Four Qualify for State Science Fair

On March 13, 2023, the 73rd-Annual Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair showcased over 500 individual and student-team projects at USC’s Shrine Exposition Hall. The fair featured some of the most accomplished middle- and high-school students that the county has to offer.

Eighteen categories, ranging from chemistry and microbiology to environmental studies to artificial intelligence, comprised the Junior Division from which La Canada Preparatory gleaned one Grand-Prize, three First-Place winners, one Third-Place and an Honorable-Mention winner.

Leonna Torosyan won the Grand Prize/Best of Show for the LACSEF Junior Division and First Place in the Environmental Management category for “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” a project that examined the advantages of composting using black soldier fly larvae.

Raphael Kaplan won First Place in the Southern California Paleontological Society special category and Third Place in the Animal Biology category for “How Do Raptors Survive in LA?” that explored survival of birds of prey in local ecosystems.

Yash Jaju won First Place in the Animal Physiology category for “Planaria Regeneration and the Future of Medicine” which showcased his research on inducing regenerative processes.

Guglielmo Cordara received Honorable Mention in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology category for “Salt and Sugar, Two Silent Enemies!” and his research on the pervasiveness of glucose and sugar in foods and their effects on health.

LCP head science teacher, Stephen Miller, attributes his students’ successes to the “remarkable dedication and depth of LCP’s Science Department.” He added that the school begins science education in transitional kindergarten, and that it remains an academic focus through graduation in eighth grade. The science program has hosted its own science fair annually for the past 24 years for 3rd, 5th, and 7th graders, organized by fellow science teacher, Annette Kiureghian. Miller emphasized that critiques that students receive from a parent-body panel of judges made up of science professionals also prepare them for competition at the county level. He feels that the next step for his top-three finishers may be the most challenging, because they will need “to regroup to prepare for competition at the California-state level as LA County representatives on April 11th.”

The Learning Castle & La Canada Prepatory

4490 Cornishon Ave., La Canada, CA 91011