Thursday, May 26, 2011

ROP biotechnology students continue their winning ways

The Contra Costa County ROP (Regional Occupational Program) congratulates two of its students, Blake Marggraff and Matthew Feddersen, who won the Best in Fair award at Contra Costa County Science and Engineering Fair (CCCSEF), held in early April, and then went on to present their science project to a robust international judging team last week in Los Angeles, at the Intel® International Science and Engineering Fair® 2011.  In Los Angeles, the high school seniors, Marggraff and Feddersen, received the Intel ISEF Best of Category Award, Medicine and Health Sciences ($5,000.00); First Place Grand Award, Medicine and Health Sciences ($3,000.00); and the top prize, First Place-The Gordon E. Moore Award ($75,000.00) for their project: Simulated Treatment of Cancer with Photoelectric Effect-Produced Secondary Radiation.

Matthew Feddersen and Blake Marggraff
During this school year, Marggraff and Feddersen have been attending ROP’s Accelerated Biotechnology and Research course, taught by Jay Chugh, at Acalanes High School.  Chugh, encourages all of his students to submit projects to the Contra Costa Fair. Students must go through and win a regional Intel affiliated science fair before being submitted for international competition.  During the same week he was in Los Angeles, Marggraff was also one of the 36 recipients of the Contra Costa County ROP Students of Excellence Awards.  “This is a perfect example of how quality ROP classes can impact students’ lives and their communities,” said Sally Savage, principal, Student Programs.

"We are proud of these young scientists' accomplishments!  They have stimulated a flurry of attention at the international fair, where more than 40 countries compete," said April Treece, CCCSEF director.

The Contra Costa County ROP serves 11,000 students with classes in 33 high schools throughout Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Currently, there are 361 state-of-the-art career-development classes in this program.  ROP focuses on career preparation, hands-on experience, and academic excellence to prepare students for success in college and future careers.  ROP provides students with the newest equipment, rigorous academic standards, and classes in emerging technologies.   All of the ROP classes and programs are directed by and funded through the Contra Costa County Office of Education.  For more information about ROP classes, visit their website.

The CCCSEF was held on March 31, April 1 and 2, at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg.  Six high schools and eight middle schools submitted 120 projects and engaged more than 140 students in this year’s competition.
At the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair:  
Matt on the far left, Blake right next to him
The County Science and Engineering Fair competition would not be possible, nor would the two students be able to attend the international competition to share their innovative science without the contributions of the following sponsors: John Muir Health, Chevron, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Kaiser Permanente, The Dow Chemical Company, Eichleay Engineers, and GenOn Energy.