Baton Rouge high schoolers Natalie Marie Bush and David Chang Luo won prizes at the annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held May 8-13 in Phoenix.

The fair was conducted by the Society for Science and the Public and the Intel Foundation.

The students competed with independent research for prizes totaling more than $4 million, a news release said.

Bush, 17, of St. Joseph’s Academy, and Luo, 18, of Baton Rouge Magnet High School, qualified for Intel ISEF through participation in the Louisiana State Science and Engineering Fair held on the LSU campus in March.

Bush’s earth and environmental sciences project was “Staying Afloat: Utilizing the Physiological Adaptation Mechanisms of Marsh Vegetation and the Use of Mathematical Modeling for Barrier Island Restoration, Year 3.” She won first place in her category and received a $3,000 prize, as well as best of category, for which she received $5,000 for herself, $1,000 for her school and $1,000 for the Region 7 science fair. Bush’s project also won her the Intel and Indo-US Science & Technology Forum-Visit to India award.

Luo’s mathematics project was “A Tree Brand Path Solution to the Collatz Conjecture.” He won fourth place and received $500. He also received the K.T. Li Foundation first-place award of $1,500 with Mu Alpha Theta and the National High School and Two-Year College Mathematics Honor Society second place award of $1,000.

“The students present truly remarkable projects, many of which have the potential to change to world with innovation, or make life-saving advances. Their commitment to excellence and vision is amazing. Many have received scholarship offers based on their research, and involvement in science fairs gives them that platform,” said Lisa Graves, director of the Louisiana Science and Engineering Fair.