LOGAN (News4Utah) – 9th grader Gary Zhan from Logan was chosen as one of 30 finalists for the Broadcom MASTERS STEM competition, the premier middle school science fair in the country. He flew to D.C. Thursday to participate in a weekend of judging and collaborative challenges; the winner will be announced Tuesday and will win $25,000.
Zhan’s project delt with the color blue; he has a friend who is allergic to synthetic blue dyes used in many foods, toys and clothing. Zhan explained that synthetic dyes are harmful in many ways, but are simply much cheaper to make than natural dyes. In his project, he formulated a way to drastically increase the yield of natural dyes using e-coli bacteria.
Zhan conducted his research at the Utah State University lab and with the help of university PhD students. The Broadcom MASTERS is conducted by the Society for Science and the Public.