2019 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair Results

The 2019 Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) was held in Phoenix, AZ, from May 12-17 at the Phoenix Convention Center. This year, 1,854 students from 80 countries, regions and territories from all over the world participated in the prestigious event. On Wednesday, the students spent the entire day being interviewed by judges who are experts in their respective fields. It is a long and arduous day, but the students from Contra Costa County did exceptionally well and have made the entire region proud.

See below for a highlight of the three projects selected from the Contra Costa County Science & Engineering Fair and the students who participated in this life-changing event. 

“Prevention of Oxidative Stress Induced Diseases through the Effects of Curcumin on Planarial Stem Cells and Regeneration”

Student: Sanjita Pamidimukkala, sophomore at Dougherty Valley High School
Adult sponsor: Tiffany Wu (teacher)

“Algal Bioplastics: Developing a Sustainable Cycle of Compostable and Water-Soluble Plastics by Repurposing Waste Products of Algal Biofuel Production”

Student: Melanie Quan, sophomore, Las Lomas High School
Adult sponsor: Denise Quan (parent)

“Real-Time Freespace Segmentation Using Deep Learning on Autonomous Robots for Detection of Negative Obstacles”

Student: Anish Singhani, junior at Monte Vista High School
Adult sponsor: Sharad Singhani (parent)

Background on the awards

There are two types of awards given to the winning students. The Special Awards are given by businesses or government agencies who are looking to recognize and reward student efforts in specific areas. The Category Awards are first place, second place, etc., in each category. Cash prizes also accompany these awards.

Here is a list of what our very bright and accomplished students from Contra Costa County were awarded.

Melanie Quan

Earth and Environmental Sciences Category
Second Place Award : $1,500 cash

US Air Force Research Laboratory: $750.00

NOAA, Second Place: $500


The Air Force Research Laboratory is a global technical enterprise, boasting some of the best and brightest leaders in the world. We are Revolutionary, Relevant, and Responsive to the Warfighter. We defend America by unleashing the unconquerable power of scientific and technical innovation. Our mission is leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the United States government agency with a mission of science, service, and stewardship. Its mission touches the lives of every American, protecting life and property and conserving and protecting natural resources. NOAA's "Taking the Pulse of the Planet" awards recognize outstanding projects in ocean, coastal, Great Lakes, weather, and climate sciences with cash awards and a first prize summer internship.


Sanjita Pamidimukkala

Animal Sciences Category
Third Place Award : $1,000 cash

Anish Singhani

Robotics and Artificial Intelligence Category
Third Place Award: $1,000

Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, Third place: $500

International Council on Systems Engineering: Honorable Mention


AAAI is a scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines. AAAI promotes research in, and responsible use of, artificial intelligence, as well as public understanding of artificial intelligence. AAAI also strives to improve the teaching and training of AI practitioners, and provide guidance on the importance and potential of current AI developments and future directions.


The International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) is a not-for-profit membership organization founded to develop and disseminate the interdisciplinary principles and practices that enable the realization of successful systems. The INCOSE Best Use of Systems Engineering award is awarded to the best interdisciplinary project that can produce technologically appropriate solutions that meet societal needs. The INCOSE Special Systems Engineering Prosthesis award is awarded to the best use of Systems Engineering process used in the development of prosthesis.

Congratulations to our outstanding Contra Costa students!