Akash Rathod, 18, a senior at Okemos High School, and Neehal Tumma, 17, a senior at Port Huron Northern High School, both earned 4th Place honors in their respective disciplines at the 2019 International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Phoenix, Arizona.
Akash placed 4th in the Environmental Engineering division. His project, Using Raw Bamboo Waste to Sustainably Purify Water, also earned a Special Award for use of Science for Development from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Akash earned cash prizes totaling more than $2,000 for his achievements.
Neehal earned a 4th place award in Microbiology for his project, Identifying Novel Mechanisms of Quorum Sensing Receptor Protein RpfR: Relevance to the BDSF Quorum Sensing Signaling Pathway. This marked Neehal’s fourth trip to ISEF and his third consecutive time as a Top-5 finisher.
ISEF hosted more than 1,800 students from 80 countries or regions, with more than 1,400 projects across 22 different disciplines.
Both competitors earned their trip to Phoenix by being top Senior Division finishers at the 2019 Flint Regional Science Fair.