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Virginia State Science & Engineering Fair

VSSEF - April 9, 2022


The Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, founded in 1985, started out with a little more than 100 projects and has grown considerably to include participants from across the Commonwealth.

This year we expect between 200 and 250 exhibits to participate in the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair from students who presented at their local and regional fairs. The regional fairs contributing to this year's VSSEF are:

  • Blue Ridge Highlands Regional Science Fair
  • Central Virginia Regional Science Fair
  • Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair
  • Loudoun County Science and Engineering Fair
  • Northern Virginia Science & Engineering Fair
  • Prince William-Manassas Regional Science Fair
  • Shenandoah Valley Regional Science Fair
  • Tidewater Science and Engineering Fair
  • Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair
  • Western Virginia Regional Science Fair

Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair 2022 - Winners and Awards

ISEF Participants

Name Project ID Title Category Regional Fair
Tony Bright, Hamza Lateef, Gabriel Ralston VSSEF-BMHS-068 Concussion Recovery in Youth Optimized using a Comprehensive App-based Program (CRYO CAP) Biomedical and Health Sciences Prince William-Manassas
Suraj Vaddi VSSEF-EAEV-081 Tar Print: Novel Convolutional Remote Sensing Techniques to Quantify Urbanization and Study Water Quality Earth Environmental Sciences Fairfax
Omar Abul-Hassan VSSEF-TMED-178 A Helmholtzian Deep Learning Approach to Glomeruli Segmentation using Energy-based Models Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Translational Medical Tidewater
Colin Berry VSSEF-BEHA-072 Bringing Truth into Fake News: The Diffusion of Fact-Checked Fake Stories on Twitter Behavioral and Social Sciences NOVA
Michelle Hu VSSEF-ROBO-180 Deepfake Detection Using Deep Learning Robotics, Intelligent Machines, and Systems Software Tidewater

Grand Award Winners


Tony Bright, Hamza Lateef, Gabriel Ralston

VSSEF-BMHS-068

Concussion Recovery in Youth Optimized using a Comprehensive App-based Program (CRYO CAP)


Suraj Vaddi

VSSEF-EAEV-081

Tar Print: Novel Convolutional Remote Sensing Techniques to Quantify Urbanization and Study Water Quality


Omar Abul-Hassan

VSSEF-TMED-178

A Helmholtzian Deep Learning Approach to Glomeruli Segmentation using Energy-based Models

Category Winners


Animal Sciences (ANIM)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Rania Lateef VSSEF-ANIM-078 Dozing off with Drosophila: The effect of Circadian Dysfunction and Sleep Deprivation on Mortality, Mood, and Addiction in Fruit Flies
Second Place Colin Surabian VSSEF-ANIM-104 The Effect of Substrate Type on Black Soldier Fly Larvae Mass
Third Place Clara Carter VSSEF-ANIM-039 The Effect of Various Concentrations of Methylparaben on the Regeneration Rate of Planaria
Honorable Mention Abhinav Karri VSSEF-ANIM-076 Col-IV: An Indicator of Vascular Formation and Pericyte Recruitment

Behavioral and Social Sciences (BEHA)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Colin Berry VSSEF-BEHA-072 Bringing Truth into Fake News: The Diffusion of Fact-Checked Fake Stories on Twitter
Second Place Sara Elanchezhian VSSEF-BEHA-083 AI in School Safety: Using Neural Networks to Perform Threat Level Assessment for School Shootings via the Analysis of Psychosocial Attributes
Third Place Sohini Banerjee VSSEF-BEHA-145 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Biomarker Identification using Integrative Network Fusion and Deep Learning with Bayesian Hyperparameter Optimization
Honorable Mention Claire Chang, Olivia Chang VSSEF-BEHA-176 Flies on the Fly: A Novel Research on Thiamine as a Preventative Measure to Traumatic-Brain-Injury-Induced Locomotive Ability Loss

Biochemistry, Cellular and Molecular Biology (BCHM)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Jadesola Akinbi, Comfort Ohajunwa VSSEF-BCHM-218 A Study on Biofuel Production: Investigating Methods to Enhance Fermentation in the Production of Bioethanol
Second Place Eleanor Little VSSEF-BCHM-058 Circadian Rhythmicity of Cellular Healing
Third Place Tanish Jain VSSEF-BCHM-121 In Silico Prediction of Blood-Brain Barrier Permeability of Chemical Compounds through Molecular Feature Modeling
Honorable Mention Neha Jagasia VSSEF-BCHM-209 Impact of Polyethylenes on Dugesia tigrina Healing as a Model for Human Skin Aging and Healing

Biomedical and Health Sciences (BMHS)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Tony Bright, Hamza Lateef, Gabriel Ralston VSSEF-BMHS-068 Concussion Recovery in Youth Optimized using a Comprehensive App-based Program (CRYO CAP)
Second Place Jacqueline Hou VSSEF-BMHS-018 The Effects of Inflammatory Neutrophils on Endothelial Cell Integrity
Third Place Richa Misra VSSEF-BMHS-124 EasyWAQ: A Novel Approach to Quantification of Human Gait Using Wearable Accelerometers
Honorable Mention Ella Bryant, Christina Okenquist VSSEF-BMHS-098 The Effect of RNA Interference on the Apoptosis of Small Cell Lung Carcinoma

Biomedical Engineering (ENBM)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Rockwell Li VSSEF-ENBM-185 Swim Smart, Swim Fast - Development and Application of a Fitbit App for Swim Technique Study
Second Place Grace Huang VSSEF-ENBM-067 Bone segmentation from hip MRI by using local salient anatomy to guide deep learning-based object localization
Third Place Brock Duma VSSEF-ENBM-019 An Optimized Whitewater Helmet Prototype Designed Using a Newly Developed Helmet STAR Evaluation System and 3D Printing
Honorable Mention Dylan Mach VSSEF-ENBM-190 Engineering a Low-Cost and Efficacious Apparatus for Alleviating Finger Joint Pain in Arthritic Patients

Chemistry (CHEM)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Jodilee Irby VSSEF-CHEM-027 Influence of Fiber Reactive Dyes on the Ultraviolet Protection Factor of Cotton and Linen Fabrics
Second Place Leila Silva VSSEF-CHEM-062 The Effect of Natural Disinfectants on the Concentration of Volatile Organic Compounds
Third Place Georgia Honts VSSEF-CHEM-196 Effects of Sodium and Potassium Compounds on Explosive Force
Honorable Mention Keane Tao VSSEF-CHEM-179 Reagent-loaded Annulus-shaped Reactor on Filter Paper with Virtual Colorimeter for Onsite Detection of Chlorogenic Acid

Earth & Environmental Sciences (EAEV)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Suraj Vaddi VSSEF-EAEV-081 Tar Print: Novel Convolutional Remote Sensing Techniques to Quantify Urbanization and Study Water Quality
Second Place Brooke Bretney, Vaneeza Shoaid VSSEF-EAEV-152 NOVA WATERSHED WATER QUALITY PROJECT CONTINUATION
Third Place Jenna Cai VSSEF-EAEV-048 Assessing the Impacts of Rapid Climate Change on Arctic Soil Conditions by Combining Satellite and In Situ Measurements
Honorable Mention Mehreen Rahman, Kevin Sae-Tung VSSEF-EAEV-215 The Effect of Copper Sulfate on the Ability of Ulva lactuca to Prevent Critical Levels of Nutrients in Water

Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design (EGSD)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Zoe Benton VSSEF-EGSD-044 Fabrication of a Combination Darrieus Rotor and Helix Shape Hydroelectric Turbine for Irrigation
Second Place Shaunak Sinha VSSEF-EGSD-129 PAMN: A Novel Cooperative Modular Neural Network to Predict and Optimize Electrical Energy within Heaving Point Absorbers
Third Place Sofia Saucedo Sato VSSEF-EGSD-216 Effect of the Efficiency of Solar Conversion on the Output of Electrical Energy
Honorable Mention Gwyneth Liu VSSEF-EGSD-011 Novel Model of an Adaptive Wave Energy Converter with Spectral Analysis-based Sea State Classification

Engineering Technology: Statics and Dynamics (ETSD)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Hanako Patten VSSEF-ETSD-053 The Effect of Different Vanes on the Efficiency of a Water Wheel
Second Place Eugene Choi, Raffu Khondaker, Irfan Nafi VSSEF-ETSD-052 Decentralized Shared Intelligence of Autonomous Vehicles with Real-Time Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning
Third Place Micah Willis VSSEF-ETSD-036 Comparing Flexibility of Different Composites Used in Aerospace
Honorable Mention Justin Jose, Tina Jose VSSEF-ETSD-134 An Arm in Need from a Robot Indeed!

Environmental Engineering (ENEV)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Vinay Ayala VSSEF-ENEV-054 Developing a Low-cost Localized Flood Alert System to Prompt for Road Closures During Hazardous Conditions
Second Place Justin Pokrant VSSEF-ENEV-110 The Effect of Seawall Design on Flood Prevention
Third Place Emma Batty VSSEF-ENEV-082 Using Food Waste to Create Starch-Based Bioplastic
Honorable Mention Béla Williams VSSEF-ENEV-207 Effect of Biochar on Bioavailable Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Food Waste Compost

Mathematics (MATH)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Alvan Arulandu VSSEF-MATH-138 Parameter Identification and Agent-Based Modeling Approaches for Prediction and Data Visualization of COVID-19 Dynamics and Interventions
Second Place Lillian Sun VSSEF-MATH-064 De Novo Prediction of RNA-Protein Interactions for Discovery of Tissue-Specific Binding Sites and Study of RNA Gain-of-Function Diseases
Third Place Shoshana Elgart VSSEF-MATH-206 A New Approach to Image Stitching: Minimizing Distortion and Computational Costs
Honorable Mention Alice Fang, Lillian Lam VSSEF-MATH-189 Geospatial Derivation of Stellar Radii Via Asteroid Occultations from a Spacecraft

Microbiology (MCRO)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Gabriella LaCour, Alahna Moreno, Anisha Ramakrishnan VSSEF-MCRO-197 Creating Novel Bacteriophage Solutions as a Preventative Measure for Escherichia coli Biofilm Formation on Elastomer Biomaterials in Medically Relevant Settings In Vitro
Second Place Fiona Dreesbach VSSEF-MCRO-045 Changing the Martian Atmosphere: Examining Lichen's Effect on Oxygen Percentage in a Simulated Martian Atmosphere
Third Place Clare Flynn VSSEF-MCRO-056 SODIS Is Clean Water?
Honorable Mention Bethel Abebe, Christina Fernandez VSSEF-MCRO-198 Quantifying the Degradation and Adherence of Staphylococcus epidermidis' Biofilms When Exposed to Select Proteolytic Enzymes on Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces​

Physics and Astronomy (PHYS)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Orla Haggerty VSSEF-PHYS-088 Race to the "Fin"ish
Second Place Morgan Henshaw VSSEF-PHYS-075 Harmonic Analysis of the B-flat Clarinet
Third Place Rishav Sen VSSEF-PHYS-015 Classifying Stars in the GAIA Catalog Using Machine Learning
Honorable Mention Sam Watchman VSSEF-PHYS-092 Mapping the Milky Way: Observations of Galactic Structure from the 21 cm Hydrogen Line

Plant Sciences (PLNT)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Naman Agarwal VSSEF-PLNT-210 A Low-Cost Deep Learning Solution for Early Detection of Lettuce Stress in Indoor Farms
Second Place Katherine Cross, Sophia Schumaecker VSSEF-PLNT-093 Transient Genetic Transformation of Cuscuta Campestris Using Arginine-functionalized Nanohydroxyapatites as a Plasmid Delivery Vector
Third Place Abby Wyatt VSSEF-PLNT-049 The Effect of Invasive Species on Plants and Soil Microbes
Honorable Mention Daisy Maxwell VSSEF-PLNT-061 The Effect of Sunscreen on Elodea canadensis

Robotics, Intelligent Machines, and Systems Software (ROBO)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Michelle Hu VSSEF-ROBO-180 Deepfake Detection Using Deep Learning
Second Place Seoyoung Jun VSSEF-ROBO-117 Mind Beacon: A Portable Spatial Recognition Device for the Visually Impaired Using a 3D Depth Sensor and Custom Tactile Display
Third Place Raahi Chada VSSEF-ROBO-089 Combating Disease in Under-resourced Areas: Synthetic Degradation as a Method to Low-quality Image Classification
Honorable Mention William Savage, Alexander Shipley VSSEF-ROBO-070 Using Computer Vision and Augmented Reality to Utilize Pupil Movement as an Alternative to Traditional Tactile Input Systems

Computational Biology, Bioinformatics, and Translational Medical (TMED)

Name Project ID Title
First Place Omar Abul-Hassan VSSEF-TMED-178 A Helmholtzian Deep Learning Approach to Glomeruli Segmentation using Energy-based Models
Second Place Lynn Tao VSSEF-TMED-122 Early Breast Cancer Risk Detection: A Novel Framework Leveraging Polygenic Risk Scores and Machine Learning
Third Place Laasya Konidala VSSEF-TMED-008 A Novel Approach To Automated ROI Detection For Glioma Severity Prediction
Honorable Mention Rebecca Qiu VSSEF-TMED-066 A Precision Medicine Approach: In Silico Analysis of a Novel Anti-Tumor Peptide as a Future Targeted Therapy

Special Awards


American Meteorological Society

Harriet Shapiro VSSEF-EAEV-214 The Effect of Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategy on Surface and Atmospheric Temperature

American Psychological Association

Sohini Banerjee VSSEF-BEHA-145 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Biomarker Identification using Integrative Network Fusion and Deep Learning with Bayesian Hyperparameter Optimization

ASM Materials Education Foundation

Brock Duma VSSEF-ENBM-019 An Optimized Whitewater Helmet Prototype Designed Using a Newly Developed Helmet STAR Evaluation System and 3D Printing

Association for Women Geoscientists

Jenna Cai VSSEF-EAEV-048 Assessing the Impacts of Rapid Climate Change on Arctic Soil Conditions by Combining Satellite and In Situ Measurements

Leidos 2022 Young Virginia STEM Research Award

Thomas Chia VSSEF-TMED-043 i-Sight: Utilizing Semi-supervised Learning in Compound Neural Networks for a Holistic Ophthalmic Diagnosis

Leidos Award for Excellence in Applied Science

First Place Brett Wilson, Laasya Doppalapudi VSSEF-ENBM-200 Evaluating the viability of an asymmetric electrospun nanofiber composed of polycaprolactone, chitosan, and curcumin to promote chronic wound healing
Second Place Irfan Nafi, Raffu Khondaker, Eugene Choi VSSEF-ETSD-052 Decentralized Shared Intelligence of Autonomous Vehicles with Real-Time Multi-Agent Reinforcement Learning
Third Place Chloe Yan VSSEF-BMHS-071 Development of RNA Vaccines Targeting Alzheimer's Disease Using Single-Cell RNA Sequencing and Proteomic Analysis
Honorable Mention Jacqueline Hou VSSEF-BMHS-018 The Effects of Inflammatory Neutrophils on Endothelial Cell Integrity
Honorable Mention Richa Misra VSSEF-BMHS-124 EasyWAQ: A Novel Approach to Quantification of Human Gait Using Wearable Accelerometers
Honorable Mention William Savage, Alexander Shipley VSSEF-ROBO-070 Using Computer Vision and Augmented Reality to Utilize Pupil Movement as an Alternative to Traditional Tactile Input Systems

Leidos Award for Excellence in Computational Science

First Place Ron Nachum VSSEF-TMED-148 PANDwriting: An Accessible, High-Sensitivity Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Screening System Using Vision-Based Handwriting Kinematic Analysis and Machine Learning
Second Place Shoshana Elgart VSSEF-MATH-206 A New Approach to Image Stitching: Minimizing Distortion and Computational Costs
Third Place Lynn Tao VSSEF-TMED-122 Early Breast Cancer Risk Detection: A Novel Framework Leveraging Polygenic Risk Scores and Machine Learning
Honorable Mention Omar Abul-Hassan VSSEF-TMED-178 A Helmholtzian Deep Learning Approach to Glomeruli Segmentation using Energy-based Models
Honorable Mention Grace Huang VSSEF-ENBM-067 Bone segmentation from hip MRI by using local salient anatomy to guide deep learning-based object localization
Honorable Mention Rohit Prasanna VSSEF-PHYS-077 Real-Time Prediction of Solar Flares and Coronal Mass Ejections

Mark Licata Award for Biotechnology

First Place Malini Dharni VSSEF-BCHM-177 The Effect of Calcium Chloride on the Diameter of Blood Clots
Second Place Ron Nachum VSSEF-TMED-148 PANDwriting: An Accessible, High-Sensitivity Parkinson's and Alzheimer's Screening System Using Vision-Based Handwriting Kinematic Analysis and Machine Learning
Third Place Grace Huang VSSEF-ENBM-067 Bone segmentation from hip MRI by using local salient anatomy to guide deep learning-based object localization

Mu Alpha Theta

Shoshana Elgart VSSEF-MATH-206 A New Approach to Image Stitching: Minimizing Distortion and Computational Costs

NASA Earth System Science Award

Amrita Sahu VSSEF-PHYS-160 Calibrating Space PlasmA Diagnostic SuitE (SPADE) Data for Applications to the Characterization of Space Weather

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Vaneeza Shoaib, Brooke Bretney VSSEF-EAEV-152 NOVA Watershed Water Quality Project Continuation

Ricoh Sustainable Development Award

Béla Williams VSSEF-ENEV-207 Effect of Biochar on Bioavailable Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Food Waste Compost

Society of In Vitro Biology

Christina Fernandez, Bethel Abebe VSSEF-MCRO-198 Quantifying the Degradation and Adherence of Staphylococcus epidermidis' Biofilms When Exposed to Select Proteolytic Enzymes on Hydrophilic and Hydrophobic Surfaces​

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Science Champion

Kyle Rajapakse VSSEF-EAEV-012 Clear Water Doesn't Always Mean Clean Water: Detection of Water Contamination

U.S. Metric Association

Daisy Maxwell VSSEF-PLNT-061 The Effect of Sunscreen on Elodea canadensis

Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association

First Place Clare Flynn VSSEF-MCRO-056 SODIS Is Clean Water?
Second Place Dhruvi Patel VSSEF-EAEV-099 The Effect of Bioprinted Chlorella-Based Filtration Systems on Nitrate Concentration in Water

Third Place Kyle Rajapakse VSSEF-EAEV-012 Clear Water Doesn't Always Mean Clean Water: Detection of Water Contamination
Honorable Mention Hanako Patten VSSEF-ETSD-053 The Effect of Different Vanes on the Efficiency of a Water Wheel

Yale Science & Engineering Association

Hamza Lateef, Tony Bright, Gabriel Ralston VSSEF-BMHS-068 Concussion Recovery in Youth Optimized using a Comprehensive App-based Program (CRYO CAP)