Irvington students compete and place at Synopsys Science Fai


Viet Hoang

Several Irvington competitors were among the finalists at the Synopsys Science Fair.

Radhika Munshani, News Editor

The 2017 Synopsys Science Fair, held at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds from March 11-12, showcased some of the Bay Area’s most promising students’ science projects. Synopsys Science Fair has been a  fixture for NorCal students to present their independent findings to judges and the public for years. This year, many Irvington students took part in the event and placed.

This year, over 500 students presented studies and experiments conducted over the past year to judges, teacher, parents, and fellow students as a part of their entries. Entries were gradually narrowed down the final competitors in the afternoon. These final students were then questioned by several panel of judges to decide the final round of entries. These finalists then competed for the overall awards of the Fair,  and several entries won special company-sponsored prizes. Companies often gave cash-prizes to students whose projects were related to their products or industry.

Synopsys is one of the few major youth science fairs in the Bay Area, and it has grown even more after several other key fairs in Monterey and San Francisco have closed down in recent years. Thus, Synopsys has become much more competitive and selective in recent years as a result. Synopsys too faces possible closure, as several private sponsors on whom the fair relies upon for funding have pulled their contributions in recent years.

Synopsys acts a gateway to other larger and more prestigious competitions. Selected winners advance to the California State Science Fair, and the top eight entries advance onto the lauded Intel International Science Fair.

One winning team, consisting of juniors Vivian Hoang and Trevina Tan, placed 1st in their division. Their project, entered in the Biochemistry division, centered about Plant Defense Transcription Immunology in tomatoes, where they tried to breed disease-resistant tomatoes.

“I wanted to participate [in Synopsys] because it’s something I hadn’t done before and I thought it would be an interesting experience,” said Junior Trevina Tran. “Our project focused on tomato immunity in the face of bacterial spot disease and analyzed possible key components of the infection process at a molecular level.”

Irvington was a dominant force at the Fair, with every team either placing or winning company-sponsored awards for their projects. Three Irvington entries, by teams Hoang and Tan and junior Rachel Guo and her partner from Harker, and sophomore Desiree Ho, are advancing to the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles from April 24-25.