Central Ohio students compete on world stage

News Release Date: 

Marion Area Science & Engineering qualifiers awarded at international science competition

Achal Fernando-Peiris, a junior from Mount Vernon High School in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and Srinath Seshadri, a freshman from Village Academy in Powell, Ohio were recently recognized for their cutting edge science projects at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), held in Los Angeles, May 11th-16th.

Srinath Seshadri & Achal Fernando-Peiris
Fernando-Peiris and Seshadri qualified their projects for international competition at the 2014 Marion Area Science & Engineering Fair, held at The Ohio State University at Marion’s Alber Student Center in March 2014.

Achal Fernando-Peiris
16-year-old Fernando-Peiris won a first grand award in physics for his project: Fabricating an Artificial Nose using Mesoporous Photonic Crystals.  First grand award is a cash prize of $3000.  There were three first grand awards in physics, making Fernando-Peiris' project one of the top three physics projects in the international competition.

Fernando-Peiris also won the Innovation Exploration Award from California Institute of Technology, which includes an all-expenses-paid trip to Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He also won a special award - a third award from National Aeronautics Space Administration worth $1000.

Srinath Seshadri
14-year-old Seshadri won a fourth grand award in biochemistry for his project: Ethanol Production through Biological Pretreatment of Miscanthus Sinensis Using Pleurotus Ostreatus.  The award has a value of $500.

A total of five student representatives from the Marion Area Science and Engineering Fair, accompanied by Ohio State’s Dr. Brian McEnnis, traveled to Los Angeles for the Intel ISEF.  The group included the two aforementioned finalists, who competed against others from around the world, and three Delaware County students who traveled as observers:  Shilpa Murthy of  Olentangy Liberty High School, Sophia Halter of Olentangy High School, and Madeline Fuller of Village Academy.

Intel ISEF is the world's largest international pre-college science competition. Held annually in May, the Intel ISEF brings together more than 1,600 students from over 70 nations to compete for more than $4 million in prizes and scholarships.

2014 representatives from the Marion Area Science and Engineering Fair, held at The Ohio State University at Marion, recently returned from an educationally rewarding trip to the west coast to be part of the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.  Students pictured from the left:  Shilpa Murthy (Olentangy Liberty High School), Sophia Halter (Olentangy High School), Achal Fernando-Peiris (Mt. Vernon High School), Srinath Seshadri (Village Academy), and Madeline Fuller (Village Academy).  All are juniors, with the exception of Srinath, who is a freshman.