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Middle School student Laboni Santra recently attended the Seminole County Regional Science, Math and Engineering Fair competition where students from the entire Florida Seminole County presented projects on various STEM related topics.

Laboni Santra came in first place with her poster titled “Tracking Therapeutics in a Leaf Using a Fluorescent Dye” in the Plant Sciences division. As a result, Laboni will move forward to represent Seminole County and compete at the State Science and Engineering Fair that will take place from March 28 to March 30, 2017 in Lakeland, Florida. In recognition of her outstanding performance, she has also been nominated to compete in the 2017 Broadcom Masters, where only the top 10% of middle school science fair students in the nation compete. In addition, Laboni received Honorable Mention at the Florida AVS 2017 meeting that took place at UCF on March 6, 2017. She competed amongst 35 graduate and undergraduate students.

High school student Uma Menon won second place at the Ying Exposition Science fair competition for her poster titled “Analysis of New Treatment Uptake of Vascular Systems in Citrus Plants”. As a result, she has been invited to participate in the “GENIUS” Olympiad competition in New York City June 12-17, 2017.

Both Laboni and Uma are mentored by Dr. Laurene Tetard, Assistant Professor at UCF’s Physics Department, as part of educational and outreach initiatives at the NanoScience Technology Center and Materials Innovation for Sustainable Agriculture. To learn more about Dr. Tetard’s ongoing education and outreach efforts please visit

We are extremely proud of these two young scientists and are looking forward to their future innovations. Congratulations to both!