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Holt Student Takes Prize at Science and Engineering Fair

Savannah Est's project on solar cells won third place at the international fair in Pennsylvania.

(The following is a press release issued by the .)

student Savannah Est continues to bring home awards for her ambitious research project, and this time it was on an international stage!

Savannah took Third Place in the Energy and Transportation category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held May 13-18 in Pittsburg, PA. More than 1500 high school finalists from across the globe competed for scholarship money through their research projects.

Savannah’s project, “Optimization of Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells” has netted her $7,000 in prize money over the last five months. Savannah developed the project beginning last fall while working with Dr. Terry Woodford-Thomas of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis, as well as under the advisement of her Independent Science Research Teacher at Holt, Jennifer Berendzen.

“My ultimate goal for the project was to make dye-sensitized solar cells able to be a competitive fuel source with fossil fuels in the future,” explained Savannah, who used blackberries to increase production in the cells. “There is much more work needed to accomplish this, but I made a small advancement and each step counts.”

Savannah added that the experience of being at an international event meeting other young people with similar interests from all over the world was an award in itself. “Winning (third place) was just icing on the cake!” Savannah hopes to study chemical or bioengineering in college.

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