The Gatton Academy's News Archive
3 Gatton Academy Students Qualify for Prestigious International Fair
- Cheryl Kirby-Stokes
- Tuesday, March 16th, 2021
Three Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky students recently qualified for the world-renowned Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). Andrew Park (’22, South Oldham HS), Samirah Salifu (’21, Greenwood HS), and Jason Zhang (’21, Bowling Green HS) were among the five Best in Fair winners at the March 6 Louisville Regional Science and Engineering Fair (LRSEF), earning automatic passage to ISEF. The Louisville Regional Science and Engineering Fair is an annual science and engineering fair held in Louisville, Kentucky, where students in grades 6-12 from 52 Kentucky counties may enter to compete. This year’s fair was help virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Two other Gatton Academy students also earned regional awards at the LRSEF. These students are Ahmad Ateyeh (’21, Western Hills HS) and Sahil Krishnani (’22, duPont Manual High School).
Park, Salifu, and Zhang now advance to compete in the Regeneron ISEF in May. This year’s ISEF will take place virtually once again due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Individual awards from the LRSEF are as follows:
Ahmad Ateyeh – Earned first place in the Environmental Engineering category for his research, “Estimating the Effectiveness and Financial Practicality of Deploying a Space Mirror to Combat Climate Change.” He was mentored by Dr. Zbigniew Kabala of Duke University’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Ateyeh also received the Maryam’s Charity Award.
Sahil Krishnani – Earned first place in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines category for his research, “Developing Autonomous Drone Hardware and Software Using RPi and Python/SwiftUI.” He was mentored by Dr. Farhad Ashrafzadeh in the WKU Center for Energy Systems in the WKU School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Krishnani also received the US Air Force Achievement Award.
Andrew Park – Earned first place in the Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design category and was chosen as one of five GE Best of Fair winners for his research, “An Algorithm to Estimate Lithium-Ion Battery Lifetime.” He was mentored by Dr. Sam Park of the University of Louisville’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Park also received the Yale Science and Engineering Association Award.
Samirah Salifu – Earned first place in the Microbiology category and was chosen as one of five GE Best of Fair winners for her research, “The Discovery, Analyzation, and Characterization of Novel Mycobacteriophage PetiteSangsue.” She was mentored by Dr. Rodney King of WKU’s Department of Biology. Salifu also received the Office of Naval Research Award.
Jason Zhang – Earned first place in the Chemistry category and was chosen as one of five GE Best of Fair winners for his research, “Novel Synthesis of Important Pharmaceutical Compounds using Visible Light and a Photocatalyst.” He was mentored by Dr. Yongming Deng formerly of WKU’s Department of Chemistry and now at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. Zhang also received the American Chemical Society Award, the GE Asian Pacific American Forum Clear Thinker Award, and the Office of Naval Research Award.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential two-year program for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to Jay Mathews’ list of top-performing schools with elite students, marking the eleventh consecutive appearance.