For Immediate Release – May 20, 2015
Contact: Barry Brown / Communications and Public Relations Officer 831.784.4245
Salinas High School Student Wins at State Science Fair
Two Other Top Finishers from Monterey County
Salinas, CA –Kapil Sinha, a junior at Salinas High School, was awarded first place for his plant biology project entitled, “Characterization and Utility of Resistance Sources Against Resistance-Breaking Rhizomania in Sugar Beet,” at the
64th annual California State Science Fair, held May 18-19 at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Sinha’s project examined factors related to increasing a plant’s resistance to Rhizomania, a disease that poses a major threat to sugar beet production worldwide.
Sinha designed and conducted the experiment himself, with assistance from researchers at the U.S. Agricultural
Research Station in Salinas.
“I want to thank Dr. Kelley Richardson and Dr. William Wintermantel for being my mentors for this project. They permitted me to use USDA equipment, and taught me the basic laboratory procedures,” said Sinha.
The Science Fair drew 968 participants from 425 schools throughout the state. Prizes were awarded to individual and team projects in 22 categories. Additional cash awards totaled $50,000. In addition to first place state honors, Sinha received a cash award from the Center for Plant Cell Biology (CEPCEB) at the University of California, Riverside. Earlier this month, Sinha’s project took third place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh, PA.
Two other students from Monterey County were top finishers at the California State Science Fair:
• Kyle Groves, a senior at Salinas High School, received a second place award for his physics & astronomy project entitled, “Advanced Warning for Solar Flares: Utilizing Sudden Ionospheric Disturbances to Detect and Measure Solar Flares.”
• Rohan Bhushan, a freshman from Monterey High School, took third place in the Microbiology (General)
classification for his project, “Gravitactic Effects of Copper Pollution on Glucose Metabolism in Euglena gracilis.”
The California State Science Fair was established in 1952, and is the final science fair of the academic year for K-12 students in California.