Young Maine Scientists Win Big at ISEF

Maine teens were lauded recently for growing a kidney and solving a pollution problem. The news made the front page of the Portland Press Herald and was showcased on WCSH.

Demetri Maxim, a senior at Gould Academy, won first place in his category for his work in developing a way to grow kidney cells from skin tissue. He was awarded three other awards at a Special Awards ceremony, including $1,200 from the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), $1,000 from NASA, and $500 from the Patent and Trademark Office Society. It was his third time competing at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

Paige Brown, a senior at Bangor High School, won first place in her category for designing a method for removing the pollutant phosphorus from storm water. It was Brown’s second time competing at the fair.

Demetri, Paige and Sydney – ISEF award winners.

The grand awards were presented at the International Science & Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona.

As top winners at the Maine State Science Fair, they competed, along with Bangor junior Sydney McDonald, against 1,750 other teens at the international event.

The Maine State Science Fair is co-led by The Jackson Laboratory and Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance. Record turnout at the 70th annual Maine State Science Fair, which was held on March 19, 2016 in Bangor, led to an exciting competition with 155 students from 13 Maine high schools competing for 58 awards, including the chance to represent Maine at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Phoenix.

Bringing home awards for the first time were Dexter Regional High School, Lincoln Academy, R.W. Traip Academy and Washington Academy. Other awardees included students from Falmouth High School, Greely High School and The Watershed School.

JAX and MMSA endeavored to expand the reach of the Maine State Science Fair this year, which led to a 15% increase in student participation and six new schools. MMSA’s newest recruitment effort, which began last fall, brought five Teacher Fellows and 32 students to the Maine State Science Fair. MMSA plans to continue the Teacher Fellows program and is accepting new applicants. Contact Stefany at to apply.

The 2016 Maine State Science Fair was sponsored by the The Jackson Laboratory, Maine Mathematics & Science Alliance, Reny Charitable Foundation, and Texas Instruments. For more information, visit

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