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Released April 11, 2005

SOUTHERN MISS REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS
ADVANCE TO INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

Hattiesburg- A group of Hattiesburg area high school students who took home top prizes at The University of Southern Mississippi Regional Science and Engineering Fair in March are headed to the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Ariz., on May 13.

Winston Messer of Presbyterian Christian School and Jennifer Jing Huang of Oak Grove High school will go head-to-head with nearly 1,200 students for a chance to take home more than $3,000,000 in cash and prizes.

To ensure a spot in the competition, Messer and Huang placed first and second respectively at the Mississippi State Science and Engineering Fair held April 1 at Jackson State University.

The two were among 625 Mississippi 7-12 graders to compete in the fair. Huang's project focused on the Simultaneous Detection of E. Coli, while Messer studied Hemodynamics and Heart Failure.

Messer, who is no stranger to the international competition, said the opportunities and experience from the fair are invaluable in his plight to follow in his father's footsteps. "I want to be a cardiologist one day," said the senior. "I have really fallen in love with it."

Messer's first-place wins on the regional and state levels provided an opportunity for Aube' Amaretta of Seminary High school to attend the fair as an alternate.

Dr. Lawrence Bellipanni, a retired biology associate professor who's spearheaded the Southern Miss regional science fair for the past 36 years, said the contestants were judged on originality, scientific thought, thoroughness and skill.

Overall, 30 students from across the state will take part in the international competition sponsored by Intel Corporation.

For more information on the Southern Miss science and engineering program or its annual regional science fair, please contact Dr. Bellipanni at (601) 310-3699.

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April 20, 2005 3:24 PM