Local student attends international science, engineering fair

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It started as a science fair project.

Now one local high school student's experiment has led to safety testing at an Augusta plant.

News 12's Meredith Taylor spoke with Lauren Smith Thursday morning about what Lauren is hoping to accomplish.

Davidson Fine Arts student Lauren Smith is in Indianapolis right now at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.

She was a finalist in Georgia, and will find out in a couple of days if she's a top three finalist out of 1500 other students internationally.

What got Lauren to this point was a science fair project.

Lauren's idea followed a study done by the Savannah Riverkeeper.

She tested the sediment in the area and found high levels of mercury in the drainage canal at Olin Chemical Plant.

The company is now doing its own tests.

"It's nice to know that you're a making a difference, especially something that affects so many people, and especially how harmful mercury is, that perhaps we can get this cleaned up because it needs to be," Lauren said.

The Intel International Science and Engineering Fair is the world's largest international science and engineering competition for pre-college students.

Lauren tells us it's very competitive and there are lots of good projects.

She's looking forward to the outcome, but says she's just happy to have made it this far.