Seven Southern Arizona teens are headed to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair after their wins at this year’s regional competition.

About 4,580 students from Tucson, Yuma, Florence, Casa Grande, Mammoth, Rio Rico, Sells, Ajo and the Tohono O’odham Nation competed in the Southern Arizona Research, Science and Engineering Fair.

The students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, were selected from more than 75,000 who competed first at the school level. Projects were judged by more than 350 professionals, including scientists, engineers, educators and business leaders.

The following students were awarded a trip to the International Fair in Los Angeles in May, plus a scholarship to the University of Arizona:

  • Meagan Alanna Bethel of Tucson High Magnet School: A Three-Month Analysis of the Desert Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis nelsoni) Translocation Project in the Santa Catalina Mountain Range.
  • Kelsey Mackenzie Barter of University High School: Using Chemical Biology to Target the Inhibitors of Apoptosis.
  • Shelby Yuan of University High School: Ultrasound-Responsive Nanoparticles for Neurotherapeutic Delivery.
  • Diego Aubert-Vasquez of Tucson High Magnet School: The Effects of Bacteria Isolated From Wastewater on Sodium Lactate Microbial Fuel Cells.
  • Zeeshan Jawaid of Carpe Diem Academy in Yuma: Comparison between Pleistocene Horse Second Phalanges Using Bergmann’s Rule.
  • Stephen Yao of University High School: The Environmental Dependent Passive Flux Meter — A Numerical Model Assisted Design.
  • Jeremiah Thomas Pate of Basis Oro Valley: Head in the Clouds: Is the Van der Waals Force Present in Cloud Structure?

Two eighth-graders also will attend ISEF as observers — Sylvia Christine Zarnescu of Orange Grove Middle School and Claire Thai of Thai Home School.

Others honored at SARSEF include three educators who were named the top science teachers: Emma Nelson of International School of Tucson at the elementary level; Barbara Cushing of Legacy Traditional School at the middle school level; and Margaret Wilch of Tucson High Magnet School at the high school level.

The top three science schools were Agua Caliente Elementary School at the elementary level; St. Gregory College Preparatory School at the middle school level; and Tucson High Magnet School at the high school level.

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

Education writer for #ThisIsTucson. Mom of one.