Fremont 8th grader wins top science prize

Science prize winner Jessika Baral.
April 23, 2013 8:16:27 PM PDT
Jessika Baral, a Fremont 8th grader just returned from Washington D.C. and a visit with President Barack Obama.

Obama honored winners of the nation's top science, technology and math competitions. Baral won for her project that focuses on ways to strengthen eye muscles.

"And I got to be in the same room as the president, so it was really cool," she said.

Baral's creation earned her the Marconi/Samueli Award for innovation at the Broadcom Masters Science Fair.

The national competition, commonly known as STEM is designed to inspire future scientists and engineers to stick with science throughout high school and into college.

Baral decided to put her engineering skills to the test. She created her device to strengthen tired eye muscles and improve peripheral vision using LED lights. It forces the eye to exercise and break repetitive patterns.

Her subjects used it four times over a period of one to two weeks.

"And they did it for as long as they could every single time and I noticed they could endure the test longer every single time, so their eyes were getting stronger," she said.

Baral isn't sure what's next but she knows that science and math will be part of her future.

"I think that's one of the major things about science fairs, you get inspired by others to do other things," she said.

Baral also won $10,000 scholarship. She says part of that money will fund her next experiment.


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