Oak Ridge High School Students Bill Andress, Ethan Brady, Audrey Bufton, Ruthie Froning, Alexis Hammond, Kate Hausladen, David Joy, Steven Qu, Henry Shen, Paulina Urbanowicz and Eagle Yuan all competed at the 68th Southern Appalachian Science and Engineering Fair (SASEF). The event was hosted by the University of Tennessee on April 2, and students received awards for their research on April 4.  All of the ORHS research projects were recognized in their respective categories.

David Joy’s research on the development of an efficient radiobiokinetic calculation method using matrices and vectors was awarded 2nd place as well as the Intel Excellence in Computer Science Special Award. David worked with Dr. Richard Ward (ORNL, retired) as a part of the Math, Science, and Computer Science Thesis course at ORHS. David will compete in the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, AZ May 12-17.

Henry Shen’s research on the discovery of stable binding conformations between a small molecule and disordered protein p27 and the team project of Kate Hausladen and Paulina Urbanowicz on the use of image processing to map cell wall morphology of diatoms were both awarded 3rd place prizes.  The team project of Ethan Brady and Eagle Yuan on the use of agent-based models to study the eating behavior of black soldier fly larvae as well as Ruthie Froning’s project on the effect of native and nonnative plant species on Vanessa cardui (painted lady butterflies) were awarded 4th place prizes.  The 5th place prize was awarded to the team of Bill Andress and Steven Qu for their work on using artificial neural networks to detect multiple cancers from a blood test.  These projects were mentored by Dr. Arvind Ramanathan (Argonne), Dr. Chad Steed (ORNL), Dr. Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera (ORNL), Dr. James Fordyce (UTK), Dr. Chris Symons (ORNL), respectively.  Collectively, the students won over $2,000 in prizes and special awards from the generous sponsors of SASEF.

Oak Ridge High School Thesis teachers Deanna Pickel and Jessica Williams as well as science teacher Sharon Thomas have been working with these students during the course of the school year to support their research. Jessica Williams: “The SASEF experience is a positive one for our students because it gives them an opportunity to discuss their projects with people that are knowledgeable in their research field.”

David Joy at SASEF








Article and photo submitted by Deanna Pickel