2021 ISEF Special Award Winner

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Grace Crifasi, high school junior from Saint Joseph’s Academy in Baton Rouge, LA, swept the competition at the 71st annual Louisiana State Science & Engineering Fair by being named the Top Overall Project in the state of Louisiana and advancing to the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair. The purpose of Crifasi’s project, titled “Designing a Flex-Based Posture Trainer and Determining Its Effect on Sedentary Posture”, was to create a posture training device that collected data from varying participants using the coding software Arduino Lilypad. Crifasi also received the Naval Science Special Award, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Special Award, U.S. Air Force Award, and the Yale Science & Engineering Special Award in addition to her other accomplishments at the fair. The other students participants that received a nomination to attend ISEF were Lia Bu of Isidore Newman School in New Orleans, Kalina Namikas of Baton Rouge Magnet, Susana Cuadra of St. Joseph’s Academy, and Katherine Winchester of St. Joseph’s Academy.

The Louisiana State Science & Engineering Fair invites student winners from all Regional Louisiana Science & Engineering Fairs to Baton Rouge to compete for an invitation to the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair. The Louisiana State Science & Engineering Fair is typically held on campus at LSU in Baton Rouge, but was conducted as a virtual fair this year to ensure student participation and safety. To participate, qualifying students recorded a short video interview portraying their project for judges’ scoring.

At the International Science Fair, Crifasi competed against high school students from all over the world in the Systems Software category, ultimately receiving the North Carolina State University College of Engineering Special Award. Winners of this award received a full scholarship to attend one of North Carolina State University’s Engineering summer camps. Crifasi was able to claim a spot at the camp titled “ISE: Humans in the System” that explores the next generation of physical and cognitive performance challenges. Camp participants create solutions in the areas of supply chain, advanced manufacturing, and health care throughout the camp. Students also have the opportunity to personally hear from engineering professionals about their work experiences and hear testimonials from current engineering students. Crifasi plans to study Biomedical Engineering and continue to use her systematic knowledge of coding to explore new systematic principles.

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