Ethan Brady won 2nd place and Steven Qu won 3rd place at the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium held on March 1, 2019. Ethan Brady, son of Tina and Michael Brady, presented his work simulating the eating behavior of black soldier fly larvae using a genetic algorithm and agent-based modeling. Ethan and his research partner, Eagle Yuan, worked with Dr. Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Steven Qu and his research partner, Bill Andress, worked with Dr. Christopher Symons at ORNL. Steven and Bill developed a Cancer Detecting Neural Network (CDNN) that is able to detect multiple cancers from an economical and noninvasive blood test. Steven is the son of Jun Qu and Ye Sun.
Henry Shen, son of Lei Cao and Jian Shen, placed second in a separate poster competition at TJSHS. His research is focused on using computer simulations and machine learning to show stable binding states between a small molecule and disordered protein. This discovery is a step towards drug development for conditions involving disordered proteins. Henry worked with Dr. Arvind Ramanathan at ORNL. All students were placed at ORNL through the Math Thesis course at Oak Ridge High School
Math Thesis students David Joy and Kate Hausladen also presented their research at TJSHS. ORHS student Ruthie Froning presented the independent research she did through UTK, as well. Henry Shen commented “It’s a wonderful and rare opportunity to work in research as a high school student, and working in research has opened my mind to the wonders of discovery that I will explore in college and beyond.” Dr. Pickel, co-teacher of Thesis at ORHS said “TJSHS is a unique opportunity for high school student to present their scientific research in a professional setting. We are fortunate to receive support from administration and the community to provide this course to our students.”
TJSHS is an annual scientific research competition that gives high school students the opportunity to present original research in a public forum. There were 19 students that presented oral talks and 7 students who presented posters at the 54th annual TJSHS competition this year. The top two winners, Samaya Baljepally from Bearden High School and Ethan received scholarships and will receive an all-expense paid trip to attend the national JSHS at the end of April and compete for additional military sponsored scholarships. Steven also received a scholarship and his research partner, Bill, will travel to nationals to present a poster. (The facts about TJSHS were taken from their web page https://jshs-tn.utk.edu/about/)
Press release and photos submitted by Jessica Williams