For a fifth-grade science fair, Evie Sobczak found that the acid in fruit could power clocks; she connected a cut-up orange to a clock with wire and watched it tick. In seventh grade, she generated power by engineering paddles that could harness wind. And in eighth grade, she started a project that eventually would become her passion: She wanted to grow algae and turn it into biofuel.
After four years of tinkering in her garage for about an hour each day, Sobczak (pronounced sob-chek) has finally figured it out. Her algae-to-fuel project won first place and best in category at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, beating 1,600 other finalists from 70 countries. The Intel ISEF is one of the largest and most prestigious science fairs in the world.
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