The third time was the charm for Brevard County's Zachary Loeb, a senior at Viera High School, who took home the top prize at the 16th annual Dr. Ying Science Competition. It was his third year in the contest and his first time winning the award.

He was awarded a trophy, a $5,000 cash scholarship, as well as $1,000 awards for his science teacher and school.

See photos and video from the awards ceremony held at Fulton's Crab House at Downtown Disney on Sunday, April 27.

Photo Credit: Michael van Gelder

Loeb’s winning research was the continuation of a multi-year effort which focuses on contaminants in the water supply, specifically industrial hormones and naturally occurring hormones, that accumulate and cause reproductive problems for alligators, fish and people. He developed a way to remove those hormones from the water supply more affordably and more effectively. In fact, his method is 25 times more effective as a disinfectant than chlorine and much cheaper.

The remaining projects were Orange County’s Catherine Li from Lake Highland Preparatory School, who has developed a new method to synthesize nanoparticles especially designed for drug delivery applications, with an ultimate goal of cancer treatment; Seminole County’s Nikhil Patel of Oviedo High School, who has identified early indicators of cognitive impairment, for instance, the ability to predict the likelihood a person is going to develop Alzheimer’s Disease; Brevard County’s Alexandra Gabrielski of Viera High School, who has increased the efficiency of algae as a biofuel by reducing the cost of its production; and Seminole County’s Samuel Brenner of Seminole High School, who has designed a software package to analyze fractal and multifractal structures in stellar phenomena.

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