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Catholic High School student is ‘out of this world’ at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair

May 22, 2013 (Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk) - Assumption College School, grade 11 student, Sarah Wu earned 1st place in the Sheikh Zayed Junior Scientist category and 2nd place in the Grand Award (Medicine) category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (IISEF) held in Phoenix, Arizona last week. Her project, “Colorimetric Detection of Plasmodium Falciparum via Aptasensor Technology,” earned her a total of $4,000 and the unique opportunity of having an asteroid named after her as part of the ‘Ceres’ project.

Sarah’s journey began with a challenge by Sanofi BioGENEius to Canadian students. The ‘challenge’ asked "how will you change the world?" The competition encouraged high school students to pursue research goals and dreams, and paired entrants with university scholars who acted as mentors. Sarah's mentor was Dr. Latulippe from McMaster University. The project was inspired when Sarah visited Kenya last summer as a participant on the ‘Feed the Children’ social justice trip where she saw, first hand, the results of malaria. Sarah wanted to investigate the possibility of ‘simple, quick and early detection’ of the disease in order to lessen the potentially devastating results. Sarah’s design was a diagnostic tool that could be used in areas where there is little access to medical technologies. At that competition, Sarah won the Commercial award (research most likely to go commercial) and 2nd overall in the region.

The next step in Sarah’s journey came when she entered her project into the Bay Area Science and Engineering Fair (BASEF 2013) on March 23, 2013 at Hillfield-Strathallen College. Sarah claimed first prize and an all-expense-paid trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona where she won in two different categories and earned the distinction of having an asteroid named after her.

Photo Cutline:  Sarah Wu of Brantford (Grade 11, Assumption College School, Brantford) displays her award winning “Colorimetric Detection of Plasmodium Falciparum via Aptasensor Technology” project.

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Krista Karkut| Teacher
Assumption College School | Brantford
kkarkut@bhncdsb.ca | 519-751-2030

Greg Picone | Principal
Assumption College School | Brantford
gpicone@bhncdsb.ca | 519-751-2030