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Gwinnett students shine in science education

Several Gwinnett County Public Schools students were recently recognized for their science knowledge in several state-level, national and international competitions.

A Gwinnett student team earned the 2009 State Science Bowl Competition championship title, while several other students from across the county performed well during the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the Senior Division of the 2009 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair and the Junior Division of the 2009 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. The Gwinnett students, representing three different Gwinnett high schools and three middle schools, recently returned to their home schools with a number of trophies and scholarships.

Five students from Parkview High brought home the 2009 State Science Bowl Competition trophy. Team members Murat Johnson, Dipesh Patel, Timmy Philip, Siddhartha Deep Datta Roy and Josh Wong participated in the tournament-style academic competition designed to challenge and recognize students' knowledge in science and mathematics.

Created by the U.S. Department of Energy in 1991, the science bowl encourages high school students to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in these fields. Students answer questions in the categories of astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, earth science and general science, in both round robin and double-elimination formats. The Parkview High team qualified to represent Georgia during the national competition.

Two of four Gwinnett teams selected to compete in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Reno, Nev., earned honors. The students presented their scientific research, facing off against thousands of students from all corners of the world.

Mayank Tahilrahami of Peachtree Ridge High earned a second place award of $2,000 and will have an asteroid named in his honor by MIT. Parkview High's Courtney Reed placed fourth, receiving an award of $500. The team of Lizzy O'Connor and Jennifer Onyewuenyi of Collins Hill High also competed in the international fair.

More than 50 Gwinnett students participated in the 2009 Georgia Science and Engineering Fair. High school students competed in the Senior Division, while the Junior Division welcomed student-researched projects from middle schoolers. In the Senior Division, 15 teams and individual students received special awards, 10 placed second, while the following five students and their projects earned top awards as first-place winners:

· Rashmi Anand of Peachtree Ridge High - Behavioral Science;

· Ella Carr of Peachtree Ridge High - Physics;

· Ashley Hoffman of Collins Hill High - Environmental Management;

· Andrea Kuklenyik of Collins Hill High - Engineering;

· Emily Summerbell of Collins Hill High - Behavioral and Social Science.

Several Gwinnett middle school students earned top honors in the Junior Division as first-place winners, with one student bringing home the Grand Award.

· Cory Bhowmik of Trickum Middle - Grand Award Winner and first place in Engineering

· Arturo Diaz of J.P. McConnell Middle - Mathematics;

· Sam Gauspohl of Trickum Middle - Aeronautical Science; and

· Erika Ikizake of Shiloh Middle - Medicine and Health.

Heather Darenberg writes about education. Good News From Schools appears in the Sunday edition of the Gwinnett Daily Post. For more good news, visit www.gwinnettdailypost.com on Monday.