Program Archive

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

Print Version


Junior Academy Program 2019

April 27, 2019 at Kentucky State University
Saturday, April 27, 2019  8:45am - 9:15am
Judges Orientation
Hathaway Hall 130
Saturday, April 27, 2019  8:45am - 10:00am
Main Lobby
Saturday, April 27, 2019  9:30am - 11:30am
High School - Computer Science and Engineering
Hathaway Hall 223
9:30 - Classification of full EEGs (electroencephalograms) for biometrics and medical applications through machine learning an
Topic: High School Computer Science & Engineering - morning presentations
Sarvesh Babu
duPont Manual 
EEG (electroencephalogram) based identification systems have a myriad of applications ranging
anywhere from scalable EEG systems for disease diagnostics, anti-epileptic drug administration, and
biometric identification. In this study, we tried to find the most efficient classifier architecture and
classifier type to classify the whole EEG dataset. LSTM networks, Hybrids, Decision Tree, and Naive
Bayes classifiers were compared in the classification of the data. The LSTM network was chosen for its
established usage in sequence classification problems. In this study, classification of the whole EEG was
the goal, which differs from current research which focuses on classification of evoked potentials (EEG
data based on sensory stimulus) and other potentials caused by motor movement. Classification of the
whole EEG dataset is important as EEGs are highly variable based on the mental/physical state of the
subject and disease potentials may appear throughout the EEG spontaneously.
9:45 - Development of a Software to Diagnose Cardiovascular Disease Using Preprocessing and a Convolutional Neural Network
Topic: High School Computer Science & Engineering - morning presentations
Karthik Jetty
duPont Manual High School 
The engineering goal was to create a system that could both accurately and efficiently screen for several of the most common cardiovascular diseases using software. This was done through several layers that removed the noise, resulting in a clean ECG that could be classified with a CNN. First, a fixed software filter was implemented on a GUI where one could select a software filter depending on the noise present. Next came dimensionality reduction, which was used in a novel way to remove any noise present. Finally feature selection was performed to reduce overfitting and increase end accuracy. Using the PTB ECG database, a 28-layer CNN was created that classified several of the most common ECG diagnosable CVD diseases. The final accuracy was 96.0% with a sensitivity of 95.3% and a specificity of 98.8%. This far exceeded all other algorithms made with a similar purpose.
Gravity Controlled Water Filtration System, Aafreen Shaik, duPont Manual High School, 120 West Lee Street Louisville, KY
Topic: High School Engineering - morning presentations
Aafreen Shaik
duPont Manual High School 
The issue that's become prominent in third world countries is the lack of clean water for communities, the global water crisis. The goal of this project was to create a water filtration system that's cost-effective, easy to set up, operate, and maintain. The basic structure of the device relies on the downward gravitational flow. A UVc light was used to kill the microorganisms that could have been in the water, activated carbon was used in order to filter large and small organisms. After designing and building this device, water samples were collected from various places around the city and tested. These samples were tested for total pH, total chlorine, total alkalinity and total hardness of water, before and after filtration. The water that exited the system was overall cleaner than the water initially ran through the system and the goal was achieved.
10:15 - Novel Approach of Rating Reinforced Concrete Member Strength Using Pouillet's Law
Topic: High School Engineering - morning presentations
Nimish Mathur
duPont Manual High School 
With rapidly aging infrastructure in our country, safety of the public is at stake. With 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 repairs can be prioritized and funds utilized judiciously. For structures built with concrete, corrosion of reinforcing steel bars, herewith referred as rebars, is a major cause of concern. Corrosion of rebar can lead to section loss of the bar in advanced stages. To quickly estimate the section loss of rebar embedded in concrete, and thus a measure of the reduction in the load carrying capacity of the element, this research used a novel approach to measure the level of deterioration and section loss in a rebar using a minimally invasive electrical measurement approach.
10:30 - Smart Irrigation
Topic: High School Computer Science & Engineering - morning presentations
Sasmi Heellage
Ballard High Schools 
A soil moisture sensor-based automated irrigation system provides a solution to a real problem of water run-off,caused by improper irrigation or timer based scheduling system. As per the United States Environmental Protection Agency,'soil moisture-based control technologies make irrigation schedule adjustments by automatically tailoring the amount and/or frequency and timing of irrigational events based on the moisture content of the soil in the landscape'
By adding a Raspberry Pi unit to control the irrigation system based on the soil moisture content and also chance of rain of the area, 'Smart Irrigation' provides an accurate, cost effective, and energy efficient solution. Thus, it helps preserving water in domestic landscaping.
Also, 'Smart Irrigation' mobile app allows the consumer to control the sprinkler system when needed, check the health of the control unit, learn the outdoor water consumption, and also see the predictions of outdoor water consumption of the domestic landscaping.
10:45 - The Effect of Differing Numbers on Chaos of Distributions to Five Five's Problem
Topic: High School Computer Science & Engineering - morning presentations
Sterling Chancy
DuPont Manual High School 
Chaos, the inability to predict outcomes, is a useful concept in areas like encryption and data security, and the goal of this project is to look into new areas of mathematics to possibly access new and safer methods of encryption. This project is based on the Five Five's problem, which uses 5 5's, and the insertion of operators between to create numbers, like "5+5/5-(5x5)." This project seeks to find every solution to this problem, the distribution of these solutions, and the effect on the chaos of these distributions when the number is differed, such as 5 5's becoming 5 7's, 5 1's, etc. It was found that the further the number to which the equation was varied got from 1, the more chaos in the distributions. This was hypothesized to be due to overlap of functions in low numbers, such as "2+2" = "2x2," which doesn't occur in large numbers.
11:00 - The Effect of Light Tracking and Tower Based Solar Energy Systems on Photovoltaic Energy Generation
Topic: High School Engineering - morning presentations
Varun Chandrashekhar
Dupont Manual High School 
To study the effect of Light Tracking and Tower based Solar Energy Systems on Photovoltaic energy generation. My project aims to create an economic and viable solar energy harvester which would be adaptive to weather conditions and would be cost effective. Hypothesis: If Solar panels follow the sun using a Solar Tracking System, it would generate more photovoltaic energy than the Tower based system which are stationary throughout the day. Light tracking, Tower Based and Stationary solar systems were built and tested simultaneously. Amongst all the models, the average photovoltaic energy generated by the Solar tracker was the highest and stationary solar panels had the lowest. The T-values show that both the Solar Tracker and the Solar Tower harvested significantly higher amounts of energy when compared to the Stationary solar panels. It was also concluded that the Solar tracker is the most efficient way of harvesting solar energy.
11:15 - The Optimization of Wave Analysis Buoy Using Piezoelectrics
Topic: High School Engineering - morning presentations
Murari Srinivasan
Dupont Manual High School 
This project was conducted to optimize current tsunami detection systems, as they are costly, high maintenance, and are overwhelmingly false positive. This buoy consists of a MPU6050 accelerometer, and a piezoelement, connected to an Arduino Uno. Code was written to output velocity, amplitude, wavelength, and frequency. A 2 x 4 inch PVC pipe, 10 pounds counterweight, solderless breadboard and connector wires were used. The breadboard system was placed in a small cylindrical container which slid into the buoy, which was waterproofed using silicone-sealant. To test, the buoy was attached to a bicycle pedal and turned at varying frequencies (1 Hz, 0.5 Hz, and 0.33 Hz), mimicking cyclical motion. Average velocity was 1/3 actual velocity. Average wavelength was 3 times actual wavelength. Average amplitude was 1.6 times actual amplitude. Frequency, however, was almost identical to actual frequency. The engineering goal was not accomplished. This is most likely due to accelerometer calibration.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  9:30am - 11:30am
Parent / Teacher lounge and coffee
Hathaway Hall 123 Auditorium
Saturday, April 27, 2019  9:45am - 11:30am
High School - Biological Topics I
Hathaway Hall 120
09:45 - Examining Natural Product and Drug Combination Effects on the Reduction of HT-29 Cells to Enhance Chemotherapy Treatment
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Smrithi Balasubramanian
duPont Manual High School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Sreevatsa Vemuri 
duPont Manual High School 
Fluorouracil, a common chemotherapy drug, can have many negative side effects, and cancer cells have developed a form of resistance to the drug causing the implementation of higher doses. The purpose of this project was to use a beneficial microbial metabolite, Urolithin, and compare against Withaferin, a plant-based derivative, in combination with Fluorouracil at varying doses to achieve a lower cell viability at lower doses of the chemotherapy drug. Varying doses of Fluorouracil were used on the HT-29 colon cancer cell line and a combination of varying doses of Fluorouracil and Urolithins/Withaferin were tested and measured using an MTT assay. The combination treatment of Urolithins/Withaferin and Fluorouracil resulted in lower cell viability when compared to standard treatment. As the dose of Fluorouracil increased the cell viability decreased, showing lower Fluorouracil doses can be implemented with Urolithin/Withaferin concentrations to achieve lower viability than standard treatment methods.
10:00 - How Does RAS Effect the Amount of PD-L1 on Lung Cancer Cell Surfaces?
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Sushruth Muthuluru
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this project, how RAS effects the amount of PDL1 on lung cancer cell surfaces, is to find out what the correlation between the major cancer gene and the protein that stops T-Cells. Understanding cancer better will help us find a cure and save thousands or even millions of peoples lives. The research hypothesis is that is when RAS with no RAS F2 is present then, the amount of PD L1 will increase compared to a RAS with a RAS F2. The experiment will be conducted to have one cell group with a mutated RAS with no RAS F2 and another group with a mutated RAS and RAS F2 . Then we will run 10,000 cells of each group through a Flow Cytometers to compare the two test groups. The results of the experiment supported the research hypothesis and will hopefully help many people.
10:15 - Human Genome Editing
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Aditi Kona
North Oldham High School 
The purpose of this project is to understand the inner workings of human genome editing, learn how precise it is and gain an understanding of the latest technical advances related to it.

A dry labs procedure was used for collecting the relevant information and how the various research initiatives aided in developing the tools and technology used for this purpose. I principally used PubMed articles for research often going into references quoted in them for more in-depth information.

The genome editing techniques evolved from targeting 18- base pair cutter to single base cutter with CRISPR-Cas9 tool. My research foes more in depth with the efficiency and advantages of each technique as well as how they have evolved over time. As we go forward with more research, we are looking at using these techniques to help treat diseases at cellular level, diseases for which drugs have non- significant side effects.
10:30 - Investigate Whether KY Hemp Extract is safe for NHOE Cells as Opposed to being Cytotoxic to Ovarian Cancer Cells
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Kathy Le
duPont Manual High School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Cindy Truong 
duPont Manual High School 
This project investigates whether KY hemp could inhibit growth of normal human ovary
epithelial cells when being used as a treatment for ovarian cancer. KY hemp has been researched
as a treatment for ovarian cancer and has appeared to be effective in killing the cancer cells. This
project furthers this research to find out if NHOE cells are possibly being harmed during the
treatment. It was hypothesized that hemp would cause no significant decrease in NHOE cells.
Cell viability was measured using both a MTT assay and a Calcein assay. Data analysis was
performed using a one-way ANOVA test followed by Tukey comparison procedures. KY hemp
and anticancer drugs Doxorubicin and Cisplatin did not affect NHOE viability as opposed to
being cytotoxic to A2780 cancer. Based on the data we conclude that KY is safe for the NHOE
cells as opposed to being cytotoxic to cancer cells.
10:45 - Mechanisms that Tumors Employ in Immune System Evasion: The Role Played by Exosomes and Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Naomi Kim
duPont Manual High School 
It is evident that CAFs are key regulators of the immune system to assist the tumor in immune evasion, however, little research has been conducted on the mechanisms of exosomes and CAFs in assisting tumor evasion of the immune system. Since it is known that CAFs aid the tumor in influencing stromal cells' functions and that exosomes initiate communication between the tumor and other cells, it was hypothesized that cancers secreted exosomes to convert fibroblasts to CAFs, specifically through changes in protein expressions. Through an analysis of transwells and western blotting, it was discovered that exosomes were secreted from cancers to change protein expressions in fibroblasts to induce CAF activation, mainly through downregulation of α-smooth muscle actin and upregulation of vimentin (common cancer-associated proteins). This discovery is significant as these proteins can be targeted in the developing more effective treatments to prevent immunosuppressive responses and metastasis from the tumor.
11:00 - Small Molecules for the Treatment of Bladder Cancer
Topic: High School Microbiology and Medical Anthropology - morning presentations
Aakash Vadhanam
duPont Manual High School 
Urolithin A (UroA) is a compound derived from pomegranates that can inhibit bladder cancer cells. Previously, it has been reported UroA treats bladder cancer cells (TCCSUP) showing 50% of cell death (IC50) at 15 micromolar by MTT assay. Here, UroA analogues were developed and the initial structure-activity relationship studies led to the identification of five small molecules as lead compounds, which were more effective in bladder cancer inhibition. One of the UroA analogues (ASR600) was identified that demonstrated the best efficiency in inhibiting AKT signaling in bladder cancer cells. It was shown that treatment of bladder cancer cells with ASR600 over 72 hours elevated expression of the tumor suppressor gene SFRP4. Immunohistological evaluation further confirmed that human bladder cancer specimens show decreased expression of SFRP4 when compared to normal specimens. Overall, this work provides convincing evidence for the utility of ASR600 in bladder cancer treatment.
11:15 - Testing Tracking of Tumors through Lung Tracking and Spine Tracking on the local efficacy of CyberKnife treatment
Topic: High School Biological Topics - morning presentations
Romith Paily
duPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this experiment is to determine whether lung or spine tracking is the superior method of tracking for lung tumors. This is necessary to find as a more accurate form of tracking leads to a smaller, more accurate treatment margin for tumors. A more accurate treatment margin allows for more precise treatment, meaning less healthy cells are affected by treatment. The way the experiment was administered is as follows: First, CT scans were taken of patients, through either lung or spine tracking. Afterward, doctors developed a treatment plan for patients and administered it. Using this data, I was able to then use ProKnow image editing software to separate the patients based on forms of tracking and start measuring Hounsfield Units. The data collected was the Hounsfield Unit values and types of tracking used by patients. After analyzing data we see lung tracking is the better tracking.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:00am - 11:30am
High School - Biological Topics II
Hathaway Hall 122
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Rojin Shirwan
duPont Manual High School 
Multiple sclerosis is a demyelinating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system initiated and perpetuated by T cells responding to number of myelin antigens. An imbalance between the number of pathogenic T effector (Teff) cells and T regulatory (Treg) cells is the underlying cause of the disease. Reversing this balance in favor of Treg cells has significant potential as a curative treatment. The past study was designed to achieve that goal using two novel biologics, death receptor agonist (SA-FasL) and growth factor (SA-IL2/IL-2). SA-FasL specifically targets Teff cells for physical depletion, while IL-2 expands and improves the survival of Treg cells. Our past studies have shown that the treatment with biologics is effective in mice for the treatment of established diseases. Our current studies are expanding this notion with huPBMCs by using an in vitro programmed apoptosis (cell death) and found that SA-FasL kills pathogenic T cells in huPBMCs.
10:15 - Developing a method of Room Temperature Biospecimen Preservation via Tetramethyl Orthosilane (Sol-Gel) Encapsulation and
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Kavya Koneru
DuPont Manual High School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Jack Boylan 
DuPont Manual High School 
A technology that can replace refrigeration and cryopreservation of sensitive proteins is necessary in order to alleviate the financial burdens associated with diagnosing various blood deficiencies. In this research study, we introduce a method of protein preservation based off sol-gel technology which allows for the transport of specimens at normal (non-refrigerated) storage conditions. We used the two-step sol-gel process in which tetramethyl orthosilane was hydrolyzed via microwave radiation, followed by condensation to form a silica-cage structure. Upon the addition of polyethylene glycol, the pores of the silica structure expanded allowing for the extraction of the protein. The sol-gel was able to increase the shelf-life of hemoglobin from 48 hours to 31 days, and fibrinogen from 4 hours to 5 days. This method allowed for 72 samples to be created in 30 minutes and cost $24 to produce. Lastly, over 93% of the hemoglobin was extracted from the gel.
WITHDRAWN - Effects of Grape Components on Periodontitis
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Anne Liang
DuPont Manual High School 
Half of the adult American population are victims of periodontitis, a chronic inflammatory disease. Pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by periodontal pathogens can cause alveolar bone loss and periodontitis. Grapes are rich in several components, like catechin and proanthocyanidins, which possess extensive biologic properties. They may exhibit antiinflammatory properties by suppressing activation of NF-κB signal pathways. The focus of this study was to determine the effects of grape components on bacterial growth, inflammation, and osteoclastogenesis in vitro, as well as gingival inflammation and bone loss in vivo. I hypothesized that grape extract (GE) inhibits P. gingivalis growth, osteoclastogenesis, and proinflammatory cytokines in vitro, and that grape powder would inhibit gingival inflammation and prevent bone loss in a murine model. The effect of GE on bacterial growth was tested by plating concentrations of GE with P. gingivalis and counting for CFU.
10:45 - Exercise as a Model for the Development of High Fat Diet Induced Alzheimer's Treatment
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Aysha Puzhakkaraillath
DuPont Manual High School 
The purpose of this experiment was to establish the direct relationship between high-fat diet (HFD) consumption and Alzheimer's development, and the possible role of exercise in mitigating their effects. High-fat diet consumption is hypothesized to promote blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction by way of degradation of tight junction (TJ) proteins, such as Claudin-5 and Occludin to allow an increase in amyloid beta levels in the brain. However, exercise could reverse these effects by promoting the upregulation of TJ proteins. Here, select groups were fed a high-fat diet for 4 months, while receiving simple, cardiovascular exercise for 16 weeks. Memory tests and western blotting indicated signs of Alzheimer's in HFD-fed mice. A multitude of tests also confirmed BBB dysfunction by way of HFD consumption. Lastly, epigenetic factors were upregulated when exercise was implemented. Improvements to Alzheimer's symptoms, epigenetic alterations, and BBB dysfunction were seen with the implementation of exercise.
11:00 - In Vivo Analysis of the Influence of the Migration of Mascara on Ocular Discomfort and Tear Production
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Sanya Mehta
Other Group Member (if any)
Aakash Mehta 
The study aimed to analyze the influences of mascara on the ocular surface. The purpose of the first experiment was to determine whether mascara migrates to the surface. Slit lamp microscopy was used to assess the migration of mascara. On average 13-16 particles of mascara migrated within 10 minutes. The purpose of the second experiment was to assess the influence of the migration of mascara on ocular discomfort and tear production. Schirmer tests were used to determine the amount of tear production. Ocular surface disease index questionnaires, surveys assessing the perception of symptoms of dry eye disease, were used to evaluate perceived ocular discomfort. There was no significant change in Schirmer test results (P = 0.86) and ocular surface disease index questionnaires (P = 0.80) after 3 weeks of mascara use. Thus, mascara contaminates the ocular surface by migrating into the tear film but does not elicit ocular discomfort.
11:15 - Sulforaphane on SuHx-Induced Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in Mice Model Through Non-Invasive Echocardiography
Topic: High School Biological Topics II - morning presentations
Emma Huang
duPont Manual High School 
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of sulforaphane (SFN) on right ventricular dysfunction in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) through a mouse model using echocardiography. Mice were randomized into groups: CTL (control), SuHx, and SuHx-SFN. PAH was induced with SU5416 and continuous hypoxia exposure (SuHx) over four weeks in groups SuHx and SuHx-SFN. Sulforaphane was injected into the SuHx-SFN group. As the PAH progressed in the SuHx groups, transthoracic echocardiography was performed on the groups. SuHx reduced cardiac index (CI), increased RV Tei (ventricular dysfunction), increased the TV E/E' ratio, an indicator of ventricular diastolic stiffness, and also induced hypertrophy in the RV. SuHx caused progressive pulmonary arterial hypertrophy and right ventricular dysfunction; however, sulforaphane fully reversed the effects of SuHx on CI, RV Tei, and TV E/E', with a partial reversion on the RVFW thickness.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:00am - 11:30am
Middle School - Session I
Hathaway Hall 419
10:00 - A new trend of type 2 diabetes in children: Genetic factors and improved treatment options
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Vedha Balamurugan
North Oldham Middle School, Goshen 
During summer break 2016-2017, I went to India. I had an opportunity to work in the alpha hospital and research center, Institute of diabetes and endocrinology as a volunteer. Every day I spent time seeing different and new patients. One day though, instead of giving a teenage boy, an insulin injection, he was given, pills and diet tips. I asked the doctor, and he said that the boy was a type 2 diabetic, even though he was a teenager. That got me thinking, type 2 diabetes is a disease that is generally known for adults of an age 40 or over, not 15-20 year old. So the more I noticed, that boy was not the only one with type 2 diabetes at a young age, there were a few others.
After learning the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetic kids etiology, diagnosis and medical treatment, my hypothesis was,
10:15 - Analyzing Cancer Data and Possible Connection to Fly Ash
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Erika Graham
Saint Francis of Assisi 
Purpose: Fly ash will cause thyroid cancer by studying what is a thyroid and what is cancer. Mapping out all coal plants, and the number of cases of thyroid cancer. Air can move the lightest of fly ash and can cause harm to people by breathing it into their lungs, absorbing through their skin, or contaminating their drinking water.
Materials and Methods: Mapping coal burning facilities and number of thyroid cancer diagnosis by zip code in Kentucky.
Results/Data: Thyroid cancer is on the rise over the last five years. There are 19 coal burning facilities in Kentucky. I tracked two coal burning facilities that were closest to Metro Louisville and mapped a 20 mile radius around the facilities and documented there are 688,742 people that could be effected by coal burning waste.
Conclusion: Fly ash could be affecting more and more people each year.
10:30 - E-Cigarette Secondhand Smoke Toxicity
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Sarah Jenkins
St. Francis of Assisi 
St. Francis of Assisi, Louisville, KY, 40205, Biological Topics

E-Cigarette Secondhand Smoke Toxicity

1. To see if secondhand smoke is toxic to the planaria body. 2. To see which cloth the smoke clung to more, cotton or polyester.

The first hypothesis was that the planaria would be affected, but the children would be more affected because of active dividing cells. Second hypothesis was that the clothes would both hold the smoke, but the cotton would take better because it is thicker.

The methods were to dilute the smoke water that you have collected to see the toxicities, also diluting the smoke water with the cloth in it. The planaria would be cut to model as the children and some not to show adults.

The planaria were affected by the secondhand smoke, and the children were more affected. They both held the smoke, and the cotton held
10:45 - Exploring Concussion Treatment
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Leah Niemann
St. Francis of Assisi 
Title: Exploring Concussion Treatment

Category: Translational Medicine

Purpose: This project's first purpose is to determine if Omega three can help in the recovery of a concussion when taken before impact by studying exposed worms before impact and measuring mobility. This project's second purpose is to determine if Omega three taken after a concussion can help in the recovery of a concussion by studying worms exposed after impact and measuring mobility. This project's third purpose is to determine if Omega three taken before and after concussion can help recovery by studying earthworms that have been exposed to omega three before and after a concussion and measuring mobility.

Methods and Materials: To determine if Omega three can help concussions (in all three tests) it had to be determined if earthworms could be used as a model for concussions by catapulting a worm and measuring and comparing mobility before impact,
11:00 - The Effects of PET Plastics on the Gut Micorobiome
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Sarah Kwasny
St. Francis of Assisi School 
Title: The Effects of PET Plastics on the Gut Microbiome
Purpose: To determine the effects of PET plastics on the gut microbiome.
Hypothesis: Chemicals leached from PET plastics will have a negative effect on the growth and characteristics of bacteria in the gut microbiome.
Procedure: Chemicals from PET plastics were allowed to leach into water to which bacteria were exposed. The effects on growth, dose dependency, growth rate, antibiotic resistance, motility and biofilm formation were tested.
Results/Data: Leached PET plastics largely impacted the conductivity and characteristics of water. Exposure to this water negatively impacted the ability of bacteria to grow, be affected by antibiotics, form biofilms, and become motile.
Conclusion: Chemicals leached from PET plastics negatively affected the growth and characteristics of bacteria common to the gut microbiome in a dose-dependent manner.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:00am - 11:30am
Middle School - Session III
Hathaway Hall 306
10:00 - Automotive Exhaust: A Selective Environment for Bacteria
Topic: Middle School 3 - morning presentations
Mary Shea Ballantine
St Francis of Assisi 
Topic: Automotive Exhaust: A Selective Environment for Bacteria 

Purpose: To determine if car exhaust inhibits growth, motility, and antibiotic resistant of Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas fluorescens, and if this effect is dose-dependent.

Hypothesis: Car exhaust will inhibit bacteria's 1) growth, 2) motility, and 3) antibiotic resistance, and it will be 4) dose-dependent.

Experimental Methods: 1) A 12-hour growth was performed using a Spectrophotometer to compare bacterial growth to control. 2) A motility volume study was performed by placing each bacterium into motility agar tubes for 24 hours. 3) Resistance to Ciprofloxacin and Tetracycline was measured by comparing bacteria growth after 24 hours. 4) Dose-dependency was determined through a Minimum Inhibitory Concentration study.

Results and Conclusions:  All four hypotheses were accepted. Car exhaust:
1) slowed bacteria growth by 63%;
2) slowed motility between 34% and 40%;
3) created a 19% difference in antibiotic resistance measurements; and
4) was dose-dependent.
10:15 - Bio-Desalination
Topic: Middle School 3 - morning presentations
Varshini Loganathan
Meyzeek Middle School 
96.5% of the world's water is saline and only 0.7% of that water is fresh and accessible. Since so much of the world's water is saline and current desalination methods are either expensive or inaccessible, using algae to desalinate water is an inexpensive and easy-to-access method of desalination. This project is about finding a cheaper, accessible method of desalination by proving that algae can desalinate water.

The algae used was a type of Blue-Green Algae specifically known as Chroococcales. I filtered all the water on Day 4 through activated carbon to make it even clearer on the refractometer. The results I obtained supported my hypothesis since the algae were able to desalinate the water. Although the algae did desalinate the water, I found out that the activated carbon supplemented the desalination process. Because it has been proven that the algae can desalinate the water, water desalination can now occur.
10:30 - Exploring the Effects of Circadian Rhythms and Wound Healing
Topic: Middle School 1 - morning presentations
Chloe Nunn
St.Francis of Assisi Catholic School 
Purpose: The purpose of this project was to determine if planaria would regenerate their heads in complete dark or complete light cycles with the same biomarkers and develop their heads on the same schedule as the controls (12hr light/12-hr dark).

Materials and Methods: Eighteen planaria were decapitated. Six were placed in a blackout box and constantly illuminated. Six were placed in a blackout box with a 12hr on/off timer. Lastly, six were placed in an all dark blackout box and observed under a dissecting scope daily.

Results/Data: The all light environment negatively impacted head growth which 3.5-4 days behind the controls on biomarkers was and had an overall 35.70% delay. The all dark was also negatively impacted and was 2.5-3 days behind the controls on their biomarkers and overall 30.39% delayed.

Conclusions: Extreme light or dark affected all the planaria negatively. Dark-3-day delay Light-4-day delay
10:45 - How Does Trauma Impact Emotional Recognition
Topic: Middle School 3 - morning presentations
Ella Spriggs-Dial
To examine if the more trauma an individual experiences affects the way they recognize facial emotions

To examine if the more trauma an individual experiences affects the way they recognize emotional prosody

To examine if there is a difference between how girls and boys with trauma recognize emotions

Hypothesis 1 is accepted, the participants with a lower ACE score 0 recognized facial emotions better at 62% while those with an ACE score of 6-10 road an accuracy of 42%.

Hypothesis 2 is rejected, the individuals with a lower ACE score 0 did not recognize emotional prosody better at 49% while those with an ACE score of 6-10 had an accuracy of 54%.

Hypothesis 3 is rejected, girls had a 56% accuracy, while boys had a 60% accuracy on the facial recognition test. Girls had a 46% accuracy, while the boys had a 50% accuracy on the emotion prosody test.
11:00 - How Your Mood Affects Your Heart Rate
Topic: Middle School 3 - morning presentations
Alena Polimati
Meyzeek Middle School 
Do certain moods affect your heart rate? My hypothesis was yes, I think that laughing increases your heart rate, while other moods do not. In this project, I am hoping to achieve data that shows people how your feelings affect your body. I would like to prove that being aware of your moods can help you in your daily routine. I presented multiple videos representing different moods. With those videos, I showed them to my participants and recorded their heart rate. The heart rate went down when watching something scary or sad. The heart rate went up when watching something funny. It shows how a person's heart rate changes and the difference of the heart rates based on moods and age groups. This proves my hypothesis.
11:15 - Mathematical Model that Predicts the Quality of Drinking Water
Topic: Middle School 3 - morning presentations
Sachi Dronawat
Meyzeek Middle School 
My project's purpose is to find out if the temperature of water affects the quality of drinking water. I will be using a mathematical model which will predicts water quality. My data and analysis shows that in the warmer season, the quality of drinking water is worse than in colder seasons. In conclusion, my hypothesis was correct, according to my data.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:15am - 11:30am
High School - Chemistry
Hathaway Hall 213
10:15 - A Method of a Hydrolysis Based Pretreatment and Torrefaction for Kenaf Stalk Conversion to Value Added Products
Topic: High School Chemistry- morning presentations
Viyathma Hapuarachchi
duPont Manual High School 
Biomass, by the very definition, is the mass of organic matter in a given area or volume. This organic matter can be used as fuel, giving rise to a new form of renewable energy. It is becoming a growing source of renewable energy because it is in favor of reducing pollution. Its inherent energy comes from the sun and can regrow in a relatively short period of time. Biomass first started with wood but has now expanded. Kenaf grows rapidly and provides high-quality fibers for textile and composites industries. The purpose of this project is to find a method that facilitates the use of center stalk. The use of a hydrolysis based pretreatment as well as enhancing the macropores of residual stalks in preparation of proceeding carbonizing step that produces very high amounts of organic materials, torrefaction. The analysis showed the alkaline pretreatment with torrefaction produced the most organic material.
10:30 - Effect of the Conducting Polymers Polyaniline on Pseudocapacitance in Supercapacitors
Topic: High School Chemistry- morning presentations
Sukitha Gunasena
duPont Manual High School 
This experimentation investigated the effects of conducting-polymers on graphene-based supercapacitors. Graphene has been known to produce a large capacitance due to its very high surface area. In conducting-polymer (Polyaniline), nitrogen species in the polymer chains were expected to provide an increase in the capacitance due to redox reactions causing pseudocapacitance. First, the graphene was combined with the Polyaniline to construct electrodes. Using a source-measure device, the specific capacitances were determined: conductive-polymer/graphene averaged 184 F/g. This data supports the hypothesis that Polyaniline can greatly increase the capacitance of graphene-based supercapacitors, which were established to be around 130 F/g. Furthermore, the capacitor was calculated to have a power density of 57.2 Wh/kg, nearly four times the high-end market standard of 15 Wh/kg and seven times the power density for high-end lithium-ion batteries, thus providing numerous device improvements. These capacitors have numerous high power applications in the military and renewable energy fields.
11:00 - removing pharmaceutical remain from aqueous solutions: an exploration of various carbon based nano-materials
Topic: High School Chemistry- morning presentations
jiaen hu
dupont manual 
Other Group Member (if any)
eleanor hummel 
dupont manual 
The purpose of this project was to 1) determine whether pharmaceuticals could be removed by various carbon based nanomaterials and 2) determine which carbon based nanomaterials were the most effective at removing the pharmaceuticals. This research specifically targeted the removal of estradiol, a common form of estrogen, by graphene and carbon nanotubes. This was done by calculating absorbency energies between estradiol and each nanomaterial. The absorbency energies were calculated using a state of the art computational simulation model that uses first principle calculations called Vienna Ad- Initio Simulation Package (VASP). Graphene was found to have significantly higher absorbency energies than carbon nanotubes, indicating that it is an effective filter to remove pharmaceuticals from water. In the future, this research will be used to develop a novel water purification device that increases access to clean water.
11:15 - Using Electrospun Nanofibers to Filter Volatile Organic Compounds
Topic: High School Chemistry- morning presentations
Shreeya Julakanti
DuPont Manual High School 
Volatile organic compounds can harm the environment and our health this derived the question of how can we use electrospun polyethylene glycol nanofibers with titanium dioxide to filter volatile organic compounds through exposure to ultraviolet light? The hypothesis was if there is more titanium dioxide combined with PEG, there will be more efficiency with the absorption of VOCs. The purpose of doing this project is to get a better understanding of the versatility of electrospun nanofibers. To complete this project, variations of polyethylene glycol were created by adding different amounts of titanium dioxide to each solution ranging from 0 to 1 gram of TiO2 in 0.2-gram increments. Once spun, three tests were conducted – two ensured the durability of the nanofiber and another tested its filtration properties by using spectrometry. The results showed that nanofibers with higher concentrations of TiO2 perform the best, therefore my hypothesis was supported.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:15am - 11:30am
High School - Microbiology and Medical Anthropology
Hathaway Hall 232
10:15 - Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid on Bacterial Growth
Topic: High School Microbiology and Medical Anthropology - morning presentations
Aanika Garre
DuPont Manual High School 
Acne is a prevalent problem that people experience, whether it is during their adolescent or adult years, and the administration of acne medication is how people combat this problem. The experiment was conducted to test the effects of different concentrations benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid, the two most popular acne medication active ingredients, on bacterial growth. A disk method where zones of inhibition were measured was used to compare the efficacy of the two chemicals. The experiment took a total of two days: one to administer the treatments and one to collect all the data. Data collection and analysis suggested that treatments whose active ingredients were salicylic acid at a concentration of two percent would be the most effective. Due to the recent popularization of tea tree oil as an active ingredient, one should test how the effects of salicylic acid and tea tree oil vary for project continuation.
10:30 - Comparing and Correlating Vexation between Testosterone Levels
Topic: High School Microbiology and Medical Anthropology - morning presentations
Aamya Vohra
To answer many questions society has about why men are more likely to be the aggressor in violent contexts, a study was conducted to test the correlation between vexation and testosterone levels in men. To measure vexation, a game was programmed using MIT App Inventor. The game was programmed to habituate a state of vexation in the participant and using a scale set by Child Youth Care League, a numerical value was given to the vexation level reached. (1-10) To measure testosterone, at-home saliva tests were used, and the amount of free testosterone in pg/mL was tracked. A low correlation would attribute the cause of vexation to more largely be nurture, while a high correlation would attribute nature. The study found a very low correlation (r^2 was 0.08) between the two variables, thus concluding that nurture was largely responsible for vexation.
10:45 - Delivery System of Probiotic Bacterial Strain to Combat G.Vaginalis
Topic: High School Microbiology and Medical Anthropology - morning presentations
Harshith Gontla
Dupont manual highschool 
Bacterial vaginosis is rising problem occurring in women in the world today. 30% of women each year that are affected with BV. This infection causes a disruption in female reproductive tract in a woman. The bacterium used was lactobacillus acidophilus. The bacteria were cultured it was turned into a pellet that could be mixed with the fiber. PEO solution and bacteria pellet were combined to create the solution that will be electrospun. After this solution is diluted 3 times and plated on agar plates and then placed in the anaerobic chamber for 48. From the data obtained, there was more viability in bacteria that were in the -20C than the room temperature. But the mix of probiotics and prebiotic in formulation 7 yielded viable results in both environments. This means that from 7 will be the best candidate for a long-lasting fiber with the bacteria.
11:00 - Detection of Tobacco Mosaic Virus from Different Cigarette Products Available in Market
Topic: High School Microbiology and Medical Anthropology - morning presentations
Jonathan Joh
duPont Manual Highschool 
Tobacco mosaic virus can infect tobacco, and cause plant diseases. Even though TMV is killed by repeated heating, TMV can be transferred into cigarettes via worker's contaminated hands. TMV has been detected in the oral areas of smokers which can cause abnormal immune responses and DNA mutations, potentially leading to cancer. The hypothesis was that if TMV is found in the cigarettes, then the cigarette is the main source of TMV transmission to the smokers. To test the hypothesis, 8 different branded packs of cigarettes. Total protein concentration of each cigarettes was found then sandwich ELISA was conducted. 5 out of the 24 cigarettes (20.8%) ended up being positive with Newport and L&M having 66.6% positivity and USA gold with 33.3% positivity. Which means 33.3% of cigarettes of Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds and Commonwealth were TMV infected. Therefore, TMV-infected cigarettes are the main sources of TMV transmission in smokers
11:15 - The Effects of Music Therapy on Schiznophrenia
Topic: High School Behavioral & Social Science - morning presentations
Anisha Polimati
duPont Manual 
Other Group Member (if any)
Aarushi Shewale 
duPont Manual 
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. There are 4 types of symptoms: positive psychotic, negative, disorganization, and impaired cognition. While there are no treatments available, there are methods that can be used to improve patients' conditions. Music therapy uses music to reduce stress and relax the body. A series of studies were completed that used different trial groups to provide therapy sessions to the patients. Even when the patients were exposed to different variations of duration, number of sessions, and frequency of music therapy; there was a significant improvement in symptoms displaying schizophrenia. Multiple studied concluded that musical therapy improved the global state of patients. The negative symptoms decreased in many patients due to their interest in social interactions. The future goal for this project is to
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:15am - 11:30am
Middle School - Session II
Hathaway Hall 413
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Purpose: the purpose of this project is to create a packaging that has some sort of insulative value and use recycled plastic bottles to do this.
Materials and Methods: this project took used plastic bottles and made them into insulated plastic sheets. To do this, it required heating bottles in an oven enough to compress and weld them together into insulative plastic sheets.
Results/Data: The plastic sheet was mounted next to the equivalent size and thickness of: Styrofoam, cardboard, and plywood. The surfaces were heated on one side and temperatures on opposite side were taken and recorded.
Conclusion: The hypothesis which stated that the sheet of plastic insulation would be equivalent to the controls was accepted. This was because the sheet was at least equivalent to or better than some of the controls.
10:30 - Generating Electricity using Pressure
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Tejaswin Gonta
Meyzeek Middle School 
The research was about the concept of generating electricity using pressure, using piezoelectric devices. They have a different atom structure so that means if pressure is on the device it will produce energy. My question is how can I generate electricity using human actions. My hypothesis is that if I use a piezoelectric disc it will generate electricity. The test was done by creating a circuit using different materials and when applying pressure, the energy is being stored in the capacitor. I tested the average increase for every tap and I tapped the disk 30 times and averaged that. Then do the same thing 5 times and average that up to get one average which was .005 volts. After that is done, we do the same thing but use 2 disks and got a whole average of .011 for every tap which is doubled the other average.
10:45 - How nanotechnology can help clean up oil spills?
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Anirudh Srinivasan
Meyzeek Middle school 
My question is how can nanotechnology help clean up oil spills? The objective was to determine how to effectively clean up oil spills without damaging the environment. I hypothesize that the more ferrofluid that is added to the mixture of oil and water, the higher the efficiency.
The amount of water and mineral oil were kept the same throughout all trials, and varying amounts of ferrofluid were added to the mixture. A neodymium magnet was then inserted into the mixture. 5 rotations of the neodymium magnet were performed in the mixture. The efficiency was calculated using:
Efficiency (%)={1-(Volume of leftover oil (ml))/(Amount of oil added.)}Ã-100
Based on my results, my hypothesis was supported by my data, the more ferrofluid added to the oil and water mixture, the higher the efficiency was.
I did 3 different experiments, tap-water (efficiency was 75%), salt-water (efficiency was 75%), and larger scale (efficiency was 80%)
11:00 - Smart Streetlight
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Swetha Senthilnathan
Noe Middle School 
A large amount of electricity is being expended in the streetlight system. The main objective of this project is to save energy and reduce the wastage of electricity by using an automated streetlight system based on vehicle/motion detection. At night, the streetlights glow at dim level if there is no vehicle movement. When a vehicle passes by, the two streetlights ahead of the vehicle will glow brighter. Once the vehicle passed, the streetlights will go back to a dim state. Using LDRs, IR sensors, LEDs, and a microcontroller, I developed a prototype that is a miniscule version of the automated street lighting system which can be implemented in the real world. This will reduce the energy used by night street lighting system by about 25%. This can be implemented in the parking lots of large commercial buildings.
11:15 - Using Activated Coconut Shell Powder to Remove Nitrates from Groundwater
Topic: Middle School 2 - morning presentations
Amina Puzhakkaraillath
Meyzeek Middle School 
Current technologies for nitrate removal are unaffordable many in developing countries. Recent studies have used activated rice husk charcoal powder as an additive to remove nitrate from water samples using the adsorption method. However, rice husk is inaccessible and/or expensive. Thus, activated coconut shell powder (ACSP) was substituted, and nitrate levels were measured in water samples after the addition of the charcoal. Nitrate water samples were combined with different amounts of ACSP, and four trials were conducted per sample. They were then strained using a coffee filter to remove the adsorbed nitrate. Results indicated that nitrate levels were safe after 4-6 grams of ACSP was added for a period of 6-12 hours. Effectivity increased as time and grams of ACSP increased. In conclusion, the adsorption method using activated coconut shell powder is an effective method for nitrate removal in polluted water samples.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  10:30am - 11:30am
High School - Botany and Environmental Science
Hathaway Hall 114
10:30 - Analysis of the Bioaccumulation of Methylmercury in the Organs and Tissues of Bald Eagles
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Evan Hendrickson
Gatton Academy/Western Kentucky University 
Mercury (Hg) concentration was evaluated in a bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) individual from Mammoth Cave National Park to assess the risk of mercury poisoning. Using an AMA 254 Advanced Mercury Analyzer, 13 different organs and tissues were evaluated, and approximately 50% of the samples ran were quality assurance and quality control. Mean concentrations reached as high as 63.7 Hg ppm in this individual and were significantly higher than those found in other bald eagles studied. Tissue concentrations ranged from 4.9 ± 1 to 27.7 ± 5.5, and organ concentrations ranged from 3.7 ± 0.75 to 109 ± 22. While findings suggest that this individual was likely to have been negatively affected by the mercury levels within its organs and tissues, future work is needed to form correlations between groups of organs and their concentrations, as well as the specific impediments each organ and tissue face as a result.
10:45 - Creating a Learning Computer Model to Predict Weather
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Shyam Ravishankar
duPont Manual High School 
Other Group Member (if any)
Ranga Chennakesavula 
duPont Manual High School 
This project attempted to create more accurate predictions by using machine learning and polynomial regression. The data used was from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). It consisted of hourly values from January 1948 to February 2019 taken at the National Weather Service's (NWS's) station at the Louisville International Airport. The data had several blanks, so only data from 2009 to 2019 was used. The program interpolated any NaN (blank or non-numerical) values, then ran polynomial regression on the data. The independent variable was all the measured data, and the dependent variable was the data for the predicted variable. The results of the prediction were inconclusive due to much of the data having too many NaNs to be interpolated. The data sets that did run predictions gave extraneous results that cannot be used to determine a correlation between past and future data.
11:00 - The Effect of Annona Muricata on Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Vasa Vemuri
duPont Manual High School 
Annona muricata, or graviola, is a broadleaf tree that grows in subtropical regions around the world. In this study, Annona muricata leaf extract was tested against pancreatic cancer cells, specifically the Mia-PaCa 2 cell line. It was hypothesized that by increasing the concentration of the drug, the cell viability of the cells would decrease. The leaf extract was concentrated into different doses through a serial dilution and the varying doses were plated with the pancreatic cancer cells on a 96 well plate. The results were collected through a trypan blue assay, which displays the cell viability, or number of cells per mL. There was almost a 72 percent reduction in cell viability for some concentrations. The Annona muricata provides an organic and accessible treatment for pancreatic cancer. All in all, the Annona muricata plant can be used to mitigate the effects of pancreatic cancer in the body.
11:15 - The Substitue for Soil: Using Coconut Coir as a Natural Growth Medium to Increase Water Conservation
Topic: High School Botany and Environmental Science - morning presentations
Gitanjali Jaikumar
duPont Manual High School 
As of 2017, the global population was estimated to be around 7.5 billion. This number will only continue to increase resulting in vast areas of land and water being used in order to compensate for our growing population. The earth is only composed of 2% freshwater, and only 65% of that freshwater is being used for agriculture use alone. The following research was conducted to determine which growth medium, apart from the soil, is able to efficiently hold larger quantities of water improving plant growth and water conservation. It was hypothesized that if coconut coir was used rather than soil, the moisture in the coir plant would be much higher. The results were collected and compiled into various bar charts and linear regressions. These results indicate that the hypothesis was incorrect. Evaluation of the results concluded the most efficient growth medium is a combination of both soil and coir.
Saturday, April 27, 2019  11:30am - 12:00pm
Group Photo & Announcements
Saturday, April 27, 2019  12:00pm - 1:00pm
Lunch on Your Own
Hill Student Center/ Underwood Cafeteria
Saturday, April 27, 2019  1:00pm - 3:00pm
Pre-College Afternoon Science Activity - all students
Saturday, April 27, 2019  1:15pm - 2:45pm
High School Finalist Presentations by Category Winners
Hathaway Hall 123 Auditorium
Saturday, April 27, 2019  3:00pm - 4:00pm
Awards Ceremony and Election of KJAS Officers
Hathaway Hall 123 Auditorium
Junior Academy Business meeting with elections for student officers
Awards in all categories will be presented .

Find photos from the 2018 Junior Academy meeting HERE

2019 JA

Print Version

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