Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Student Mentoring  

Young Scientists Program

    In its 14th year, the Young Scientists Program offers ocean-loving junior-and senior high school a free opportunity to explore their passion for science. Aquarium staff mentor students through scientific investigations on local marine topics with a focus on conservation and aquarium science.


2021 Young Scientists Symposium

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, which prevented students from working onsite with live animals and sophisticated equipment, 20 students completed this year’s program. Five of this year’s crop went on to achieve top honors at the 71st Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair. Students also scored invitations to state and international competitions and received additional honors.
Normally, students spend 11 months developing a project, learning lab techniques, and then presenting their research at a symposium that attracts 1,500 visitors each year. With the Aquarium closed due to the pandemic, the program adapted by going virtual, compressing into six months and having students work at home.

While they missed out on using the Aquarium’s specialized lab equipment and working with live animals, the Young Scientists still created projects of such high caliber that they won first, second and third places at the Los Angeles County Science Fair. (See list of winners below)
You can view student research projects, and leave comments and congratulations here.  
Congratulations to the Young Scientist Program students that attended the 71st Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair:

Helen (Yeonji) Choi, South High School
Project Title: The Effects of pH on the concentration of fucoxanthin in Isochrysis galbana
-1st place in Microbiology Senior Student Division
-American Vacuum Society Award
George Hasnah, Bishop Montgomery High School
Project Title: Removal of microplastics from watery environments with 3D printed filters
-1st place in Chemistry Senior Student Division
-Invited to the International Regeneron Science and Engineering Fair in May
Mark Lin, Palos Verdes High School
Project Title: Sine or Square: Observing the effects of different sound waves on Arthrospira plantensis (spirulina)
-2nd place in Microbiology Senior Student Division
Diana Michaelson, Long Beach Polytechnic High
Project title: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre “purple” sea star) mucus as an anti-fouling substance.
-3rd Place in Environmental Management Senior Division
-Stockholm Junior Water Prize (Nominated to State SJWP science competition)
Serah Park, Gretchen Whitney High
Project Title: Effect of pH on heavy metal biosorption
-2nd Place in Environmental Management Senior Division
-Stockholm Junior Water Prize (Nominated to State SJWP science competition)
-2nd Place Southern California Impact Award (ICD DAS USA Inc.)
Diana Michaelson was also awarded the 2021 Young Hero Award at the 16th Annual International Children's Festival, hosted by Aquarium of the Pacific. 

We are very proud of our YSP students!