STC Science Fair Nominees
Win National HPS Awards

By:  Linda Morris, Student Assistance Chair

The State of Texas Chapter (STC) was recently notified that its nominees for the prestigious national Health Physics Society Science Fair Award had won the 2018 award. Yasmin Jenna Jackson (Junior Division) and Steven Drabbant (Senior Division) were nominated by the STC Student Assistance Committee for the awards in May. They were officially recognized as winners of plaques and checks for $500 at the HPS national conference in Cleveland, Ohio. Yasmin and Steven will be presented with their awards at the STC fall meeting in Granbury in September.

Steven, a 10th grade student at The Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas, created a project entitled “Improved Reception Techniques to Overcome the Sun’s Negative Effect on Radio Propagation.” Yasmin’s project is titled “Radioactive Dinner,” and examined radioactivity in salmon. Yasmin is currently a 9th grade student at York High School in Spring, Texas. Both Steven and Yasmin were STC regional science fair winners during the spring of 2018. They both elected to join the STC and were presenters at the April STC meeting in College Station. STC President Latha Vasudevan presented both students with Barnes and Noble gift cards at the meeting.

Steven Drabbant (Senior Division)   Yasmin Jenna Jackson (Junior Division)

A third student also won a state HPS science fair award at the Texas Science & Engineering Fair held in San Antonio in March 2018. Shankar Prathyush from Westwood High School in Round Rock developed a project entitled “Marked Reduction in ATPase Activity in Staphylococcus Aureus Through Low Power Electromagnetic Waves as a Novel Alternative to Antibiotics.” Shankar was a senior last spring and is expected to attend Texas A&M University this fall.

In other student news, the STC supported three students via the Travel Grant program to attend the national HPS conference in Cleveland. Barbara Fisher and Zachary Olson are graduate students in health physics at Texas A&M University. Austin Nichols is a student at Texas State Technical College in Waco. Each student received a check for $250 to defray expenses associated with attending the conference.

In a final note, State of Texas Chapter-HPS Fall 2018 Education Grant winners will be announced at the September meeting in Granbury. Checks for $1,000 each will be presented to an associate degree, undergraduate degree, and graduate degree student. For more information on the STC Student Assistance Program, visit or contact Linda Morris at

August 2018