First place winners of a research competition held by UMSL's Missouri Regional Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium are (from left): Lydia Harvengt, Kevin Bird, Kara O’Connor, Bailee Slack, Elise Viox and Kishan Patel.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis has announced the winners of a research competition held by the university’s Missouri Regional Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium. The competition enables high school students to present the findings of their original scientific research to a team of judges.

The symposium, now in its 38th year, was held March 17-19, and the winners were chosen later in the month.

Students compete in six categories: behavior/education; chemistry/biochemistry; environmental science; general biology; microbiology and medicine; and physics, engineering, mathematics and computer science. The following students received certificates for their research:

Behavior/Education first place: Lydia Harvengt, senior, Wentzville (Missouri) Holt High School, for “Using Personality Type to Predict Personal Susceptibility to the Placebo Effect.” Second place: Jonathan Isaac Kimbel, senior, St. Charles (Missouri) West High School, for “Graphic Content: The Effect of Graphical Quality on Video Game Rating.”

Chemistry/Biochemistry first place: Kevin Bird, junior, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “The Use of Carbon as a Reduction Agent in the Laser-Induced Magnesium Production from Magnesium Oxide.” Second place: Tia Harper, senior, Wentzville (Missouri) Holt High School, for “Catalytic Investigation of a Novel Phosphinooxazoline-Ruthenium Complex Utilizing Gas Chromatography.”

Environmental Science first place: Kara K. O’Connor, senior, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “Disruptive Artificial Selection of Caenorhabditis elegans: Developing a Model for Sustainable Fisheries.” Second place: Ellen S. Wu, senior, Marquette High School in St. Louis, for “The Effects of Crude Oil and Iron on the Growth of Shallow Water Corals.”

General Biology first place: Bailee Slack, senior, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “Forensic Entomology: Using Insects from the Genus Sarcophaga for Cost Effective and Efficient Cadaver Detection.” Second place: Chandler Est, senior, Wentzville (Missouri) Holt High School for “The Effect of Iron as a Micronutrient on Algal Cell Growth and Lipid Biosynthesis.”

Microbiology and Medicine first place: Elise Viox, senior, Cor Jesu Academy in St. Louis, for “Role of PLC-a and Myb-a in Oil Accumulation and PLC-a in Response to NaCl Stress in Camelina sativa.” Second place: Mrigank Gupta, junior, Parkway West High in St. Louis, for “Living Bacteria into Electrical Energy.”

Physics, Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science first place: Kishan Patel, senior, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “Designing a Cost-Efficient Microbial Fuel Cell for Use in Third-World Countries.” Second place: Anthony Black, senior, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “Generating Electricity for Portable Devices from the Walking Motion of an Individual.”

Symposium sponsors include UMSL, Academy of Applied Sciences, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Alberici Corporation, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University in St. Louis, Innoventor, Stanley and Lucy Lopata, Missouri American Water Co., Missouri Department of Education, Monsanto Company & Foundation, Office of Naval Research, Sigma-Aldrich Co., Solutia Inc., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Research Office.

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Kylie Shafferkoetter

Kylie Shafferkoetter