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

For immediate release: May 23, 2024   (24-059)

Contact: DOH Communications

Students use public health data to improve their communities

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) congratulates the winners of the third 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.

“Students really care about issues that affect the health of their friends, families, and communities,” said Jennifer Sabel, WTN Manager with DOH. “It is great to see their passion for identifying, analyzing, and trying to improve these public health issues, and that we’re able to guide them in that work.”

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

All winning projects can be viewed on the WTN contest webpage.

Health Science:

Individual Division

  • 1st Place – Correlation Between Breast Cancer Cases and Socioeconomic Status in Washington State, by Anisha Upasani, Tesla STEM High School
  • 2nd Place – The Impact of Environmental Recreational Opportunities on Obesity Rates in Washington Counties, by Ulee Klebeck, Lakeside School
  • 3rd Place – Drug Abuse in Washington, by a student who wishes to not be identified

Group Division

  • 1st Place – The Association Between Socioeconomic Status and BMI of Teens in Washington State, by Isaac Lee and Mateo Stevens, Shorecrest High School
  • 2nd Place – Yakima Unveiled: Poverty and Opioid Overdose Relations, by Sophia Tyrrell and Alexa Garcia, Selah High School
  • 3rd Place (tie) – Asthmatic Hospitalizations, by Aaron Chen and Haakon Jakobsen, Shorecrest High School
  • 3rd Place (tie) – Exploring the Relationship Between Tobacco Use and Lung Cancer Risk, by Valeria Montalvo and Genavieve Gamache, Selah High School

Science Communication:

Individual Division

  • 1st Place – Pop One, Life’s Done, by Aditi Marehalli, Liberty High School
  • 2nd Place – Carry Naloxone. It Saves Lives, by Seyoung Kim, Bellevue High School
  • 3rd Place – It Kills More Than Just Bugs; Could Pesticide Illness Affect You?, by Doodle Dahlen, Shorecrest High School

Group Division

  • 1st Place – Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Killer, by Lily Fredericks, Klara Darby, and Lauren Selin, Shorecrest High School
  • 2nd Place – Mental Health in the Youth of Washington, by Inesh Dey and Iris Dey, Tesla STEM High School
  • 3rd Place – Heart Attacks in Washington State, by Jack Wheatley and Thurston Reese, Shorecrest High School

Program and Policy Design:

Individual Division

  • 1st Place – Agricultural Disparities, by Rebecca Rhodes, Shorecrest High School
  • 2nd Place – Correlation of Household Income to High School Graduation Rate, by Aaryan Gaurav, Bellevue High School
  • 3rd Place – Rural Maternal Care, by Toa Ghatak, Shorecrest High School

Group Division

  • 1st Place – Addressing Socioeconomic Disparities: Strategies for Promoting Access to Healthy Foods and Improving Health Equity in Washington State, by Keerthi Rajesh and Naman Mutalik Desai, Tesla STEM High School
  • 2nd Place – Native American Mental Health Disparities, by Erin Baek and Millie Wang, Shorecrest High School
  • 3rd Place – Nutrition Wellness Initiative, by Jeeya Alag and Kaylee Ro, Eastlake High School

WTN is a DOH program that makes public health data more accessible. WTN provides health and environmental data and tools, develops partnerships, and informs data-driven policy and programmatic decisions, with the goal of improving health and health equity in Washington.

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