Spahn completed his wind tunnel and data collection just in time for the recent 2007 Contra Costa Science and Engineering Fair, where he won a first-place rating for twelfth grade. He also won the grand prize at the fair, and, along with a student from De La Salle High School, will represent Contra Costa County at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Albuquerque, N.M. in May.
Spahn also received a second-place award from the Northern California Chapter of the American Vacuum Society and a check for $50. In addition to his other awards, he received the Herbert Hoover Young Engineer's award.
Other students at the ESPACE Academy (Deer Valley's Earth, Space and Astronomy Center for Education) fared well at the fair. Joseph Smith won a second-place prize for his project called The Game of Life in Java, which showed the evolution of cells in a virtual petri dish programmed in the Java programming language. Smith also received an award certificate from Intel for Excellence in Computer Science.
The lone team entry from the school won the 11th-grade first-place prize. Juniors Alekzandir Morton, Thomas Travagli and senior Manutej Mulaveesala won with their project A Galaxy Ablaze from Afar, which detailed their use of data collected from both ground-based telescopes and the Spitzer Infrared Space Telescope to determine what kind of radiation is emitted from a distant blazar, a galaxy being torn apart by a titanic black hole at its center.
The young men also received a medallion from the Yale Science and Engineering Association for the most outstanding 11th-grade exhibit in computer science, engineering, physics or chemistry.
The school's first-ever earth science entry was completed by junior John Dawson, who won a $150 prize from the Golden Gate Section of the Society of Petrochemical Engineers for his research on the transmission of earthquake energy through the various materials underlying Deer Valley High School.
"These young men put in literally hundreds of hours of work on these projects," said teacher and advisor Jeff Adkins. "The level of work is comparable to what a college student would do as part of an undergraduate research project. I'm very proud of all of them and appreciative of the support from their parents and the district."