Local Students Attend International Science and Engineering Fair

Santa Cruz COE Science Coordinator Heather Wygant was thrilled to lead a team of students to Dallas, Texas, last week to attend the 2023 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF).

A program of the Society for Science, ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Every year, students participate in science fairs around the globe, with about 1,800 finalists from dozens of nations earning an invitation to ISEF.

Santa Cruz County finalists Jack Driscoll-Natale (junior, Pacific Collegiate School) and Hazel Campbell (freshman, Pacific Collegiate School) presented projects at ISEF, while PCS 8th graders Amelie Pan and Quincy Heady attended as observers, accompanied and supported by Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo Lead Judge Miguel Aznar. All four students were top winners in their categories at the 2023 Santa Cruz County STEAM Expo.

Driscoll-Natale was awarded an Arizona State University ISEF Scholarship valued up to $52,000 for his project, Low-Cost Solar Powered Water Quality Monitoring Device With 24/7 Uploading to Public Access Website. The scholarship is part of more than $9 million in scholarships and awards won by high school scientists at the fair.

The students met with peers from around the world, including Mexico, Brazil, Australia and Zimbabwe. As the group traveled back to Santa Cruz, the students shared that it was inspiring, and a lot of fun, to be around the top high school scientists and engineers from around the world.

“To me it kind of felt like, back to to the magic you feel as a kid – it’s like, oh you can do anything,” shared Driscoll-Natale. “And that’s kind of true. You can go on and solve any problem, with any resources that you have, if you just know how.”