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Michal Leibowitz Captures Top Prize for Project on Bedbugs

Michal Leibowiz

Michal Leibowitz

Michal Leibowitz of White Plains, a senior at Samuel H. Wang Yeshiva University High School for Girls (YUHSG) won first place at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair for her project, “Engineering A Novel Cimex Lectularius (bedbug!) Trapping Mechanism Utilizing Electrospun Recycled Polymers,” which was chosen out of 200 other submissions. The project, which she worked on with Jacob Plaut from Rambam Mesivta and Daniel Rudin from Half Hollow Hills High School West, also won “Second Award” in Environmental Management at the International Science and Engineering Fair and earned a $1,500 prize. In addition, she and her fellow students will have an asteroid named after them.

“The years of research preparation that Michal has spent in reaching this amazing milestone, and the self-confident and knowledgeable way that she presented and explained her research to panels of judges is beyond commendable,” said Ruth Fried, chair of the science department at YUHSG.

“I began my project expecting only to gain scientific research experience, but I’ve completed it with an entirely new skill set,” said Leibowitz. “I’ve learned how to write a scientific research paper, how to format a formal presentation and most importantly, how to work as part of a team. I can’t adequately express my gratitude to YUHSG and to my mentors, Ruth Fried and Dr. Miriam Rafailovich, for all the incredible opportunities they’ve given me.”