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Communication Associate: Public Relations | Lori Melton | | (218) 726-8830

July 7, 2014
Penelope Morton | Associate Dean | Swenson College of Science and Engineering | 218 726-6982 |
Lori Melton | Communication Associate | External Affairs | 218 726-8830 |

UMD Faculty Mentor Local Students Attending Intel ISEF

DULUTH, MN – Faculty from the University of Minnesota Duluth were mentors and advisors to nine area students who attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Los Angeles, Calif. The Intel ISEF is the world–s largest international pre-college science competition, providing an annual forum for more than 1,700 high school students from over 70 countries, regions, and territories to showcase their independent research and compete for about $5 million in awards in 17 categories.

Representing the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and the Northeast Minnesota Regional Science Fair were Jada Johnson, Madison Pallin, Adrianna Pollak, and Trentin Russell.

Johnson and Russell, Cloquet freshmen, were given special assistance from UMD Physics Professor Alec Habig and his graduate student Kyle Tomsen.

Madison Pallin, a Cloquet junior, was given advice and lab space from UMD Geology Associate Professor Karen Gran and her graduate student Pichawut Manopkawee. Deanna Ericson, education coordinator of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, provided Pallin with specialized water sampling equipment.

Pollak, a Cloquet senior, and her project, The use of quantitative PCR to determine the impact of zygosity (hemizygotes vs. homozygotes) on the fitness and impact in the wild of transgenic fluorescent zebrafish, received professional assistance and guidance from UMD biology Associate Professor Jennifer Liang and scientists Michael Schoeneberger and Jim Bjork.

Also, advancing as Intel ISEF finalists from the Northeast Minnesota Regional Science fair were Taylor Leyrer, Lauren Loeb, Crystal Moynan and Christine Neumann, all Cloquet sophomores, and Tim Renier, from Duluth East High School. Renier was mentored by Robin Churchill, from Holy Rosary, with special assistance from Professor James Boulger of the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth. These students attended the fair with science teacher mentor Dr. Cynthia Welsh, Scott Welsh, Kris Fossum, and Dr. Hugh Renier.

Leyrer and Loeb presented their poster Is there a correlation between knowledge of personality types and how well different personality types work together over time? Loeb and Leyrer were acknowledged with a special award certificate for the use of statistics. They were given extra assistance from Associate Professor Julia Williams, UMD Department of Education, and Professor Robert Lloyd, UMD Department of Psychology.

Neumann and Moynan–s project, What effect does gender, tone, and sound location have on the response behavior of Neogobius melanostomus (Round Gobies), and the possibility of future trapping of this invasive species, was one of five first place projects to receive $1,000 each and a plaque. The award was presented by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation for excellence in the fields of food animal health, animal health, public health, comparative medicine, and biomedical research. Moynan and Neumann were given professional assistance from Brooke Vetter, a UMD biology graduate student working on her PhD, and Professor Robert Lloyd, UMD Department of Psychology.

Renier–s project, Hand Hygiene Gone Viral: A study of student involvement in a social media campaign as a method of bringing hand hygiene to the masses, received a fourth place Grand Award. Renier was also awarded the American Psychological Association second place award and received a certificate, $1,000, and a one-year student affiliate membership to APA.

Attendance to Intel ISEF was supported by Cloquet Public Schools, with project support from the Cloquet Educational Foundation. Further project support was provided by the Minnesota Power Foundation, along with the Northeast Minnesota Region and American Indian Science & Engineering Fair and its major sponsors, Minnesota Power Foundation, UMD Swenson College of Science and Engineering, Carlsen Orthodontics, American Chemical Society—Lake Superior Section, Rotary Club # 25 of Duluth, and Donneray Consulting. American Indian students' travel was sponsored by the National Science Foundation through the Manomin Project (University of Minnesota). Help was also provided by Holly Pellerin and Dr. Diana Dalbotten, diversity director of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics; Dr. Emi Eito, U of M Twin Cities Geology professor; and Andrew Wold, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.

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