Roanoke Valley Governor’s School Students Bring Home Big Awards

The Roanoke Valley Governor’s School had a record 7 students (5 total research projects) earn a trip to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) this year, an all-expense paid experience of a lifetime for each of them.

ISEF was held May 12-17 in Phoenix, Arizona, where they competed with 1,800 other gifted and talented students for awards, recognition, and over $5 million in prize money. The Roanoke delegation included students from four different home schools in Roanoke City and Roanoke County with projects ranging from microbiology to engineering. Only one school in the world had more place award recognitions than RVGS. Three Roanoke students won place awards at ISEF:

ISEF 2nd award winner Logan Dunkenberger  attends RVGS and Glenvar High School.

Logan Dunkenberger won the biggest prize of all of the Roanoke Valley particpants. She also won big at ISEF last year in taking home “Best in Category” last year, the highest award anyone from RVGS has ever received. This year she won a 2nd award in Microbiology and a $1,500 cash prize for her project titled, “Dynamic Roles of Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation: Identifying Novel Mechanisms for EBV-positive Lymphoma Progressions and Treatment”. Logan is a senior at RVGS/Glenvar High School and will attend Stanford University in the fall.


ISEF 4th award Mary Grace Giles attends RVGS and Patrick Henry High School.

Mary Grace Giles won the Governor’s Award at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, which is their Best in Show, and at ISEF she won a 4th award in Earth and Environmental Sciences and a $500 cash prize for her project titled, “Evaluating the Impact of Coal Ash Pollution through a C. elegans Developmental Model”. Mary Grace is a junior at RVGS/Patrick Henry High School.



Kevin Sheng won one of the Grand Awards at the Western Virginia Regional Science Fair, and at ISEF he won a 4th award in Biomedical and Health Sciences and a $500 cash prize for his project titled, “Big Data Analytics: Identification of Novel Cancer Progression Gene Signatures for Precision/Personalized Medicine”. Kevin is a junior at RVGS/Cave Spring High School. He was also recently named 1 of 100 regional winners of the global Google Science Fair – his region is “The Americas” – and he’s waiting to hear if he’ll be named one of 20 global winners.

Our other attendees included Luke Gardner and Luke Seuss from Patrick Henry High School (both juniors) and Harrison Huang (senior) and Erik Scarlatescu (junior) from Hidden Valley High School.

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