Oaks Hills Elementary sixth-graders Arav Shah and Ayush Doshi qualified for a national science fair competition recently due to their success at the county level, with Shah taking home first place.
“It’s just thrilling, because they’ve been working on these projects since October,” said PTA event coordinator Tonia Cohen, a microbiologist. “It’s so awesome for them.”
After being two of the handful of students chosen to move on from the 150-project science fair at their school, they went on to compete at the county level against more than 1,000 students their age.
The two were both selected from the county pool of contestants and went on to the state level. From April 29-30, they presented for five to six different judges, who were comparing and contrasting Shah and Doshi’s projects against roughly 900 other sixth- through eighth-graders from schools throughout California.
The students were praised at the competition for not only standing up to questioning from judges — who are respective professionals in scientific fields — but also showcased their understanding of their project topics based on the high quantity of data they used.
Shah’s project used mathematics and computer sciences to test facial recognition cybersecurity tools, while Doshi’s tested the reliability — or the lack thereof — of standard heart rate monitors that can be purchased by normal everyday consumers.
Shah’s project, which earned him the first-place medal at the statewide competition and a second-place at county, tested whether, as a person ages, the codes and algorithms used by facial-recognition technology in modern smartphones continue to work properly.
After taking measurements from 16 different people from pictures whose difference totaled five years — nine of which were volunteers and the other seven were publically available pictures of famous personalities such as ex-presidents — he then pasted the before and after pictures over one another.
Using an Excel sheet and statistical analyses, Shah was able to determine that the facial geometry ratios, or FGRs as he likes to call them, between the eyes, ears nose and mouth for each person vary from person to person.
Shah recognized the importance of this information being made known to those who program cellphones, and also in areas such as airports and high-risk security areas, where facial recognition software is used.
Doshi’s project, which also took him home a second-place medal at the county level, challenged the merits of a number of blood pressure-measuring tools available on the market today, from blood pressure cuffs to wrist meters to smart phones.
Doshi said he came up with the experiment after learning that his grandfather had high blood pressure, and he wanted to look into the ways in which his grandfather could monitor his health.
He said though, after testing seven of the most regularly used items to monitor blood pressure, that these items’ sensors and procedures produce results that greatly vary.
“I learned that while the industry for wearables is really big, they shouldn’t be used to make any critical health decisions because they aren’t really accurate,” said Doshi, who added the “old school” blood pressure cuff was his choice as the most reliable of the devices he tested.