Weekly Cycle Schedule
Monday, June 17 - Cycle 2 LAST DAY OF CLASSES
Genetically Modified Organism's Effect on Soil Nutrient Content
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are living organisms with genetic material artificially manipulated through genetic engineering. GMOs are becoming prevalent around the world especially in the United States.70-80% of foods consumed in the United States has genetic modification, engineering or recombinant-DNA technology. Minimal research on GMO crop production trends has been conducted. In the past decade, GMO production increased until approximately 2015, when the percent of GMOs produced dropped drastically. The cause of this is unknown, however, it is hypothesized that the consumer awareness of GMOs is affecting the production rates across the United States.
The purpose of Shreya's study was to compare different amounts of GMO crops produced in fourteen different states with different gene types from years 2000 to 2017. The data was collected by taking averages from 14 different states of GMO crop production. The averages were calculated to determine if each state was a high or low GMO production state. Her study showed that each state had a relatively similar amount of GMO crops being produced; however, stacked gene variety was produced more often than insect resistant and herbicide tolerant. Next year, Shreya plans on comparing soil nutrient content in crops that are genetically modified to organic crops.
Outside of science research Shreya enjoys skiing, running and playing tennis. She likes to travel to different parts of the world and read. She hopes to pursue a career in the medical field. Science research can help her achieve her goals as a high school student and gain experience within the research field.
Stem Cell Misconceptions within High School Biology Education
About 3.5 million students […] were expected to graduate from high school in 2016-2017 and about 96% of those students will have received a biology credit” (NCES, 2016). Out of those 3,360,000 students, how many of them have a true understanding of a new biological scientific area such as stem cells? Misconceptions are an incorrect interpretation of a fact based on prior knowledge or a misunderstanding of the concept itself. In the controversial field of genetic engineering, misconceptions have a detrimental impact on scientific progress. By identifying factors that encourage the development of misconceptions earl on in high school education, it may be possible to improve scientific literacy, and hopefully the progression of many scientific fields.
Throughout her research project Stem Cell Misconceptions within High School Biology Education, Annalena identified correlations between people’s demographics and personal opinions to a belief in stem cell misconceptions. Participants of Annalena’s study were given a demographic survey, an opinion quiz regarding stem cells, and a quiz containing some stem cell misconceptions and some evidence supported fact about stem cells. After collecting the survey, Annalena determined existing correlations between the using a one-way T test. In total 90 of 546, about 16.5%, of the answers that were given by participants were misconceptions. One variable, the question asking people if they felt stem cells were ethical on the opinion portion of the quiz, had a statistically significant result. That question had those who “disagreed” (on a Likert scale) that stem cells are ethical had on average 3 more misconceptions accepted.
Outside of schoolwork, Annalena enjoys playing varsity softball and bowling, as well as playing softball on teams not associated with the school. She is also and honors students and is an active Girl Scout at the Ambassador level. Musically, she loves to play the flute and the piccolo for wind ensemble, and the saxophone for the Jazz Band. At home she enjoys playing with her two cats, Mario cart, and going bowling with her parents for fun.
How eating patterns change post-injury within a dancer population
The advancing art form of dance has taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, as the number of young dancers steadily increases, the number of dance-related injuries increases correspondingly. Dance requires athleticism as well as abnormal ranges of motion. This consistent physical stress and manipulation of a dancer’s body into molded standards opens the door to fatigue, strain and in many cases, injury. Due to the intense dedication required, dancers have been found to face severe psychological distress following an injury. Prior research has evaluated the psychological and physical effects of dance-related injuries; Danielle’s research aims to bridge the gap between these two aspects dynamically.
The main goal of Danielle’s research is to observe how an injury may trigger a change in eating habits among dancers. Participants were instructed to log eating habits and give themselves a daily rating on their portion control abilities and whether they considered each day “good” or “bad” in terms of dietary choices. Information was collected through surveys that asked questions highlighting the psychological state of each participant. Injured dancers were found to have a lower average portion control rating and a lower average daily rating in comparison to non-injured participants. Overall, this research links injury to a decline in healthy eating for dancers, and can help distinguish the need for intervention methods and social support.
Danielle is a junior at Carmel High School, as well as a competitive dancer at Seven Star School of Performing Arts. She is an honors student and participates in multiple extracurriculars outside of school. Danielle is part of the CHS mentor program, Students Assisting Students club, National Honor Society and she volunteers with a troop of elementary level Girl Scouts. She hopes one day to work with children for a career.
Feeding Preferences of Scavengers in Temperate Deciduous Forests
The field of forensic taphonomy is a field that examines how taphonomic forces (decomposition in soil, or interaction with insects and other animals) have altered evidence and how scavengers play a major role in the decomposition process. Scavengers can slow forensic investigations by moving bones away from the initial location. From studying disarticulation patterns, forensic scientists can determine the approximate radius for missing bones that may have been taken by scavengers. If researchers knew of a scavengers known preferences, then they could predict which scavengers had fed on a set of remains. If the scavengers had a known preference, then forensic scientists could predict which scavenger is feeding on the set of remains.
Isabel is planning to determine if the scavengers in temperate deciduous forests exhibit feeding preferences. She has conducted a meta-analysis to determine if there was significant evidence to claim that scavengers have preference for the prey they feed on. The widely varied data as well as prior knowledge on animal behavior from previous studies do not show any significant evidence to support the claim that scavengers have a feeding preference. Isabel hopes to continue this project in a temperate deciduous forest biome in order to see if the location effects preference.
Isabel is an honors student at Carmel High School. She sings in the CHS Concert Choir. Isabel is also an active member of the Students Assisting Students program, has participated in the spring musical, The Little Mermaid. She has been accepted into the mentorship program, 1000 girls 1000 futures, conducted by The New York Academy of Sciences. During the summer, she enjoys volunteering at the Kent Public Library. When she graduates, Isabel hopes to attend college and study education.
Evaluation of the Genotoxic Potential of Naturally Occurring Chemicals in the Chicken Egg Genotoxicity Assay (CEGA)
A large number of consumer products, including food, personal care, and household products, used throughout the world on a daily basis contain chemicals, many of which are unknown in their toxic potential. Some of these compounds within products can cause genetic damage, such as DNA strand breaks or adducts, eventually leading to mutations and cancer. Thus, such compounds require testing to assess their harmful potential. The primary focus of Thomas’ study was to evaluate an alternative method for genotoxicity testing, the Chicken Egg Genotoxicity Assay (CEGA). His study also analyzed two commonly used compounds, resorcinol and perillaldehyde, for their genotoxic potential.
With CEGA, important genotoxicity testing can be achieved at a faster, more ethical rate than animal testing. In the resorcinol groups, there were no substantial dose dependent findings of DNA strand breaks, nor did any adducts form. Thomas’ study concluded that resorcinol does not exhibit a genotoxic threat to organisms. A high mortality rate in the perillaldehyde dosed groups indicates that future testing is required at lower doses. The results of his study have proven CEGA to be an effective model for genotoxicity testing of chemical compounds. While both resorcinol and perillaldehyde were found to be non-genotoxic, the important takeaway is that CEGA can test any chemical found in commonly used household products. As more chemicals are tested, the public can be informed of the risks associated with those chemicals. Thus, consumers can make healthier decisions to protect themselves and their families from dangerous chemicals.
Thomas is an active member of the community. This past winter, he created an organization to provide snow removal for elderly and disabled veterans, dubbed “Snow Warriors.” He is an active member of Putnam County Youth Court, NHS, and a CHS mentor. Thomas is an avid runner and the captain of Carmel’s Cross Country and Track teams. During his free time, Thomas enjoys spending time in nature by either hiking or biking. After graduation, Thomas hopes to attend one of the nation’s service academy and pursue a degree in engineering or physics.
An Accessible Reading Program for Children with Physical Challenges
20% of children with disabilities cannot read and will have challenges learning this essential tool without extra help. Though there are an abundant of suitable reading systems available, none of them are geared towards the needs of children with physical challenges. Everyone has the ability to learn how to read, but some children just need specific environments and technology to help them. . That is why Helena evaluated how certain assistive technology tools can be an aid for children with physical challenges when they are learning to read.
The purpose of Helena’s project was to test how two assistive technology tools could potentially aid children with physical challenges when learning how to read. Since reading and communication go hand-in-hand, not being able to read, limits their options for communicating. The two assistive tools that Helena’s experiment tested, were the symbols and a darkened screen, embedded in a digital reading program. The experiment assessed whether or not the presence of one or both of these assistive tools could increase the child’s capability to learn how to read. Helena’s project is ongoing and, with the assistance of her mentor, she will continue to analyze the effect that these two assistive technology tools have on children who are physically challenged.
As a junior, Helena is a High Honors and AP student. Helena also volunteers for Guiding Eyes for the Blind by socializing puppies. Helena is a member of the National Honor Society, Students Assisting Students and Youth Court. In addition, she was also voted as the Treasurer for the junior class and has held the position for three years.