OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – Roxanne Farahi, a senior at Oak Ridge High School (ORHS), placed first at the Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair (SASE), earning a scholarship prize and the opportunity to travel to Dallas in May to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) against 1800 other high school students from around the world.

Farahi worked with Dr. Joanna McFarlane at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to automate the analysis of temporal pressure data as noble gases dissolve into molten salt. The result was the creation of software that helps researchers use a novel application of the kinetic model to determine the solubility of the noble gas. The research was conducted as part of the Math, Science Thesis course at Oak Ridge High School, a partnership with ORNL that has existed since 1981.

“Math Science Thesis has been such a rewarding experience,” said Farahi. “I have had the opportunity to learn how to code in Python, write a technical paper, and prepare a scientific poster. The SASEF was an awesome experience, and I am excited about advancing to the international competition.”

Farahi, an active member of the ORHS Robotics Team, was traveling with the Wildbots and unable to compete at the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities last month. SASEF was the senior’s first opportunity to present her research and earned her the top prize. After graduation, Farahi will attend the University of Tennessee Knoxville as a biomedical undergraduate student with plans to pursue a post-graduate medical degree in reconstructive plastic surgery.

“We’re thankful for our longstanding partnership with ORNL that allows our students these incredible experiences,” Williams said. “Thank you to UTK and SASEF for providing a platform to showcase the students’ hard work.”