Louisiana Student Scientists Compete at Louisiana Science & Engineering Fair

Louisiana Science Fair

Ashini Modi, of Shreveport, La.; Reilly Fastring, of Slidell, La.; and Matthew Willis, of Shreveport, La., were the overall winners at the 2018 Louisiana Science & Engineering Fair, held at the LSU Student Union. Baton Rouge’s St. Joseph’s Academy and Glasgow Middle School received top school awards.Photo: LSU Continueing Education

BATON ROUGE – More than 500 exceptional middle school and high school students competed in the 2018 Louisiana Science & Engineering Fair, or LSEF, held March 20–21 at LSU’s Student Union.

Overall winners in the junior division, grades 6-8, were Ashini Modi, who attends Caddo Parish Middle Magnet in Shreveport, La., and Reilly Fastring, who attends Boyet Junior High School in Slidell, La. Modi won first place in the physics and astronomy category for her project, “Photometric Detection of Extra Solar Planetary Transits Across Sun-Like Stars.” Fastring won second place, also in physics and astronomy, with his project, “Roll with It.” Fastring’s and Modi’s projects were each recognized with Broadcom Masters nominations, and each received special awards from the U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force.

The overall winner in the senior division, grades 9-12, was Matthew Willis of Caddo Parish Magnet High School in Shreveport, La. His project in the microbiology category was titled “Is Alternate Sigma Factor H (SigH) Essential for the Mycobacterium marinum response to Low-Sheared Modeled Microgravity (LSMMG)?” Willis’s project was also recognized with a Naval Science special award.

LSEF will support six students with their award-winning projects to travel to Pittsburgh, Pa., for the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair, May 13-18. In addition, 10 ISEF-affiliated Louisiana regions will send additional competitors to the international competition, for a total of 22 Louisiana representatives.

Top school awards were given based on cumulative project scores. St. Joseph’s Academy earned the top school award for the senior division, and Glasgow Middle School won the top school award for the junior division. Both schools are in Baton Rouge, La.

The Louisiana Science & Engineering Fair consists of students from middle and high schools in 12 regions, representing all parts of the state. Students qualify to participate in the statewide competition by earning top awards in school-level and regional fairs.

LSEF projects are entered in one of 22 categories, and the quality of the research is evaluated by qualified scientists and professionals from around the state, including LSU faculty members. First place through fourth place awards are made in each category, and then the first-place winning projects are ranked again to determine the top overall projects.

Students also compete for special awards given by professional organizations and honor societies. For a complete list of category winners and special award winners, visit LSU Continuing Education’s website at www.outreach.lsu.edu/lsef.

The 2018 Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair was sponsored by LSU Continuing Education, the Gulf South Rotating Machinery Symposium, LSU College of Engineering, LSU College of Science, LSU College of Agriculture and the Baton Rouge Bone & Joint Clinic.

About LSU Continuing Education
LSU Continuing Education acts as a leading university provider of educational outreach and engagement to help people achieve their goals and improve their quality of life, their organizations and their communities. Visit www.outreach.lsu.edu for more information. Follow LSU Continuing Education on Twitter @LSUCE.






Contact Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations