Airdate: March 22, 2023
On The Spark Wednesday, we spoke with two 10th grade Capital Area Science & Engineering Fair senior grand champions.
The CASEF science fair provides 7th through 12th grade students with the opportunity to showcase their research projects on a regional level but Anshi Paul, Hershey High School student, and Isaiah Houssou, Camp Hill High School student, earned the opportunity to represent the state and display their projects at the world’s largest pre-college STEM competition, the Regeneron International Science & Engineering Fair in Dallas, Texas in May.
Paul, Houssou, and Timothy Ritter, CASEF board member and former fair director, joined us to discuss the students’ projects, stories and preparation for their upcoming international competition.
Houssou’s project is an RF-CNN approach for classifying tree species using multispectral and Lidar data. Houssou said, the spotted laternfly inspired him to create this project and he’s passionate about using machine learning to solve some of the issues that invasive species create.
Paul’s project is a memory assistive facial recognition device for dementia patients. She said, she created the device so that people living with dementia and alzheimer’s disease remember names and faces of loved ones and to increase the social confidence of people living with dementia.
“My grandfather actually has dementia. So firsthand I’ve seen some of these things happen. And I’ve always had a really high interest in technology, computer science, engineering,” Paul said.
Houssou and Paul said, they feel pressure as they prepare to compete in Regeneron ISEF against about 1,800 students from across the world.
“Recently I’ve been staying up pretty late, just trying to add as much to my project as possible and work on it. I’m definitely feeling the pressure,” Houssou said. “It’s kind of like you feel like this could be your only chance.”
Both Houssou and Paul said, they’re looking forward to using this opportunity to network, represent and encourage diversity in STEM and take home the Regeneron ISEF winning titles.
For updates on Houssou and Paul’s journey with Regeneron ISEF visit casef.org.