McIntosh student named finalist in two international science fairs


An Advanced Placement (AP) biology student at McIntosh High has made quite the impression in the science world as she researches to find a solution to improving harvested rainwater quality.

Seung-a Baek’s project, “Incorporating P.M. 2.5 to Improve Harvested Rainwater Quality,” automatically catapulted her to the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) after presenting her results at the Griffin RESA Regional Science and Engineering Fair this past February. Just a few months later, the same project was selected as a finalist for the Genius Olympiad, an international high school project competition about environmental issues, founded and organized by Terra Science and Education and hosted by the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Although both fairs have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, Baek will still get to compete in the Genius Olympiad in 2021. Her project is one of 824 that was accepted from 1,636 entries submitted by high school students from 72 countries.

The Olympiad features five general disciplines, Baek’s discipline is “Genius Science – Environmental Quality.” Students are expected to present a solution using scientific methods to solve a problem. Both a research description paper (with data, graphs, photos, and drawings of the design concept) and a presentation is required. Students are judged based on poster organization and content, literature review, skills and data management, scientific method, solution (innovation), and oral presentation. Beak’s project is one of 393 out of 792 submissions that was accepted in the science discipline.