Sabreen Alam, a 6th grader in Deerfield Elementary during the 2015-2016 school year, won an Honorable Mention in the field of Product Science at the State Science Fair. Her award-winning project was titled “Natural Foods: Better to Fight Angiogenesis than Drugs?,” a project focused on comparing the effects of natural foods and drugs on angiogenesis with relation to cancerous tumors. Angiogenesis is the production of blood vessels, which is important both in health and disease.
Sabreen first became interested in cancer as her field of study after “winning a trip to Google.” Upon developing her interest, she conducted some research from which she discovered that angiogenesis played a big part in the growth and support of cancer tumors. She was inspired for her project idea when she found out that some natural foods acted as angiogenesis inhibitors. Sabreen felt that “third world countries could benefit” from her investigation, as many “citizens can’t purchase expensive cancer drugs.”
A major obstacle Sabreen faced along the way was the amount of time she had to conduct this project. She was given only three weeks to complete her project due to her original project failing to comply with OCSEF guidelines. She found it “extremely difficult and time consuming to have to come up with and finish and Science Fair Project in 3 weeks.” Despite the time pressures, Sabreen won 2nd place in the County Science Fair, and advanced to the State Science Fair.
Through this experience, Sabreen felt she has learned values and important life lessons. “Never stop learning,” she said. “Always persevere and never give up.” She feels her most important and most powerful lesson was to “never see failure as a stop sign.”
At the end of a successful science fair journey, Sabreen feels that the “science fair has been a beneficial and enriching experience” and plans to participate next year.