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Kern Science Fair students make it to International Science Fair

Posted at 10:37 PM, Mar 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 11:36:34-04

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — The 33rd Annual Regional Science Fair awards were announced Thursday night for middle and high school students, and two projects qualified to move on to the "Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair."

This is the first year our regional fair is associated with the international fair. Only 1,000 students worldwide earn the right to compete at ISEF for nearly five million dollars in awards and scholarships.

This year's Kern County ISEF representatives are Ishaan Brar from Stockdale High School for his revolutionary catheter and Joseph Cestone and Kevindeep Dhesi from Ridgeview High School for their compression algorithm.

"I think we have the potential to outperform our competitors with the most common algorithms 100% of the time. And I believe moving forward, by changing some of the coding or just making some improvements, as we go, I think we can seriously take on the leading competitors," said Kevindeep.

"It was great that they did actually hold a virtual science fair. With our project, being related to computer sciences, it was a little bit like 'oh, we're in our domain right here!' but yeah it was definitely a little bit of a challenge to get our point across on zoom, but it was fine," said Joseph. "Um, yeah we gotta represent our school and kern county, so that's very exciting."

"What's great about ISEF is it's a complete experience, not only just a competition. And so even though it's set in a virtual atmosphere this year, not whereas normally you'd be traveling to go to the competition. What's so great is you're still continuing that experience, so you're not only able to get the judging, where I think you get up to 12 judges, which is really insane especially because they're all experts in your field, so you know you're going to get the best feedback and the best questions for your inventions or your scientific research but at the same time too, you're also going to get to hear and go to presentations and talks by esteemed professionals in the field, for example, Nobel Prize Laureates or Fortune 500 CEOs who are in our position. Not only are they former scientists or current scientists, but many of them actually competed at the International Science and Engineering Fair. So they get to talk about their experience in the competition and how it really shaped their future path, which creates a tremendous learning opportunity for those who are able to go to the event," said Ishaan.

Hear more about these projects in this weekend's Science Sunday segment as we learn more about what makes these students some of the most talented teen scientists in the country.