesicles for Biomedical Applications.”

Kelsey Barter, a University High student, earned honorable mention in the same category for her project: "Targeting Survivin as a Potential Cancer Therapeutic.” Barter took home $500.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at or 573-4175. On Twitter @AlexisHuicochea​

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.