Guam science fair champ wins at international competition
Daniel Z. Kang, repeat winner of the annual Island Wide Science Fair hosted by the University of Guam, took home two awards from the 2019 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair — notably the largest international pre-college science competition in the world.
The John F. Kennedy High School junior represented Guam at the fair from May 12–17 in Phoenix and came out as a Fourth Grand Award winner in the Materials Science category and the top contestant of his category for the Air Force Research Laboratory Award.
The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair brings in some 1,800 high school students from more than 80 countries and territories each year to compete for advanced research opportunities and monetary prizes totaling almost $5 million. Only the top students from local, national, and regional science fairs are invited to showcase their projects at this prestigious event.
Kang’s project, “Novel Graphene Nanoplatelet and Ketjenblack Embedded Pigmentless Acrylic Emulsions for Next Generation Flexible Electronics,” detailed an electrically conductive paint he created made with low-cost carbon nanomaterials. The paint would be ideal for use with foldable or flexible properties in upcoming electronic devices.
Kang was mentored by University of Guam Professor of Chemistry Maika Vuki and accompanied by UOG Assistant Professor of Library Science Roland San Nicolas to compete in the fair. He had also presented his project at the 41st Annual Island Wide Science Fair on May 11 on the UOG campus, where he placed first in the high school division.
Kang is a three-time overall division winner at Guam’s annual Island Wide Science Fair. He also competed in the Taiwan International National Science Fair in February 2018 and won first place in the Engineering category. And in September, he won the Institute of Physics Prize at the 30th European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Dublin.
This was Kang’s second time at ISEF. Last year he won first in his category and was recognized as a “Best in Category” contestant.
“Daniel’s continual achievements and success over the years are a testament to just how capable Guam’s youth are in pioneering STEM advancements,” said Austin J. Shelton III, UOG Sea Grant director and co-coordinator of the Island Wide Science Fair. “We are very proud of him and look forward to seeing his future scientific accomplishments.”