Maine students capture awards at INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair

Bar Harbor, Maine – Meagan Currie and Harrison Pershing of Greely High School in Cumberland, Maine, each won awards at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 16 and 17.

Sophomore Currie and freshman Pershing attended the Fair because they had won second and third place, respectively, in the Maine State Science Fair in March at The Jackson Laboratory. Currie also won first place in the 2012 Fair.

In the Grand Awards presented today, Currie’s project, “Effects of environmental stressors on the filtration rates of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis,” won second place in the animal sciences division, which carries a prize of $1,500. Her project also won a special award of $500 on Thursday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Pershing won a fourth-place award of $500 in the physics and astronomy division of the Grand Awards. His project, “Geometric bore variations and their harmonic nuances in musical instruments,” also won a distinguished achievement award from the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, earning Pershing $2,000 and a trip to the organization’s international exposition and annual meeting in Houston this September.

The Jackson Laboratory took over coordination of the Maine State Science Fair in late 2010, revising the rules to conform to international standards so the winning students could qualify for the INTEL competition. Last year Currie and Sam Wood of Mount Ararat High School were the first Maine students to attend INTEL.

“This is a wonderful and important accomplishment," says Tom Litwin, Ph.D., Jackson vice president for education. "Meagan and Harrison are answering a national call for students to enter the science education pipeline, and they have done this with honors. We are delighted that The Jackson Laboratory was able to help them achieve this national recognition."

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs a total staff of more than 1,450. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.