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two student scientists in blazers
student scientist stands in front of project with medal
student scientist stands in front of project
Student Scientists Excel at International Science and Engineering Fair

Bolles student scientists Riya Kar ’24 and Sarah Park ’25 competed in the prestigious Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) May 13-19 in Dallas, Texas, accompanied by upper school biology teacher Dr. Kathryn Halloran.

According to organizers, the ISEF is the largest science competition for high school students worldwide. The esteemed program, organized by the Society for Science, is designed to honor and showcase the world’s most exceptional scientists and engineers. More than 1,700 students from 68 countries competed in this year’s fair.

After a rigorous judging process, Park’s project, “SparkCare+: Personal Music Therapy for Relaxation and Energizing Using a Mobile and AI Approach,” won third place in the Grand Awards for her category, earning $1,000 in scholarship funds. Park is the first student in School history to win a bid to ISEF two years in a row.

Kar’s project, “The Role of VEGF-B and NRP-1 Axis in Regulating Mitochondrial Homeostasis in Ischemic Heart Disease,” earned a special award in the form of a tuition scholarship to the University of Arizona at $10,000 per year and renewable for all four years. Kar is the first Bolles student to win an ISEF special award.

Both Kar and Park earned bids to ISEF through their remarkable performances on the regional and state levels. At the regional competition, Kar’s project won first place in the category of Zoology and a Johnson & Johnson Outstanding Research Award, while Park brought home first place in the category of Behavioral and Social Science as well as several other recognitions.

At the state level, the pair competed alongside fellow Bulldog Sara Wasserman ’24 in Lakeland, Florida, with Bolles science teacher Brad Bullington accompanying the group. Kar won third place for her project in the Animal Sciences category and Park took home second in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category. Wasserman earned an Honorable Mention in the Biomedical and Health Sciences category and a special award from The Society for In Vitro Biology for her project, “Effect of Anti-Inflammatories on the Growth and Treatment of Breast Cancer Cells.”

Congratulations to these accomplished student scientists! #BollesInnovates #BulldogProud