Since 1999, Dr. Nelson Ying — local scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist — has partnered with Orlando Science Center to celebrate the exemplary achievements of local science students through the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition. Beginning April 26 and ending with a finalist luncheon on April 28, high school students from across Central Florida will present their groundbreaking scientific research that has the potential to solve some of humanity’s most pressing issues.
To compete in the Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition, each entrant must perform a research project that has the ultimate goal of benefiting humanity. Projects are presented to a distinguished panel of judges including current and retired engineers, scientists, educators, and Dr. Ying himself.
This science competition has been a part of Orlando Science Center for 21 years, and along with Dr. Ying, is thrilled to be able give these future innovators a platform to showcase their talents. The winner of the competition will receive $5,000 for their hard work, $1,000 for their school and $1,000 for their teacher or mentor. Previous winners have gone on to continue their research at top universities and even work at NASA.
From cyberbullying solutions, to saving Florida’s nine-billion dollar citrus industry, these are the finalists of the 2019 Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition
Kyle Bramblett is a junior at Titusville High School. His passion for swimming, fishing and kayaking has inspired him to dedicate his life to saving marine ecosystems through environmental engineering. Kyle will be presenting his groundbreaking research on designing an artificial structure to house a calcite media that dissolves over an extended period of time. Scientists can use this design to increase oyster populations and improve calcium and carbonate levels in the water.
Laboni Santra, a sophomore at Oviedo High School, has been dedicated to resolving the phloem-restricted bacterial disease of citrus greening since middle school. Her groundbreaking work has led her to success in the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair and a state bid to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. She will be presenting the 3D-printed novel microneedle patch she designed to directly deliver therapeutics to phloem to resolve citrus greening.
Kishen Mitra is a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School. When he’s not carrying out his duties as founder of his school’s Engineering Club, performing with local orchestras and volunteering at the Space Coast FabLab, Kishen is pursuing his dream to enter the field of cardio-oncology. He will be presenting cutting-edge research on developing an organ-on-a-chip system that works as a risk prediction tool for assessing damage during radiation therapy on patients.
Alex Carnes has been passionate about STEM since he was a child. After pursuing projects in hydroponics and post-athletic evaluation in middle school, Alex’s love for computer programming and his desire improve the world led him to develop an app to curb cyberbullying and adolescent suicide. He will be showcasing his innovative app that would allow parents to non-intrusively monitor their child's social media accounts for cyberbullying.
Pooja Shah is a junior at West Shore Junior/Senior High School. In addition to being a part of a plant physiology lab at Florida Institute of Technology, Pooja also plays violin, partakes in track and basketball and coaches a special needs basketball team. She is presenting her innovative quorum sensing model in green algae to help researchers develop solutions to algae blooms, coral reef disease and threats to human health.