Tuesday , May 28 2024

Clovis High Schooler’s Drought-Detecting Robot Earns International Science Fair Honors

Clovis North High School sophomore John Estrada has qualified for the state science fair four times since middle school. But his project this year, a drought-detecting robot, earned the 16-year-old top honors at the world’s largest science competition, the Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair . One of more than 1,800 competitors from 64 countries, Estrada walked away from this year’s virtual fair with a grand prize: The Gordon E. Moore Award for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations, a title that comes with a $ 50,000 college scholarship and is awarded to only one student each year. “It’s kind of like living in a dream almost,” says Estrada, who says he had always hoped to qualify for the international competition. “It’s kind of like validation…it shows promise for where I can bring this in the future.” Estrada built a robotic arm that can detect drought stress in crops using only images of their leaves. Having outfitted the arm with cameras that capture images of
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