Department of Health announces winners of second annual statewide high school science contest

For immediate release: June 7, 2023   (23-077)

Contact: DOH Communications

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) congratulates the winners of the second annual Washington Tracking Network (WTN) Youth Science Contest. The contest is an opportunity for high school students to develop their science and communication skills by engaging with health and environmental data from their own communities.

“I would like to thank DOH for this wonderful opportunity to have fun doing research while positively contributing to my community,” said first place winner Minseo Kim who is a tenth grader at Shorewood High School in Shoreline.

Students could submit projects in three tracks: Health Science, Science Communication, and Community Engagement. Winning projects ranged from research papers to poems and were selected based on content, health and equity impact, and presentation. Projects were judged by relevant experts within DOH.

“It’s great to see the diversity of health issues the students care about, and to be able to provide them feedback to help them use science to improve the health of people in Washington,” said WTN Manager Jennifer Sabel. 

All winning projects can be viewed on the WTN website 

Health Science:

Individual Division

  • 1st Place - Air Stagnation and Lung Cancer Mortalities in Washington State, by Minseo Kim, Shorewood High School
  • 2nd Place - The Association of Radon Poisoning Levels and Poverty Rates in Washington, by Rishav Panigrahi, Shorecrest High School
  • 3rd Place - Lung Cancer and the Environment, by Kennedy Camacho, Selah High School

Group Division

  • 1st Place - Lung Cancer in Washington State, by Mehuli N. and Keerthi Rajesh, Tesla STEM High School
  • 2nd Place - Indigenous Peoples’ Mental Health, by Ava Jensen and Rebecca Swinney, Shorecrest High School
  • 3rd Place (tie) - Diabesity: Diabetes and Obesity Related to Corporate Fast Food Chains, by Laci Ross and Lauren Rice, Selah High School
  • 3rd Place (tie) - Opioid Crisis in Washington, by Samuel Lin, Interlake High School, and Ian Yum, Bellevue High School

Science Communication:

Individual Division

  • 1st Place - Antibiotic Resistance Public Service Announcement (“Help Prevent a World Without Cure”), by Krithi Iyer, Redmond High School
  • 2nd Place - Health Disparities in Skin Protection Education and How We Can Combat Them, by Saisha Lakkoju, Bothell High School
  • 3rd Place - Turmoil: Mental Health and Illness Disparities, by C. Dawson Bailey, Shorecrest High School

Group Division

  • 1st Place - Lead by the Numbers: School Water Toxicity, by Srishti Boral and Vihitha Kumar, Eastlake High School
  • 2nd Place - Abortions and Safe Pregnancies, by Samia Ahmed and Ella Richardson, Shorecrest High School

Community Engagement: This year DOH did not receive Community Engagement projects that met all contest requirements.

WTN is a DOH program that makes public health data more accessible. The mission of WTN is to provide health and environmental data and tools, develop partnerships, and inform data-driven policy and programmatic decisions, with the goal of improving health and health equity in Washington.

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