Program Archive

PDF version being created. This may take some time, please wait...

Print Version







 

Junior Academy Program 2020

Virtual event April 18, 2020
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Biological Topics 1
9:30 - Cardiac Mesenchymal Cells Cultured at Physiologic Oxygen Tension Have Superior Therapeutic Efficacy in Mice with HF
Topic: High School Biological Topics I - morning presentations
Robi Bolli
duPont Manual High School 
Cardiac mesenchymal stem cells (CMCs) are novel and promising stem cells that have shown significant efficacy in improving heart function in rodents after myocardial infarction (MI) and may soon be used in clinical trials. Stem/progenitor cells are usually cultured at atmospheric oxygen tension (21%); however, physiologic O2 tension in the heart is only ~ 5%. This raises the concern that culturing cells at 21% O2 may cause toxicity due to oxidative stress. The hypothesis of this study is that, compared with 21% O2 tension, physiologic (5%) O2 tension enhances the therapeutic efficacy of CMCs. Murine CMCs were cultured at 21% or 5%O2. Compared with 21%O2, culture at 5%O2 significantly (P<0.001) increased cell proliferation, telomerase activity, telomere length, and resistance to severe hypoxic stress (1% O2 for 24 h). Then, mice with heart failure caused by an MI received (via echocardiography-guided intraventricular injection) CMCs cultured at 21%O2 or 5%O2, or vehicle.
9:45 - Examining Mechanisms of Resistance In Palbociclib-Resistant Estrogen Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer Cells
Topic: High School Biological Topics I - morning presentations
Aditi Kona
North Oldham High School 
Breast cancer is characterized by an aggressive, metastatic tumor. This heart of this research relies on palbociclib, an innovative drug that slows breast cancer and relies on the inherent quality of cancer cells to acquire resistance. To identify the varying mechanisms that cancer cells manipulate to develop resistance, estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) palbociclib resistant (pR), ER+ palbociclib sensitive (pS), estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) pR, and ER- pS type cells from the T-47D cell line were grown. The purpose of this project is to identify the most effective combination therapy through analysis of protein concentrations in the cyclin D1-CDK4/6-Rb axis and to determine the efficacy of an oncolytic adenovirus. Data represents the results of western blot, flow cytometry cell cycle analysis, and crystal violet staining procedures. These studies provide a base for a novel anti-cancer treatment combining an OAd and palbociclib for the treatment of ER+ breast cancer.
10:00 - Nrf2 Pathway is Critical to Right Heart Failure by Sulforaphane in a Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Mouse Model
Topic: High School Biological Topics I - morning presentations
Emma Huang
duPont Manual High School 
Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is the main determinant of mortality in patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH); sulforaphane (SFN), an Nrf2 activator, has facilitated cardiac protection in preclinical diabetic models. It was hypothesized that SFN and Nrf2 pathway might play roles in reducing RV and pulmonary inflammation and injury in a murine PAH model.
PAH was induced in wild type mice. Transthoracic echocardiography was performed to characterize ventricular function during PAH induction. SuHx induced progressive RV diastolic and systolic dysfunction. SFN prevented SuHx-induced RV dysfunction and pulmonary vascular remodeling. Thus, SuHx-induced RV and pulmonary dysfunction can be attenuated by SFN.
PAH was also induced using SuHx in Nrf2 knockout mice. SuHx induced progressive RV diastolic and systolic dysfunction. SFN did not prevent RV dysfunction and remodeling and did not reduce SuHx-induced PAH in Nrf2 knockout mice. Thus, Nrf2 pathway is critical to prevent right ventricular dysfunction and PAH by SFN.
10:30 - The Induction of Cell-Cycle Arrest Inhibits Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer by a Small Molecule
Topic: High School Biological Topics I - morning presentations
Aakash Vadhanam
duPont Manual High School 
Emerging evidence has shown that Urolithin A, as an active ingredient of pomegranates and berries, inhibits tumor development. The aim of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effects of urolithin analogue ASR 600 on TCCSUP and UMUC3 on human muscle invasive bladder cancer cells. Previously, it has been reported that IC50 concentration of ASR 600 inhibits the proliferation and induces apoptosis in bladder cancer cells. Here it is demonstrated for the first time that ASR 600 caused G2/M cell cycle arrest of bladder cancer cells that was accompanied with decreased expression of CDC2 and cyclin B1. ASR 600 treatment suppressed the Cdc25C level, which led to inactivation of CDC2. Moreover, ASR 600 induced phosphorylation of Cdc25C and inhibits expression of PLK1. Overall, these results indicate that ASR600 can induce cell cycle arrest at the G2/M phase. Thus, ASR 600 may be useful for bladder cancer treatment.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Biological Topics 2
9:45 - Effect of Persulfates on the Prevalence of Bacteria on Removable Retainers
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Khushi Pola
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of the project was to determine if persulfates had an impact on the prevalence of bacteria found on VFRs. Persulfates are a known allergen, and it's important for oral hygiene to know if persulfates have any effect. Three sets of retainers were placed into a solution of artificial saliva. The control set of retainers was not cleaned, the persulfate set was cleaned by RetainerBrite, and the persulfate-free set was cleaned by DentaSOAK. Samples were collected by swabbing each surface of the retainer. These samples were plated, and were placed in an incubator; after eight days, the plates were taken out and the available data measured. Mold had grown in most of the plates, with an abundance of bacteria growing in the control plates. However, the data wasn't statistically significant enough to support the research hypothesis. The null hypothesis was accepted, and the research hypothesis wasn't supported.
10:00 - Grape Components for Periodontal Treatment
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Anne Liang
duPont Manual High School 
Periodontitis is one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases. It is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults and is associated with various systemic diseases, including arthritis. Periodontitis is instigated by microbial pathogens and is caused by pathogen-induced inflammation. Among all pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis stands as the primary contributor to pathology. P. gingivalis is able to signal through various signaling pathways for inflammation induction. One pathway that is believed to play a major role in periodontitis is the NF-kB pathway, an important mediator for pro-inflammatory cytokines. Grape was tested on inflammatory bone loss in mice, as well as osteoclast and pro-inflammatory cytokine production in vitro. Grape and its phenolic compounds were tested on the NF-kB pathway and the growth of P. gingivalis. Through a series of experiments, grape components were shown to suppress characteristics of periodontitis, including NF-kB activation, oral bacteria growth, inflammation, and bone loss.
10:15 - The Effect of Age on Emotional Connection to Music
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Wavid Bowman
DuPont Manual High School 
The focus of the research was on how age impacts how we interpret music. Different people interact and are influenced by music in different ways that depend on the composition of the music, the genetic makeup of the listener, and other unknown factors. The hypothesis of this research was that age is one of these unknown factors that affect the way people interpret and are emotionally impacted by music. A survey was sent out using convenience-based sampling and collected data of the answers' ages and their emotional connection to music. The data collected did not support the hypothesis that there is a significant difference between the way adults and children are affected by music.
10:30 - Effect of Age-Related Inflammation on Different Sub-types of Ischemic Stroke
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Shaun Liu
duPont Manual High School 
Ischemic stroke severity was found to be associated with inflammation independent of age, but it was not clear how strong this correlation was in each ischemic TOAST subtype with varying causes. This project sought to identify the differences between three TOAST subtypes of large artery atherosclerosis (LAA), cardioembolic (CEI), and small vessel occlusion (SVO) strokes in their correlations of stroke severity, outcomes and inflammations independent of age. A retrospective study was conducted using 1723 deidentified patient data separated by TOAST subtype and stratified into five age groups that were analyzed for differences in correlations. It was found that CEI had the most severe strokes, worst outcomes, and the strongest relationship with inflammation among the three subtype strokes while SVO had the weakest correlations, lowest severity, and better outcomes. This study suggests inflammation has some impact on stroke severity and outcome independent of age and causes.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Botany and Environmental Sciences
9:30 - Creating an AI Model to Predict an Organism's Future Evolution
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Ranga Chennakesavula
DuPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this experiment is to create a learning model within a simulation that will be able to accurately predict an organism's future evolution. The materials needed for this project is a laptop that is capable of running Blender. Once the laptop is available, environments will need to be created and rendered in blender in order to provide a background and base for the simulation. Once the environment has been created, the organism that will be predicted needs to be chosen so that the model can use the organism to proceed with testing. In order to create the model that will be used, past data regarding the organism is given, the model runs, and then test its accuracy with the current data regarding the organism. The best model is then used for the program. After the model has been determined, the user will input certain characteristics of the environment.
9:45 - Powered by Termites - a novel approach to methane production for renewable biofuel
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Kiera Fehr
Student 
The purpose of this experiment is to measure the level of methane (CH4) produced by Eastern Subterranean worker termites fed solely on a diet of broccoli. This research is the first step towards determining if termites can survive and produce methane as a source of biofuel for astronauts living in space. Gas measurements were observed for 1 minute every 24 hours for 30 days with the peak resistance value being recorded. The calibration and resistance measurements were then applied to a formula based on the mass of methane and converted into ppm of gas. The broccoli only control group measurements, or unknown gasses, were subtracted from the termite and broccoli trial group measurements producing a recorded methane value. Ten termites produced on average 177.34 ppm of methane gas per day over 30 days. This project proved worker termites can survive on broccoli alone and produce methane for future habitats in space.
10:00 - The Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation on Vigna Radiata
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Jash Pola
duPont Manual High School 
The study examined the effect of electromagnetic radiation on the structure of plants, the independent variable being the distance the plant was planted from the source of the Wifi, and the dependent variable was the height of the plant. The study compared a control group to two different strengths of Wifi on plants. Based on prior research, it was hypothesized that a plant placed 5 meters away from a Wifi router, as opposed to 14.7 meters, would be the most affected by the Wifi radiation. In 3 buckets, 30 mung bean plants were planted, and the buckets were placed at various distances away from the router. This was tested through Ookla Speedtest. The results showed that at 14.7 meters, the plants were affected the most negatively. The results of other experiments were proven, as a negative effect from Wifi was shown.
10:15 - The Effect of Titanium Dioxide Photocatalysis on Birth Control Pills in Drug-Polluted Waters
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Spandana Pavuluri
DuPont Manual High School 
Drug pollution is a concerning problem because of its negative environmental impacts. This project tested the TiO2 photocatalyst against birth control pills in water to measure its drug degradation capabilities. With light, TiO2 may be able to break down Ethinyl estradiol (EE), a synthetic form of estrogen in birth control pills. The control trial, which tested a solution of EE in water, was compared to three experimental trials of EE and TiO2 in water. In the control, the EE concentration (measured using spectrometer) was low prior to light exposure. Throughout the experiment, the control and first two experimental trials had similar EE concentrations at each chosen time interval. In the third experimental trial, TiO2 was designated as a baseline in the spectrometer and contributed to a statistically significant decrease in EE concentration (compared to control), supporting the hypothesis that birth control content would decrease with TiO2 treatment under light exposure.
10:30 - The Role of Cell-Wall Degrading Enzymes in the Pathogenicity of the Fungus Colletotrichum graminicola to Maize
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Jamari Taylor
University of Kentucky Department of Plant Pathology 
Colletotrichum graminicola is a fungal pathogen that causes maize anthracnose disease. C. graminicola secretes cell-wall degrading enzymes (CWDE) that break down the plant cell walls and release nutrients. A mutant (MT) strain was identified with a defect in a protein involved in secretion. This MT fails to cause anthracnose symptoms. This led to the hypothesis that the MT has a deficiency in CWDE secretion, causing the loss of pathogenicity. The hypothesis was tested using two different colorimetric enzyme assays. The ability of the MT and original wild type (WT) strains to degrade xyloglucan and cellulose, two components of plant cell walls, was compared by using these assays. Results indicated that the strains were equivalent in their ability to produce xyloglucanases and cellulases. These findings do not support the hypothesis that the lack of pathogenicity in the MT is caused by an inability to secrete CDWE.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Chemistry and Physics
9:30 - AN ANALYSIS OF POLYSIALIC ACID AND ITS CONTRIBUTIONS TO EPITHELIAL NON-SMALL CELL LUNG CANCER AND THE IMMUNE RESPONSE
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
Sushruth Muthuluru
duPont Manaual 
Cancer is one of leading causes of death in the US, killing hundreds of thousands every year and affecting millions of more people. Cancer has many pathways to survive and beat out the body's immune system. One suspected pathway was through Polysialic Acid which forms a glycocalyx or a shield around the cancer cell. This post-translational substance is found in NCAM but then mutated for the benefit of the cancer cell. The immune system's B-cells can't attach antibodies to it and fails to recognize it causing no response or detection of the cancer. Previous papers have used polysialic acid in E. Coli and in mammalian blood. The experiment I did, showed Polysialic acid being a cancer-specific trait when only cancer cells stained positive. The results showed through research and experimentation that Polysialic acid and its chemical properties have enabled cancer to become more resistant to the immune response.
9:45 - Analysis of the JPL Small Body Database in Order to Find the Asteroid best Suited for future Minding Expeditions.
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
Zain Tariq
Dupont Manual High School 
The purpose of this experiment was to use the JPL Small-Body Database to determine which asteroid would be most profitable for mining minerals such as platinum or iron. The first step was to download the JPL database in an excel file. Next was limiting the data by placing limits on certain variables and deleting cells with insufficient data. The next step was using certain equations to determine the mass of asteroids and then using that to determine the amount of iron and platinum and placing a 'price tag' on the asteroid. The data overall showed that none of the variables in the asteroid were correlated to each other and that none varied in the data set other than the diameter. Through the data analysis, the conclusion was that Asteroid 4 Vesta had the most minerals inside and that the variable diameter was most correlated with the final price.
10:15 - Electrospun Nanofibers for Air Filtration
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
Shreeya Julakanti
DuPont Manual High School 
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) released into the air can create various issues with the environment and human health. Due to this, it is important to look at ways to mitigate the impacts of VOCs. One of the most efficient and affordable ways to address this issue is electrospinning, a way to create continuous nanoscale fibers, are created using a high-voltage power supply (Park, 2011). This film can be used for a variety of things ranging from healthcare to filtration. The research question of how can we use electrospun polyethylene glycol (PEG) nanofibers with titanium dioxide to filter volatile organic compounds (VOCs) through exposure to ultraviolet light? The was if the nanofibers are exposed to prolonged periods of light, they will gradually become less efficient. The purpose better understand of the versatility of nanofibers. Data supported my hypothesis, as more exposure to light decreased filtration efficiency.
10:30 - Growth and Analysis of Nano Clusters: Self-Organized Pattern Formation
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
James Gonzalez
duPont Manual High School 
Computer simulations have been used to study the growth of nanoclusters based on self-organized pattern formation. The simulations incorporate four basic atomic processes: the deposition of adatoms (adsorbed atoms), diffusion, nucleation and growth of clusters. Different roles of adatoms based on their time of deposition have been identified. Furthermore, both size and spatial distributions of clusters were studied using histograms and pair-correlation functions, and the characteristic of the distributions were analyzed. Results show that a larger number of moves reduces cluster density and increases average size and average separation between clusters. Cluster sizes have less deviation from the mean with an increased number of moves, but distance between each cluster tends to fluctuate more than lesser moves. Potential applications of nano-engineering will also be discussed.
10:45 - The Effect of Water Temperature on Water Electrolysis Voltage Output, Eliminate the Electricity Crisis Now
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
Anirudh Devara
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this experimentation was to find a noble solution to create renewable energy using one of the world's most abundant resources, water. In this experiment, water electrolysis was used to create a voltage derived from water. It was hypothesized that a lower water temperature would result in a greater water electrolysis voltage output. To conduct the experiment, a water electrolysis machine was used.The water temperature levels that were tested were 4.4 ℃, 26.6 ℃, and 48.8℃. The resistance and voltage was found. It was shown the hypothesis was proved wrong because the higher temperature water produced higher voltage outputs. The 4.4 ℃, 26.6 ℃, and 48.8℃ water had total voltage outputs (volts) (on average of the three trials) of .3841, .89769, 1.11528 respectively.
11:00 - The Optimal Annealing Temperatures to Create Carbon Nanoshells from Metal Precursor Treatments for the Use of Electrodes
Topic: High School Chemistry and Physics - morning presentations
Viyathma Hapuarachchi
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this project was to find the optimal annealing temperature to create carbon nanoshells that will work as electrodes in supercapacitors. Carbon nanoparticles have recently been more discussed because of their graphene-structured nanoshells (Chanier, 2015). Carbon has an array of allotropic modifications that it can exist in as well as a unique set of physical properties. Carbon nanoparticles have gained traction because of their uses as catalysts and as electrode materials in supercapacitors (Dhere, 2018). However, the more debated portion of this topic has been its method to produce the carbon nanoparticles and its nanoshells. Thermolysis has gained its popularity due to the homogeneity and stability the process provides. Thermolysis is a synthesis process with a metal precursor treatment that is carried out at moderate temperatures, yet those moderate temperatures have not been narrowed down for supercapacitor use, which is what this research hopes to accomplish (Burkov, 2018).
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Computer Science and Engineering 1
9:30 - A Helping Hand - An Arduino Controlled Robotic Arm for the Disabled.
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 1 - morning presentations
Varun Hariprasad
Paul Laurence Dunbar High School 
A lot of people in today's society are confined to bed rest due to varied medical reasons and they must get assistance to pick up objects. This project's goal was to make a robotic arm they could control from bed to pick up simple objects like a bottle of water or medication. The robotic arm had to be fast (pick object 60 inches away under 20 seconds), stable, and work, so many steps were taken to achieve these goals. Throughout the project, supporting devices were added to make the project stable and not fall apart. To make the robot quick and efficient, the gripping mechanism and base design were changed multiple times. Finally, the robot picked up the object in less than 20 seconds. The prototype was a success meeting all the design goals.
9:45 - A Real-Time Temperature Monitoring System For Cold Chain Logistics using IoT and Arduino
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 1 - morning presentations
Sai Jeyaprakash
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this project was to build a Real-Time Conditions Monitoring System for Cold Chain Logistics using IoT (Internet of Things) and Arduino. This device would monitor the shipment and transmit data about it in real-time so that it can be monitored and spoilage can be prevented. The goal was to build the device so that it would transmit data about Temperature, Humidity, Methane Concentration, Light concentration, and Coordinates. The device was built using various sensors, two microcontrollers, and an IoT module. The device was successfully constructed, and a 98% transmission rate along with a 100% accuracy rate was achieved. Thus, the device meets the engineering goal.

This project is in the Computer Science and Engineering Category.
10:00 - Integrating Precision Agriculture through Automated Nutrient Analysis and Artificial Intelligence Crop Modeling
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 1 - morning presentations
Smrithi Balasubramanian
duPont Manual High School 
In an effort to maximize crop production many farms utilize fertilizers that supplement the soil with nutrients, such as nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous. Fertilizers act as an important tool to enhance the fertility of the soil through the supplement of nutrients to thus maintain healthy crops and continual growth. Regardless of the farm size, many farms over apply the necessary amount of fertilizer in order to ensure high yields. To exacerbate the issue, fertilizer costs are now exponentially increasing, with sales exceeding $18 billion dollars annually just within the United States. Lamentably, the financial cost of applying extra fertilizer in a field is substantially lower than the potential yield loss as a result of an under-application of fertilizer. However, this over application of fertilizers is mainly due to the absence of a method to quantify nutrient concentration in real-time. To combat this problem, I created a feasible and automated method.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
High School- Computer Science & Engineering 2
9:30 - Abstract on The Effect of Bridge Column Column Type on The Longevity of Bridges
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 2- morning presentations
Hrishikesh Bhatt
duPont Manual high School 
The purpose of this experiment was to determine how low-cost materials, in this case hardwood and stone composite, used for bridge columns affects the longevity of bridges in moderate conditions. To carry out the experiment, thirty masonry and thirty timber column bridge models were created. Each was placed into a controlled model mimicking a body of water. The water in the containers were stirred to simulate moving bodies of water and to apply pressure on the bridges. This process was repeated until each bridge had collapsed. The longevity was measured by the number of days the bridge stood. Based on the results, the masonry bridges' min. to max longevity was 22- 42 days, while the timber bridges' was 27-46 days. From the data it can be concluded that the prior hypothesis was correct, that if placed in moderate conditions, timber column bridges have better longevity than stone column bridges.
9:45 - An Alarm System to Prevent Hot Car Deaths and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Using Motion Detection
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 2- morning presentations
Amy Suo
duPont Manual High School 
An arduino device was created to sense for dangerous situations within an idle vehicle and warn any people within the vicinity of the car or inside the vehicle. The device, using motion sensing to detect human presence, is one of the first cheaper devices that can sense both dangerous temperatures and carbon monoxide levels with accuracy. Using a microwave sensor with a percent accuracy of 94.25% and carbon monoxide and temperature sensors with inaccuracies of less than 2%, the device optimizes an accurate, easy to use program that ensures the alarm would not go off until the person in danger is safe or notices the problem
10:00 - Assessing the Structural Strength of Concrete Members Using a Low-Cost, Non-Invasive Monitoring System
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 2- morning presentations
Nimish Mathur
duPont Manual High School 
With a rapidly aging infrastructure in our country, safety of the public is at stake. Since only limited public transportation funds available, there is a growing urgency to measure the level of loss in the structural strength of the deteriorating members so that repair-funds can be utilized judiciously.Combining fundamentals of Pouillet's Law and Ohm's Laws from electrical engineering in phase 1 and exploiting the fact that steel is a conducting material, this research successfully demonstrated that loss of current measured through a bar is directly correlated to the section loss of a rebar cross-section. This approach provides a quick method of identifying section loss of embedded rebar in concrete and used the basics of engineering to calculate the load carrying capacity of concrete members using environmentally friendly, non-invasive system. This research also provides a powerful, simple, tool to investigate the strength of structural components and to take corrective-action.
10:15 - Au and Ag Nanoparticles from Invasive/Ornamental Plant Extract for Cancer Diagnosis
Topic: High School - Computer Science & Engineering 2- morning presentations
Jaley Adkins
Belfry High School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Madison Slone 
Belfry High School 
Seeing that Pueraria montana is an invasive species in the Southeastern United States, there has been interest in repurposing the species. Noting that many plants have medicinal uses, we explored the potential of Pueraria montana as a non-toxic alternative as a gold and silver nanoparticle (used in cancer diagnosis) capping agent to create a pill to replace the gadolinium contrast agent currently used before patients undergo MRIs; The current method of nanoparticle production involves the use of harmful chemicals such as trisodium citrate. We are working to replace the chemicals in an environmentally-friendly and effective way so that medication taken prior to diagnosis can be non-toxic and side effects can be minimalized. Both gold and silver nanoparticles were characterized using a Transmission electron microscope and a Scanning electron microscope, revealing that Pueraria montana is an effective capping and stabilizing agent.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
Middle School - Session 1
9:30 - Anti-diabetic effect of bitter tasty plant products on type 2 diabetic children: Importance of neglected bitter taste
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
vedha balamurugan
North Oldham Middle school 
Diabetes is affecting millions of people and type 2 diabetes (T2D) is emerging as a new clinical problem in children. Current drug treatments have side effects including liver toxicity, so alternative therapies are necessary. It prompted me to search towards traditional plant-based herbal remedies. Among different medicinal plants, bitter tasty plant products are commonly avoided especially by children. My hypothesis was to use bitter tasty plant products to improve blood glucose levels in T2D children. I also hypothesized that the combination of two plant products would be better instead of using a single compound. Two plant that has received the most attention for its anti-diabetic properties is 'bitter melon' and 'neem leaves'. I tested in rat and T2D children. I measured OGT, insulin, HbA1c, microRNA, DNA methylation. Treatment worked well. The combination treatment had good effects in both rat and T2D, t proved my hypothesis
9:45 - Exploring Food Waste Production of Methane
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Thomas Galla
St Francis of Assisi 
The ISEF category for this science fair project is energy. The purpose of this project is to see if proteins, lipids, or carbohydrates make the most methane gas. The basic procedure of this project we made a foodways digester that converted rotten food into methane gas. Carbohydrates made the most methane gas lipids Made the second most amount of methane gas and proteins made the least amount of methane gas. The result show that carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins all make different amounts of methane gas even when they all have the same amount of rotten food.
10:00 - Hyssop: a Kentucky Native Cancer Treatment?
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Emerson Wyatt
St. Francis of Assisi 
Hyssop: ancient medicinal herb. Cancer: disease with uncontrolled, highly-dividing cells. Planaria are a good test model of regeneration.

Purpose: Can hyssop inhibit stem-cell growth in planaria; dose dependent?
1. Determine lethal dose/ medicine/toxicity.
2. Reduce amount of radiation therapy?
3. What cancer stage can it identify/target/kill cells?
4. Gelatin/enzyme test as metastasis treatment.
5. Effectiveness on human cancer cells?

Methods: 10mL/99mL hyssop/water=medicine. Serial dilution 100%-1% medicine. Test radiation/medicine on planaria under UV-C light. Test cancer phases using planaria in medicine/water/time variables. Measure anti-mmp abilities: gelatin/nattokinase, nattokinase/hyssop or water. Human/A549 cancer tested with serial dilutions/time.

Data/Results:
1. Cut planaria+medicine died: 100%/90%/80%, adults lived.
2. Planaria: died 4:00-2:30min/no medicine, died from 4:00-1:30min/medicine.
3. 40% death@signaling/cytoskeleton formation, 100%@metastasis, 100%@mitosis, 0%@angiogenesis.
4. Nattokinase/gelatin-71.4%growth, gelatin/medicine/nattokinase+16.7%growth gelatin/water+50%growth.
5. Medicine/Cell-viability: 1.7%/65%, 3.4%/60%, 6.75%/15%,12.5%/5%, 25%&50%/10%.

Conclusions: All hypothesis proved true. Hyssop=efficient cancer medicine.
10:15 - Nattokinase and Serrapeptase: Discovering an OTC Cure for Alzheimer's Disease
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Claire Midland
St Francis Of Assisi 
Purpose: The purpose of my project was to determine if the over the counter enzymes, nattokinase and serrapeptase, could degrade fibrils in beta amyloid, the harmful plaque present in Alzheimer's disease.

Procedure: I measured the rate the enzymes are degrading the fibrils. I used a 96 well plate inserting an enzyme, fibrils, and ThT in each well. I inserted the well plate into a microplate reader to measure the fluorescence of the ThT bound to the fibrils.

Data: I observed that nattokinase and serrapeptase degraded fibrils in beta amyloid plaque. Nattokinase degraded fibrils 80% as fast as trypsin, which was used as the control. Serrapeptase degraded the fibrils 32% as fast as trypsin.
Conclusion: The enzyme serrapeptase was slower and degraded less fibrils than nattokinase and trypsin, my control. Nattokinase's ability to degrade the fibrils was very close to trypsin demonstrating the enzyme's potential as treatment for Alzheimer's disease.
10:30 - Screen Light Poison: Does Digital Screen Blue Light Impact Health?
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Chloe Nunn
St.Francis of Assisi Catholic School 
The purpose of my project is to determine if planaria regenerating in blue light will regenerate at different speeds compared to the white light controls Also, whether dose dependency creates varied results. The second purpose determined if there are any diffusible factors, linked to regeneration speed. The third purpose was centered around immunity.

I discovered that the 6-hour blue planaria regenerate 3 days slower than the controls. The 12-hour planaria regenerate 6 days slower than the controls. The 24-hour planaria regenerated 3 days slower than the controls. The diffusible factors regenerated 6 days slower than prior blue light planaria. I concluded that the longer the planaria are in blue light, there immune system is weaker and more susceptible for infection.

The first hypothesis was accepted because the blue light stressed the planaria, therefore causing slower regeneration. The second hypothesis, diffusible factors, was also accepted. The third hypothesis was also accepted.
10:45 - The Development, Effects, and Treatment of Eutrophication
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Chakrapani Gudlavalleti
Winburn Middle School 
Eutrophication is where fertilizers runoff from commercial agricultural lands contaminate water bodies. Fertilizers contain mostly nitrates. However, they can contain other ingredients like phosphate, potassium, and other inorganic compounds. In this project, I aimed to understand the role of other inorganic compounds in eutrophication. Four containers of lake water were collected from Jacobson Park. Three of the containers had fertilizers added to them. The two fertilizers used were Vigoro Tomato and Vegetable Fertilizerâ„¢ and the other one is Vigoro Plant Bulb Fuelâ„¢. I hypothesized that the former would cause eutrophication faster because there were additional inorganic compounds other than nitrates. I used pH as a final indicator of eutrophication. After five trials, the Plant Bulb Fuel had overall levels. To treat eutrophication, I bought commercial dry seaweed and put it in the treatment container for two weeks. The effect of the seaweed worsened the condition of the lake water.
11:00 - The Psychology of Surveillance Part II: How Location Alters the Effectiveness of Watching Eyes Signs
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Colin Clevenger
Southern Middle School 
Part I proved 'watching eyes' signs placed in service strips under stop signs increased driver compliance at four-way stops by 30%. Part II investigated whether outcomes are dependent on sign location by recording driver behavior when sign location moved 1.5m to private property. The hypothesis predicted drivers would come to a complete stop less often than when signs were in the service strip (42%) because amygdala activity decreases as sign proximity decreases. The decrease would be minimal because signs should still trigger the amygdala; therefore, the stop percentage with signs on private property would be higher than when signs were absent (12%). Part II data supported the hypothesis, but decrease was significant. Complete stops decreased 30% with signs on private property (12%), equaling when signs were absent. Results proved location significantly impacts watching eyes sign effectiveness at four-way-stops, with their ability to positively influence driver behavior directly related to proximity.
11:15 - Making foam glass from natural resources
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Eli Oetken
saint francis of assisi 
In general, I hope to make foam glass from charcoal made using natural resources native to Kentucky, demonstrating that anyone, anywhere, can make foam glass. This being Specifically, I wish for a chemical reaction caused by the wall nuts charcoal making foam glass. Specifically, I wish for a chemical reaction caused by the oak wood charcoal making foam glass. Specifically, I wish for a chemical reaction caused by the oak bark charcoal making foam glass. Specifically, I wish for a chemical reaction caused by the corn cobs charcoal making foam glass.

The purpose of this project is to determine if foam glass can successfully be made from naturally occurring resources found in and around Kentucky. showing that anyone anywhere can make it.

the foam glass was mounted on one side and 3 heat lamps were set up on the other side.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  9:30am - 11:30am
Middle School - Session 2
9:30 - Bully Buster: An App to Protect Kids from Online Bullying
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Jason Millard
St. Francis of Assisi 
The main goal of this project is to make an app that allows parents to see what is happening on their child's social media. This is so kids won't have to tell their parents if they have been bullied, and it keeps parents updated immediately as to what is going on. The first goal of this project was to create a piece of software that can detect a substring within a string (or phrase). It needed to be able to also recognize words like 'don't' that would make a statement clean. The app needs to be able to send information in the form of a string variable to another device (form) and display a map for parents to see where their kids are to make sure they are safe.
9:45 - Developing a Simple Security Coating to Effectively Identify Tampering
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Vallabh Ramesh
Meyzeek Middle School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Emma Hatfield 
Meyzeek Middle School 
A security coating was successfully identified, optimized and applied to a glass surface. The developed security coating had good adhesion to the glass substrate and contained an UV active marker. This UV marker dye glowed in the presence of UV light having wavelength between 385 to 410 nm, which is in the UV-A wavelength region. Tampering with the glass surface was visually identified by shining the UVA light on the UV coating and by using optical devices. The intensity of the UV-A light and the reading recorded by the UV index meter had a direct correlation with the distance between the source and the substrate. Control experiments were done using tampering done by making holes with specific diameters and identifying them visually by using the UV index meter. There was a direct correlation between the size of the area that was tampered with and the ease of identification
10:00 - Exploring Neurotoxin Shed In Child Products
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Leah Niemann
St Francis of Assisi 
Exploring Neurotoxin Shed In Child Products

The purpose of this project is to see if fire retardant in mattresses and children's sleepers negatively impact neuron conduction velocity. This was tested using earthworms, which have been proven to be an effective model for human neurons, and a neuron spikerbox. It was found that earthworm exposed to mattress and sleeper fire retardants had a significantly lower conduction velocity than earthworm exposed to foam and sleepers without fire retardants and unexposed earthworms. This shows that fire retardant found in mattresses and children's sleepers lowers conduction velocity, which can lead to cognitive function loss, headaches, loss of vision, numb and tingling limbs, depression, imbalance and much more. It's important that we are educated on these complications so we can steer clear of products containing fire retardant and reduce laws requiring fire retardants when the complications can be worse then potential benefits.
10:15 - Foodle: An IoT and AI-based Integrated System to Reduce Food Waste, Food Insecurity and Save the Environment
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Shraman Kar
Meyzeek Middle School 
Food waste and food insecurity are two very big issues in the world. As much as 40% of the food bought by Americans was actually not eaten and wasted. Supermarkets lose $15 billion annually. If food waste was a country it would rank 3rd in terms of total emissions of greenhouse gases. At the same time, 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table. Foodle is an innovative system integrating Arduino based IoT sensors and an AI-enabled mobile app to help smart distribution of excess food on a real-time basis to the people in need. This reduces food waste, world hunger, and greenhouse gas simultaneously. The user needs to just take a picture and put their excess food in a specially designed basket. The intelligent IoT sensor enabled foodle basket detects and updates the foodle map so that anybody can come and collect the food.
10:30 - Hemp Extract: Miracle Cure or Microbiome Disruptor?
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Mary Shea Ballantine
St. Francis of Assisi 
Purpose: Determine if hemp extract acts as a/an:
• bactericidal antimicrobial on E. coli, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Staphylococcus aureus.
• dose-dependent, bacteriostatic antimicrobial
• inhibitor of E. coli's motility of
• inhibitor of Lactobacillus' growth, with Zoloft
• cause for dose-dependent sensitivity to antibiotics in bacteria

Conclusion/Data:
• Kirby Bauer Disk diffusion zones: Lactobacillus - 10.6 mm; S. aureus - 11.6 mm; E. coli – lighter zone surrounding disk
• 12-hour growth curves: all growth decreased: Lactobacillus – 34%; S. aureus – 31%; E. coli – 12.3%.
• Serial dilution: 100% hemp extract – all bacteria died. 0% hemp – all bacteria lived.
• Motility: hemp decreased motility of E. coli: Low-60%, medium-56%, and high-62%
• Minimum Inhibitory Concentration - Zoloft: Lactobacillus grow only once hemp and Zoloft were diluted to 40% concentration
• Antibiotic resistance: zones of inhibition vs. control: E. coli – 18% larger (Cipro); 19% larger (Chloramphenicol); Lactobacillus – 22% larger (Cipro); 21% (Chloramphenicol); and S. aureus – 19% larger (Cipro);
10:45 - How do Parameters Affect the Dynamic Stability of a Mathematical Population Model?
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Justin Huang
Meyzeek Middle School 
This project's idea was to test whether the population dynamics depend on three model parameters: alpha, beta, delta. I designed codes using MAPLE software to create a bifurcation diagram for this model to test whether the system becomes chaotic as we change only one parameter at a time.

When beta increases, the model demonstrates bifurcation, periods, chaos and periodic windows. When beta is in the equilibrium range and alpha or delta increases, the model approaches an equilibrium. When beta is in period 2 and the chaotic range with alpha increasing, the model demonstrates more complex dynamics. When beta is in period 2 range and delta increases, the model demonstrates bifurcation and then equilibrium. When beta is in the chaotic range and delta increases, the model demonstrates chaos, period 4, period 2 and equilibrium.

In conclusion, increased beta and alpha values destabilize the population dynamics. Increased delta values stabilize the population dynamics.
11:00 - The Efficiency Comparison of Programs Using the Pick-A-Ball Robot
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Shreyas Ghare
Meyzeek Middle School 
When playing tennis, picking up balls from the ground is a time-consuming problem and could lead to body injuries. Hence, I constructed a robot using Ev3 Lego Mindstorm kit and develop two programs namely 'Pattern' and 'Dot-to-Dot' program. The 'Pattern' program makes robot to follow a define pattern of motion whereas robot moves randomly with 'Dot-to-Dot' program. The project purpose is to compare efficiency of each program to collect maximum balls in less time. I hypothesized that the Pattern program will collect more balls than the Dot-to-Dot program. I performed multiple trials to confirm the reproducibility of my results. The data comparison showed that the Pattern program is collecting more balls efficiently than the Dot-to-Dot program in every trial hence proves my hypothesis to be true. Overall, my project provided a 'proof-of-concept' idea that could be used for commercial purposes to collect tennis or ping-pong balls using a robot.
Saturday, April 18, 2020  12:30pm - 2:00pm
High School - Afternoon Finalists
1:00 - Electrospinning Lignin into Nanofibers for Use as Anode Material in Lithium-ion Batteries
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Shirlin Kingston
duPont Manual High School 
This project sought to determine if different types of lignin can be electrospun into nanofibers in order to be used as a stable anode material in lithium-ion batteries. Two different types of lignin (organosolv and lignosulfonate) were tested separately to determine the type of lignin with the best cell performance, and to determine if this cheap alternative to commercial graphite has comparable or even better performance than traditional electrode materials. For electrospinning the lignin, several ideal parameters were investigated in this project, such as applied voltage and flow rate. This nanofiber was then carbonized and used as an anode material in a lithium-ion battery half cell. Each cell was tested to compare the performance of the carbonized lignin anode to commercial carbon anodes. The lignin-based anode was found to have a higher stable capacity of 225 mAh/g compared to the stable capacity of 160 mAh/g of traditional carbon anodes.
1:15 - Testing the Accuracy of Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dosimeters when tested under the Linac Machine
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Romith Paily
duPont Manual High School 
This project aims to measure the accuracy of Optically Stimulated Luminescence Dosimeters (OSLD) when tested under the linac machines. This will be measured by varying Angular Dependence. The significance of this project is OSLDs are used to double check the amount radiation absorbed by the patient. If the OSLDs present inaccurate findings, doctors will administer more or less radiation than necessary to compensate for the inaccurate readings. This experiment was performed by irradiating 7 batches of 7 OSLDs with the same amount of radiation at different angles to see if they would record the same amount of radiation. The OSLDs were irradiated with 255 Monitor Units at 15 degree increments from 0-90 degrees. Results indicated that Angular Variation of treatment impacts the accuracy of OSLDs. This could be attributed to the fact that the crystals within OSLDs which measure the radiation are circular and spherical in shape.
1:30 - What is the Effect of Ladder Fuel Treatments on the Burn Area of Forest Fires in a Semi-Arid High Elevation Climate?
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Brian Schwartz
duPont Manual High School 
Ladder fuels promote the spread of wildfires to the forest crown causing larger resistant fires. It is hypothesized that if the density of ladder fuels are reduced, the burn area in semi-arid high altitude forest will decrease. A series of computer simulations were run on the FlameMap wildfire simulator using 50 random ignition sites in a representative semi-arid high elevation forest utilizing US Forest Service environmental data. The extent of the fire varied greatly based on the ignition location from 13 to 22,506 acres. There was a statistically significant reduction in average total burn area after 10 days when 5% or more of the total acreage had been treated (p<0.01). There were further reductions in burn area with increasing ladder fuel treatment from a 9% reduction with 5% treatment to a 51% reduction with 20% treatment (p<0.001). The study supports the effectiveness of ladder fuel treatments in reducing burn area.
1:45 - Discovery and Analysis of a Novel Microbacteriophage
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Diksha Satish
The Gatton Academy 
The purpose of this project was to discover and analyze a new phage to add to the scientific community's knowledge of bacteriophages. Using the bacterial host Microbacterium foliorum, the novel microbacteriophage Squeegee was isolated from a soil sample in Bowling Green, Kentucky. The phage was extracted from an enrichment of the sample. When grown on an agar plate, it exhibited a turbid plaque which indicates lysogeny. Transmission electron microscopy was utilized to visualize the morphological characteristics of the phage. An icosahedral head and a tail from the Siphoviridae family was observed. A restriction digest was performed using extracted DNA. Gel electrophoresis was conducted on the digest to gain a general understanding of the genome. The gel revealed many restriction sites for the HaeIII enzyme. Further genome sequencing must be done to precisely characterize the genotype of Squeegee. Overall, these results most likely confirm that Squeegee is a novel bacteriophage.
2:00 - Machine Learning Algorithm Using Logistic Regression, ANN and SVM for Early Stage Detection of Parkinson's Disease
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Shreyas Kar
duPont Manual High School 
Parkinson's disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease. The diagnosis of PD is expensive, complex and inaccurate a quarter of the time and mostly diagnosed at a later stage. This research is aimed at early detection of PD by harnessing the power of machine learning. Using voice samples, two all-encompassing statistical measures are derived called Pitch Period Entropy and Spread1. Three different kinds of algorithms, namely Logistic Regression, Artificial Neural Network, and Support Vector Machine, are developed from scratch. All the models output F2 scores of .93 and more and more surpassing clinical trial accuracy of .87. All three models agree on same output 96% of the time and unanimous detection should be taken as valid outcome. The early-stage diagnosis of patients creates 6,890 Quality Adjusted Life Years saving USD 689 Million in the US alone. This has the potential to revolutionize the diagnosis and treatment of PD.
2:15 - Automatic Portable Phoropter and Auto Focus Glasses using an Integrated Variable Focal Liquid Lens
Topic: High School finalists - afternoon presentations
Varun Chandrashekhar
School 
Diagnostic equipment is inaccessible in poor nations. People's glasses prescriptions change, requiring users to frequently obtain prescription/glasses. The narrow FOV in progressive/multifocal glasses causes eye/neck pain. An eyeglass was designed using a voltage-controlled liquid lens which used electric potential to change lens curvature, allowing the glasses to mimic various glasses/phoropters. Data on the 'percentage increase in Visual-Acuity(VA)' of participants show that the 'average increase of VA' using the auto-focal aid(58.06%) was higher than the VA obtained using conventional visual-aids(41.33%). P-value(0.0004) was less than alpha-level(0.05), suggesting with 95% confidence that device outperformed conventional visual-aids. Improved performance was caused by the user's ability to make fine adjustments and the blockage of stray light due to small lens aperture. Data supported that this device could determine a user's prescriptions with 87% accuracy. In conclusion, this device provides a novel, cost-effective alternative to multifocal/progressive visual-aids and phoropters.

Find photos from the 2019 Junior Academy meeting HERE

2020

Print Version

PDF version being created. This may take some time, please wait...