Melina Ghodsi was a 7th grader at Fairmont Private School in the 2015-16 school year who won 2nd place at Orange County Science and Engineering Fair in the Microbiology Category, Broadcom Masters Award at Orange County Science and Engineering Fair, and Honorable Mention in Microbiology-Medical Category at California State Science Fair for her science fair project.
Getting inspired for a science fair project can come from anywhere, anyone, and anything. In Melina’s case, she was inspired by her father who is a dentist, and a toothbrush. She was intrigued about the possibility of bacteria transferring from her toothbrush to her mouth each night; and with her father’s warning about keeping her teeth clean in mind, Melina just had to answer her questions: Is my toothbrush actually clean? How can I keep it clean?
Melina’s passion for science started when she was first exposed to the science lab in elementary school. Her science teacher, Mrs. Stephanie Conklin, was “such an encouraging teacher,” and from the time she spent with Mrs. Conklin, Melina became “a nerd for science.”
Originally, Melina participated in the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair because it was an assignment, like many other students in her grade. But, unlike the others, Melina chose to “take it to a new level and really have a project that has a purpose and could add something to your everyday life.” In return for her dedicated hard work and thoughtful project, Melina’s science fair journey only went uphill from there. From her school fair where she won first place in the Microbiology Category, Melina continued on her journey to win at the California State Science Fair.
As her advice to other aspiring scientists like her, Melina says, “If you strive high enough then you will get there. If you strive low then you will also only get so high. Strive high and make the most out of your opportunities.” It was the same case for Melina. When she first started her project, her father said, “We’re going to state, honey!” Of course Melina thought it was crazy at first, but because of her high goals and hard work, she was able to realize her hopes.
“I would encourage others who participate in the fair to not underestimate the amount of effort you must put into the fair,” Melina Ghodsi said. Afterall, inspiration can be just around the corner, even in the small tool used to clean bacteria off teeth.