Bautista Creek Student Receives First Place at the Science Fair

Zubin Carvalho, a Bautista Creek Elementary fifth grader, received first place for the elementary division at the RIMS Inland Science and Engineering Fair. Zubin’s project, Light Force Awakens: Can Different Light Wavelengths Stop Bacteria?, used approximately 220 Petri dishes and took three months to complete. 

Zubin tested to see if bacteria organisms, that are common in external ear infections and food poisoning, grow differently when exposed to red, blue, and white light compared to no light exposure. Different sets of bacteria were exposed to these lights for either one hour or 24 hours. Zubin hypothesized the exposure to the red, blue, and white light would inhibit bacteria growth. He concluded, “For fighting ear infections with the main organism being Pseudomonas, Staph aureus, and Candida albicans white light would be best. For fighting food poisoning bacteria such as E. Coli, E coli 0157, and Yersinia enterocolitica red light would be the best choice.” 

Zubin wants to attend Stanford University to study medicine. He plans to follow in his father’s footsteps and become an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor. After Stanford, he plans to attend the University of California, San Francisco to continue his medical education. 

Zubin said he enjoys science because he likes to solve the answers to questions. Testing his theories through experimentation and finding out if his hypothesis was correct is extremely interesting for him. He has been competing in the science fair since second grade; however, to compete in the RIMS Science Fair, you must be in fourth grade. Since Zubin did not meet these requirements in second and third grade, he was unable to win first place. During these two years he was awarded second place in the science competition. 

Zubin has always had an interest in science. On Zubin’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test, he scored in the 99th percentile. His math scores are comparable to an 11th grade student.

Science may be his main focus, but Zubin said he has a lot of different interests. He plays the piano, plays basketball, is involved in Taekwondo, enjoys going to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and reading about Greek and Egyptian mythology. 

Grace, Zubin’s mother, said he is a highly motivated student and works hard for what he wants. She thanked Bautista Creek Elementary School staff for their continued support of Zubin. Congratulations Zubin on receiving the top elementary project award!