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Science Fair Highlights The Best

The South Coast Botanic Garden hosts the annual District Science Fair last week.
Up on the Hill, Peninsula and Palos Verdes high school students dedicate their time to both their studies and extracurricular activities, ranging from sports to school competitions.

One event in particular took place at the South Bay Botanical Garden on Feb. 23; the annual Palos Verdes Peninsula Science and Engineering Fair (PVPSEF).
This yearly event features the work of some of the best science research students in Palos Verdes, with the 13 finalists advancing into the next level of competition.
With Peninsulas High science research teacher Melissa Grace Klose as support and guidance, these remarkable students have shown insight into the science field.
sc.100Competition this year was centered on the following categories: Animal Science, Behavioral Science, Biochemistry, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Science, Medical, Microbiology, and Physics.
Kevin Sun, Yeji Allyson Ee, Albert Tan, Suraj Anand, Rei Landsberger, and Alisa Hathaway placed first in Behavioral Science, Botany, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, and Physics.
The next competition, the L.A. County Science Fair, will be held in Pasadena March 22-24.
“It was amazing to see the work I put in throughout the past year paying off at the Science Fair, and I feel really lucky to have had this experience,” said sophomore Yeji Cho.
At the fair, Cho placed first in the Botany category. Botany is a relation to plant sciences, including plant physiology, ecology, and other fields in this area.
Considering this was Cho’s first year in science research in high school and having little experience in botany, she did remarkably well in the competition.
According to Cho, her project was on “testing the effect of carbon sources on the pH fluctuations caused by the growth of a marine microalgae species called Nannochloropsis Oculata.” The project experience took nearly a year to plan and research.
Anand, said, “The purpose of my project was to attempt to reduce the flaws of current hearing aids by increasing speech intelligibility and suppressing sound lateral to the wearer. I wanted to provide insight on why [some] people do not wear their hearing aids.”
Anand is another talented sophomore finalist who placed first in the Computer Science Division. His project was dedicated to developing a smarter hearing aid with artificial intelligence (A.I.) and beamforming, which is a technology that uses multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) transmitters and receivers.
Anand has long been interested in the computer science field, taking AP and Advanced Computer Science classes online and other classes relating to this subject.
Cho said, “From this project, I have really learned a lot about the time and dedication it takes to carry out even the simplest of experiments.
“I have found that passion and hard work really show in the end product, and I think it is very important that I was able to find a topic I was genuinely interested in.”
Cho is planning to pursue biology as part of her future occupation and is not done yet with the science field.
This fair was just the beginning of her journey in science, and this experiment in particular boosted her confidence in accomplishing her goals in this area.
“I have learned more intricate aspects of machine learning and how to collect and analyze data [from this project],” Anand said. “I also enjoyed learning about the physiology of the ear and mimicking it with neural networks.”
Anand, like Cho, is hoping to contribute to the science field later on. He is planning on applying computer science to the medical field and make a difference through technology and scientific knowledge. From this project, Anand was able to work with different high-technology equipment and was able to develop algorithms for a device used and depended on in the real world.
With the next fair right around the corner, these 13 contestants are ready to give it their all at the next scientific showdown.

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