Camarillo senior Science Fair crowns champion

Are you familiar with the five flavor sections of the tongue? Bitter, Sour, sweet, salty and savory, right? Think again! So says Shirley Randall, winner of the first AlmaVia of Camarillo Science Fair Competition.

The competition, held for seniors aged 65-years of age and older, was judged by Camarillo Mayor Kevin Kildee. Randall, 85, said that she got the idea from her decades-long career as a consulting registered dietician. In the 1950s, Randall says that the leading theory of taste was that the tongue was segmented into the five distinct sections.

“At that time, the theory was that you tasted the sweet on the front of your tongue, you tasted bitter on the back of your tongue and as you got old you tasted mostly just sweet,” said Randall. “Well, that’s all changed.”

Using Q-Tips and various flavors such as lemon and sugar, Randall asked volunteers to place the flavors on various sections of their tongue and then mark where the strongest flavors were tasted. Did the old theory hold up?

“It doesn’t make any difference,” said Randall. Randall had help from her daughter in the design of her display, second-grade elementary school teacher Diane Mendoza.

“It was just a lot of fun,” said Randall. “Instructing how to do it, finding the database, calculating it and coming to a conclusion. It was fun.”

Randall says that she won a Samsung Galaxy pad and a $100 gift certificate to Best Buy.

Port of Hueneme hosts MAST Technology Expo

Over 300 students took part in the Port of Hueneme’s MAST Expo kick-off highlighting the Port’s technology and innovation in early April.

The 6th Annual Maritime Advanced Systems & Technology Expo features a showcase of the Port’s activities and includes a preview of the coming year. Along with the students, local businesses and port customers joined the tour and demonstrations as well.

Revealed at the expo was a new collaborative from The Port, Navy, Economic Development Collaborative and the Went brothers of the local start-up, Matter Labs, the collaborative will bolster public access to piloting, developing, and commercializing new technologies in data analytics, robotic systems, alternative environmental technology, cyber security and more.

“MAST is a year-round incubator for our local inventors, entrepreneurs, and students. If you have an idea, this is the place to develop it, refine it, and showcase how it can change the world,” said CEO and Port Director Kristin Decas. “This new space will house an array of the most advanced and cutting-edge equipment and technology that will all be accessible to our community and students.”

“The sweet spot here is that MAST is a collider,” said Erick Went during the Opportunities for Innovation Panel. Went espoused his desire to grow entrepreneurial activity in Ventura County via the Port. “You’re putting together, in close proximity, things that are not always there and you’re hitting it with a bunch of energy, and all kinds of amazing things get created.”

For more information about MAST and the The Port of Hueneme, visit

Program encourages students to study cybersecurity

Governor Gavin Newsom has signed on to a program that encourages young people to delve into the field of cybersecurity.

Cyber FastTrack, created by the SANS Institute, is supported by 25 State Governors including Newsom. The program rewards undergraduate and graduate students who perform at the top of a series of cyber security games and tests with scholarships to advanced cyber security courses.

“Our ultimate goal is to encourage young people to consider a career within the cybersecurity sector,” said Alan Paller, Director of Research at the SANS Institute. “It’s a very lucrative and rewarding industry and we hope by making the program available to a wide range of students, as well as offering scholarships and courses, it will make a career in this field more accessible.”

To qualify, students must be at least 18 years of age and be enrolled at a nationally accredited community college, four-year college or graduate school. For more information, visit