El Segundo High School Students Win Second Place at Herndon Science Competition

“Our team was inspired by the possibility of an interplanetary space mission and decided that we wanted our project to somehow contribute to this exciting step for mankind,” said Matthew Tritasavit, ESHS team member. “We started with the idea of how important plants are and then moved on to what a plant would need to survive in space. Our project involved a multifaceted set of systems which would each autonomously take care of the plants needs from water, to light, to nutrients. Our goal throughout the competition was to work together to win and make our teacher as well as our school proud,” said Tritasavit, a rising junior involved in student government who was invited by his AP physics teacher, Daniel Horvath, to join the competition.

The Aerospace Corporation established the competition in 1977 to honor the late Robert H. Herndon, an Aerospace engineer and manager who served as a mentor for many at the corporation. The competition is also designed to stimulate interest among minority students in science, engineering and technology while also helping to increase diversity across the aerospace industry. Fifteen local high schools participated in the west coast portion of the competition. 

“This project taught me a lot about systems engineering, and how things come together in the big picture,” said Shrenil Sharma, rising senior in the ESHS Engineering Pathway and founding member of the El Segundo Cyber Education Initiative. “I learned how computer science worked together with electrical engineering components of the project and how my decisions in code affected the physical design and build of our prototype. It was cool to see how changing a string of code changed the way our final design ended up looking! Overall, I was surprised how much I learned about every type of engineering.”

About the El Segundo Unified School District

The El Segundo Unified School District (ESUSD) was established in 1912 to serve all of the residents living in the City of El Segundo and covers the western part of the city. ESUSD consists of six schools including the Eagle’s Nest Preschool, Richmond Street and Center Street Elementary Schools, El Segundo Middle School, El Segundo High School and the Arena/Virtual High School, as well as partnerships with the South Bay Adult School and California Regional Occupational Center (SoCal ROC).



Photo Caption: ESHS students take second place at the 40th annual Herndon Science Competition at The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo. Beginning second from the left, the ESHS students are Nolan young, Carson Doering, Matthew Tritasavit, Hayden Crabbs, and Shrenil Sharma.