She was warned not to go ahead with her science fair project because of the unpopular subject she selected. But Nancy Chang forged ahead anyway, and now she'll be attending the International Science and Engineering Fair.

The 16-year-old Clearfield High School junior walked away with six awards Thursday night at the Utah Science Fair awards ceremony at Weber State College.Because of her achievements, she was selected to attend the International Science Fair, which will be held the second week of May in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Chang 's project was titled, "Changes in Red Blood Cell Production in Pre/Post Menstrual Cycle."

She said she examined her own blood, and 16 other female's blood samples, and determined that red blood cells increase and decrease with a woman's menstrual cycle.

The result of her study gave her the impression that looking at blood would be a safer way to determine when women ovulated.

Chang said her method of checking blood would free women from birth-control pills and the calendar rhythm method.

"This is very beneficial," Chang explained, "not only to our society, but to Third World countries."

Birth control is not a very popular subject in Utah, Chang admitted, but she said she went ahead with her project because she wanted to help women.

"When I first started on this project, I had my doubts because it's a touchy subject that nobody wants to talk about," she said.

She said if her experiments are correct, women could prevent unwanted pregnancies just by checking their own blood. And she said the procedure can be done at home.

Chang also pointed out that knowing more about the female body will aid women in other health issues.

She said the menstrual cycle can be very stressful for women and create health problems.

"Girls should take better care of themselves because stress really does affect their bodies," she said.

Other top winners who will also attend the fair are Brian Cieslewicz, Layton High School; Jefferson Jex and Brad Matthews, both Viewmont High School; Jennifer Moyes, Ben Lomond High School; Mark Slabaugh, Ogden High School; Victoria Green, Bonneville High School; John Larsson, Weber High School; Julie Maughan and Daniel Medell, both Roy High School; Syndi Nettles, Sand Ridge Junior High School; Christopher Krejci, Box Elder High School; Brooks Brady, East High School; John Gwynn, Bountiful High School; and Maren Slabaugh, Ogden High School.