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Lodi sisters Kristin and Julie Fukunaga take top honors at San Joaquin County Science Fair

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Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013 12:00 am

After reviewing more than 400 entries, the winners of the 55th annual San Joaquin County Science Fair were announced on Thursday. They will represent the San Joaquin County Office of Education in the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles on April 22 and 23.

Kristin Fukunaga, an Elkhorn School student, won in the sixth- through eighth-grade division for “The Allelopathic Properties of Black Walnut Hulls.”

Her project tested the effects of using black walnut hulls on seed germination and radicle growth. It is relevant to landscapers and gardeners to assure survival of plantings, and with more research, may prove to be an organic yet active compound in new herbicides.

Her older sister, Julie Fukunaga, tied for first place in the high school division. The Tokay High School student’s project was “Electromagnetic Soil Sensing.”

This project was designed to build an efficient, low-cost and accessible electromagnetic induction non-contact sensor that can measure the soil’s ability to conduct electricity. This would be important for farmers to precisely maximize crop yields.

Julie Fukunaga tied with Sarah Bai of Tracy High School, who submitted “Designing a More Ergonomic QWERTY Keyboard Layout by Analyzing Punctuation Frequency.”

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