AMES, Iowa – Two Iowa teens received awards at the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, held May 8-13 in Atlanta, Georgia. The world’s largest global high school competition featured 1,750 young scientists representing 49 states and 63 countries, regions and territories across the world.
Ten finalists and five observers from Iowa competed at the event. These youth were chosen based on their outstanding STEM research at either the Eastern or Western regional fairs, or at the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa organized by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach 4-H Youth Development.
Amara Orth, 17, of Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, received a first-place special award from the Acoustical Association and a $1,500 scholarship for her project titled, “Secret Sounds of Bees: Analysis of Honey Bee Vibroacoustics using Hidden Markov Models.” She also placed third in the animal sciences category and received a $1,000 scholarship. Amara plans to the attend Sanford University in California next year to major in Earth systems.
Elizabeth (Libby) Knipper, 17, of Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville, received fourth place in the material sciences category and received a $500 scholarship for her project titled, “Mechanical Properties of Antimicrobial Starch-Based Plastic Food Storage Films Phase II.” Libby is a junior this year.
“These exceptionally talented Regeneron ISEF finalists are some of the brightest minds from around the world and our greatest hope for addressing global challenges in the future,” said Dr. George D. Yancopoulos, co-founder, president and chief scientific officer of Regeneron. “Science is critical to the survival of our society, and these finalists have limitless potential to make a positive impact on the world. I congratulate them for their hard work and am eager to see what they achieve in their scientific journeys.”
For the first time since 2019, ISEF finalists competed in person. More than half of the finalists gathered in Atlanta at the Georgia World Congress Center and the remaining finalists participated virtually.
ISEF alumni have gone on to have world-changing careers in science and engineering and earn some of the most esteemed honors, including National Medal of Science recipients, MacArthur Foundation Fellows, National Academy of Sciences Members and National Academy of Engineering Inductees.
For more information on ISEF or SSTFI, please visit https://www.extension.iastate.edu/4h/ or contact your Iowa State University Extension and Outreach county office.
Amara Orth, of Lewis Central High School, Council Bluffs, received a first-place special award from the Acoustical Association.
Elizabeth (Libby) Knipper, of Beckman Catholic High School in Dyersville, received fourth place in the material sciences category.