Edgewood Jr./Sr. High Senior Summer Van Orman Takes Home Prestigious Ying Science Prize
By Space Coast Daily // May 15, 2016
Viera's Alexandra Gabrielski also recognized
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Edgewood Jr./Sr. High senior Summer Van Orman took home the top prize at the 2016 Dr. Nelson Ying Science Competition.
Since 1999, philanthropist, scientist, and entrepreneur Dr. Nelson Ying has partnered with Orlando Science Center to recognize the outstanding scientific accomplishments of Central Florida teens. Eligible research projects must have the ultimate goal of benefiting humanity by using science to solve real world problems.
Van Orman studied the effects of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on embryonic growth. EDCs are commonly found in plastics and Styrofoam. In polluted waterways, they can disrupt the natural development of embryos by taking the place of hormones to slow development, create mutations, and cause cellular death.
Van Orman identified the concrete number at which EDCs can produce adverse effects to the embryonic growth of organisms. Her pollution project earned her a trophy, a $5,000 cash scholarship, $1,000 for her science teacher, Ryan Cilsick, and another $1,000 for her school science research program.
Only five finalists are selected as recipients of the Ying science prize following a thorough review by a distinguished panel of judges, including engineers, scientists, and educators. Three of the five 2016 finalists were student researchers from Brevard Public Schools.
Alexandra Gabrielski from Viera High received $1,000 for her research on growing and harvesting algae as a sustainable fuel source and Kelly van Woesik, from Satellite High, also received $1,000 for the first study of its kind analyzing the home ranges of great white sharks in the Atlantic Ocean.
Brevard Public School students have been among the top five finalists each year since the Ying competition began, and have won the top prize 14 of the 18 years.
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