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Friday, June 14, 2024

Ocala high schoolers win awards at world’s largest science fair

Two Ocala high school students came home with awards after they participated in the world’s largest pre-college science, technology, engineering and math competition (STEM).

Rishit Shaquib and Miguel Secillano both won awards at this year’s Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, which was held in Los Angeles from May 11 to May 17.

Rishit Shaquib (left) and Miguel Secillano (right) at the 2024 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair
Rishit Shaquib (left) and Miguel Secillano (right) at the 2024 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair.

Hosted by the Society for Science, the fair presented first, second, third, and fourth place awards in 22 different categories.

Shaquib claimed third place in the Microbiology category and won $1,000 for his efforts. His project was entitled “Next-Generation Antibiotics: Isolating and Screening Novel Bacteriocins.”

Secillano claimed fourth place in the Technology Enhances the Arts category for his project, entitled “TALK: An American Sign Language Computer Program.”

With the awards, both students, who attend Vanguard High School, add to their growing number of accomplishments.

Shaquib, who is a senior, played varsity tennis this year en route to earning his International Baccalaureate diploma. Last year, he was named a Sunshine State Scholar.

Secillano has won at least two dozen academic-based awards in the past several years, including a first place finish at the International Leadership Conference Math for Health Careers in Dallas last year.

The Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair is recognized as the world’s foremost fair of its kind. The event doles out nearly $9 million in grand awards to students each year.