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FHS participates in TJSH symposium


Farragut High School delegation at the 2011 Junior Science and Humanities Symposium included, left to right, Sahba Seddighi, Katie Parrott, Kristin Baksa and Miki Nolin.- Photo submitted
KNOXVILLE -- More than 50 students and teachers representing 15 high schools from across the state were invited to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in late February for the 46th annual Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

Fifteen students presented original research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines as they competed for college scholarships.

The Farragut High School delegation included students Miki Nolin, Katie Parrott and Sahba Seddighi and teacher Kristin Baksa.

Nolin, a senior, presented her research, "Study of Knoxville Zoo's White Bengal Tiger: Behavior in Relation to Enclosure," in which she observed the tiger's behavior in two different enclosures to determine which one provided a more positive environment.

The symposium, held Feb. 24-25, consisted of student oral research presentations judged by a panel of UT Knoxville faculty; tours of various research laboratories at UT Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory where students interacted with world-renowned researchers; and, for the first time this year, a teacher professional development workshop focused on mentoring student research.


The symposium culminated in an awards banquet recognizing the top five student presenters and honoring the top three with a total of $4,500 in scholarships.

Gloria D'Azevedo, a senior at Oak Ridge High School, took first place and a $2,000 scholarship with her presentation, "A Study of Elimination Orderings and Their Relevance to Treewidth in Graph Theory."

John Bollenbacher, a junior at Webb School of Knoxville, won second place and a $1,500 scholarship with his presentation, "On the Motion of a Projectile." Bowei Deng, a junior at White Station High School, received third place and a $1,000 scholarship with his presentation, "Thalamic Atrophy in R6/2 Huntington's Disease Transgenic Mice: A Stereological Study."

Kevin Clavin of Pope John Paul II High School and Andrea Tipton of Cleveland High School received honorable mentions. Jennifer Dye of Pope John Paul II High School received the 2011 Teacher Mentor Award for her extraordinary contribution to mentoring high school students in their original research.

Although the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium has a long history at UT Knoxville, interest has increased in recent years according to Lynn Champion, director of the program.

"School administrators have recognized teacher participation in the Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is an important vehicle for advancing STEM education in their schools, and parents see their child's participation as not only an enrichment of the student's education but also a chance to win scholarship monies that can be used at the university of the student's choice," Champion said.

The Tennessee Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is one of 48 programs hosted by leading research universities in the U.S. For more information about the symposium, visit http://jshs-tn.utk.edu/.

 

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