(Photo by August Jennewein)

Researchers, science teachers and future leaders in science and industry recently convened at the University of Missouri–St. Louis to consider problems and interrelationships of science and society.

Over 200 high school students and teachers from different high schools across the state took part in a three-day Junior Science, Engineering and Humanities Symposium, which was held at UMSL. The symposium, now in its 39th year, was held March 15-17.

A highlight of the symposium is the opportunity for high school students to present the findings of their original scientific research to a team of judges. Winning students were awarded various amounts of scholarship money.

Students competed 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: Megan Kelsey Popp, Rockwood Summit (Missouri) High School, for “The Effects of Enrichment Using Urine Scent, Whole Prey Deer Hide, and the Barrel Enrichment Device on the Amur Tigers at the Saint Louis Zoo.” Second place: James Austin McGuire, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “The Effect of Contextualization on Moral Decision Making.”

Chemistry/Biochemistry first place: Rachel Elise Maxwell, Lindbergh (Missouri) High School, for “Vaporization Enthalpies of Ibuprofen and Naproxen by Correlation-Gas Chromatography.” Second place: Shalini Subbarao, Parkway West (Missouri) High School, for “Electrocatalysis of Ascorbic Acid on Self-Assembled Monolayers Assembled on Nanoporous Gold.”

Environmental Science first place: Jenna Baber, West Platte R-II (Missouri) High School, for “The Effects of the Concentration of Silver in Solution on the Inhibition Zone Produced for Bacillus licheniformis and Identifying Possible Methodology Used for the Efficient Removal of Silver from an Aqueous Solution.” Second place: Kevin Bird, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “Determining the Presence of Geothermal Endophytes in Hot Springs National Park.”

General Biology first place: Michael D. Pisano, Columbia Area Career Center (Missouri), for “The Effect of Bt Cry1AB Toxin in Genetically Modified Corn in Eisenia fetida During Vermicomposting.” Second place: Walter Wang, Rock Bridge (Missouri) High School, for “Protection of Organs from Ischemia Reperfusion Injury.”

Microbiology and Medicine first place: Vikram Ponnusamy, Parkway South (Missouri) High School, for “Effect of C-terminal Binding Protein on Oncogenic Transformation.” Second place: Hannah Lucas, Wentzville Holt (Missouri) High School, for “An Exploration of the Antimicrobial Properties of Sap-Producing Plants.”

Physics, Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Science first place: Savannah Est, Wentzville Holt (Missouri) High School, for “Optimizing a Dye-sensitized Solar Cell Design through the Characterization of and Selection of Anthocyanin Pigments.” Second place: Shane Kincaid, Camdenton (Missouri) High School, for “The Feasibility of the Use of an Eddy Current Braking System on an Automobile.”

Symposium sponsors include UMSL, Academy of Applied Sciences, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Alberici Corporation, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Graybar,  Innoventor, LMI Aerospace, Stanley and Lucy Lopata, Missouri American Water Co., Missouri Department of Education, Missouri S&T, Monsanto Company, Office of Naval Research, Sigma-Aldrich Co., Solutia Inc., UMKC, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Army Research Office.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez