Dozens of Leander ISD teams and individuals exhibited projects at the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival held Feb. 22-23 at the Palmer Events Center in Austin.

Of the 45 students who placed at the fair, the 21 secondary students who received first or second place in their category qualified for the Texas Science and Engineering Fair (TXSEF) which will be held March 24-25 at the Texas A&M University Student Recreation Center in College Station. 

Vandegrift High School’s Caitlyn Garrett, and Vista Ridge High School’s Tiernan Lindauer, Rajvi Babaria and Halley Compuesto received Best of Fair awards for their projects.

Animal Sciences

Macsen Compuesto – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“Zinc as an Alternative to Caffeine for Simple Problem Solving in D. Melanogaster”

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Anushka Patel, Kavya Devani – Vista Ridge HS – Second Place
“The Effect of Socioeconomic Class on Altruistic Behavior”


Rajvi Babaria, Halley Compuesto – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“A Novel Approach to Treating Parkinson’s Disease with α-amino and N-methylated Amino Acids to Alleviate LRRK2 Gene Mutation Symptoms in C. elegans”

BioMedical Health Sciences and Engineering

Medha Pulluru – Vista Ridge HS – Second Place
“What is the Effect of Methamphetamine on the Blood Brain Barrier and its Relation to Cerebral Cavernous Malformation Symptoms as Determined Through a Novel Bioinformatics and Computational Chemistry Approach?”


Miles Massey – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“How Do Different After-Dye Treatments Effect how much Semi-Permanent Hair Dye Fades in the Pool?”

Tanuj Tekkale –  Vandegrift HS – Second Place
“Optimizing Functions of Simulated Polymer Photodegradation for Large-Scale Plastic Disposal”

Earth and Environmental Sciences

Samuel Li – Vandegrift HS – Second Place
“Predicting Hurricane Trajectories Using a Boosting Regression Model Using Past Storms to Analyze the Extent to which Climatic and Positional Factors Influence Hurricane Trajectory”

Energy: Sustainable Materials and Design

Om Bhatt – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“Maximizing Solar Power Production Using a Dual-Axis Solar Tracker”

Environmental Engineering

Ridhima Gupta – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“A Comprehensive and Practical Approach to Household Greywater Recycling”

Shaunak Pandey – Vandegrift HS – Second Place
“Pore-Scale Simulation of CO2 Migration in Rough-Walled Geologic Fractures through Volume of Fluid Method leveraging High-Performance Computing for Risk Assessment of Carbon Sequestration”


Caitlin Garrett – Vandegrift HS – First Place
“Improving Contemporary Mathematical Models of Metastatic Cancer To Predict Optimal Treatment: Analyzing Glycolysis, Treatment, and PACC Quiescence”

Sameeksha Jayaprakash, Rachel Reynolds – Vandegrift HS – Second Place
“Analyzing How an Individual’s Region of Ancestral Origin Affects the Correlation Between Face Proportions and Golden Ratios”


Broderick LaRusso – Canyon Ridge MS – Second Place
“Amount of Light’s Effect on Bacterial Growth”

Physics and Astronomy

Tyler Lynch – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“Amount of Soccer Ball Bounces with Different Amounts of Air Pressure”

Blake Browder – Vista Ridge HS – Second Place
“The Effect of Drag Created by Different Swim Attire on the Time the Swimmer Takes to Swim 100 Meters Using a Standard Freestyle Stroke.”

Plant Sciences

Joao Rotandaro – Canyon Ridge MS – Second Place
“How Does the pH of water affect the growth of a bean?”

Systems Software

Tiernan Lindauer – Vista Ridge HS – First Place
“REPNET: A Reproductive Training Architecture for Reinforcement Learning Neural Networks”

Translational Medical Sciences

Pranav Sarma – Vista Ridge HS – Second Place
“Developing a skin lesion classification model with deep convolutional neural network utilizing InceptionV3 and DenseNet201”

Elementary Ribbons

Liyana Qureshi – Westside Elementary – Second Place
“Testing Household Acids”

Wyatt Huard – Westside Elementary – Second Place
“Making Plasma With Grapes”

Colin Moore – Westside Elementary – First Place
“Storm Season Examining Changes in Hurricane Intensity”

Sophia Galvan – Westside Elementary – First Place
“Fruit and Vegetable Battery”

Royce Mouton – Westside Elementary – First Place
“The Effect of Different Drinks on Teeth”

Tai Klahorst – Westside Elementary – Second Place
“Cavities and Plaque: Which Toothpaste Cleans Best?”

Lily Shuler – Westside Elementary – Second Place
“Paper Towels”

Alison Martinez-Pasiminio, Anjali Deenadayalan – Westside Elementary – First Place
“Can Plants Grow with Different Types of Liquid?”

Emi Klahorst – Westside Elementary – First Place
“Water Temperature and Plants”

Katherine Garcia – Westside Elementary – First Place
“Water Filtration”

Selene Gladden – Westside Elementary – Third Place
“Solar System”

Liam Potts, Nathan Potts – Westside Elementary – Second Place
“Plastic from Potatoes

Nisa Karen, Aubriella Bledsoe – Westside Elementary – NS
“What Can Be Cleaned Using Toothpaste?”