Four advance to international level from state science fair


The Alabama State Science and Engineering Fair was April 5-6 at UAH’s Spragins Hall.

Michael Mercier | UAH

Four student finalists were selected from the Alabama Science and Engineering Fair (ASEF) held April 5-6 at Spragins Hall at The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) on May 13-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Those attending ISEF are:

  • Noel Lange, 11th grade, Auburn High School; "Development of Innovative Strategies to Protect the Aquatic Environment from Household Plastic Microfibers."
  • Brayden Noh, ninth grade, Auburn Junior High School; "Biomechanical Effect of a Novel Designed Knee Exoskeleton for Human Augmentation."
  • Jared Callen, 12th grade, Wetumpka High School; "Developing an Efficient Solution to personal Computer Security."
  • Amrita Lakhanpal, 11th grade, The Altamont School, "Computational Analyses to Identify Genes Disproportionately Affected by NFKBIA Deletions and Implicated in Breast Cancer and Glioblastoma Tumorigenesis."

A total of 234 students displayed 210 projects at the 2018 ASEF competition. Awards included UAH scholarships, cash prizes and trips.

"The ASEF brings together the best and brightest Alabama middle and high school students," says Vanessa Colebaugh, a research associate with the Institute of Science Education who serves as the event coordinator. "The research and quality of work done on the projects this year was outstanding."

The ASEF is just one part of a much bigger framework of science and engineering fairs that take place around the world every year. In the U.S., students first compete at the school level, after which they may advance to the regional level. Alabama has five regional science and engineering fairs prior to ASEF, including the UAH-hosted North Alabama Regional Science and Engineering Fair. The winners at the regional level go on to compete at ASEF, the state-level competition. Each state fair may also provide funding to send up to four overall finalists to ISEF.

The 2018 ASEF was made possible by the support of the event’s sponsors, which included the Alabama Space Grant Consortium, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, ADTRAN, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Boeing, Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology, National Space Club, National Defense Industrial Association, Raytheon, Southern Research, Techni-Core, Toyota, AFCEA, Association for Energy Engineers, Dynetics, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Teledyne Brown Engineering, and Dr. Louis Buckalew.


Vanessa Colebaugh

Jim Steele