Richland High School Freshman to Compete in Nat'l Science Fair - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland High School Freshman to Compete in Nat'l Science Fair

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RICHLAND, Wash., - A freshman from Richland High School is competing this week in a national science fair in Phoenix.

The 15-year-old, Swetha Shutthanandan, won regional and Washington state science fairs by creating her own alternative solar power cells in her garage.

The power cells use zinc oxide structures instead of the more costly silicone used in many solar cells.

Of course, it helps that her father, Shutta Shutthanandan, is a scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory who advised her and helped her work out the methodology.

She says it's been a lot of work but a great experience.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair has attracted more than 1,500 high school students from 70 countries.

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