Congratulations to everyone who competed at this week’s Iowa Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS)!
These high school students are doing impressive research projects and did an excellent job communicating their findings to a panel of judges and an audience of their peers. Regional winners receive scholarships and an expense-paid trip to compete at the annual National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.
The 2022 Iowa Regional winners are:
🏆 1st place: Amara Orth (Lewis Central High School) – “Secret Sounds of Bees: Analysis of Honey Bee Vibroacoustics Using Hidden Markov Models”
🏆 2nd place: Kiersten Knobbe (Adair-Casey Guthrie Center High School) – “Turbid or Not Turbid? That is the Question: Creating a Water Filtration and Sanitation Method for Developing Countries”
🏆 3rd place: Alina Markutsya (Ames High School) – “Biomechanical Analysis of Balance Beam Skills in Gymnastics”
🏆 4th place: Libby Knipper (Beckman Catholic High School) – “Efficacy of Antimicrobial Starch-Based Plastic Food Storage Films”
🏆 5th place: Jasmyn Hoeger (Beckman Catholic High School) – “Novel Mammalian Fibroblast Cell Culture Media Technique for Ultraviolet Cell Reduction”
In March, the Belin-Blank Center hosted students from across the state to compete at the premier high school science competition in Iowa, the 2021 Iowa Regional Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Students competed for scholarships and recognition by presenting the results of original research projects.
A panel of experts judged 10 impressive oral presentations, and the finalists were:
1st place: Meena Ramadugu (John F Kennedy High School) — “Comparison of nickel chelator to current standard triple antibiotic therapy to treat Helicobacter pylori infection”
2nd place: Kayla Livesay (Van Buren High School) — “Analyzing the effectiveness of nutrient placement on crop production and soil fertility: A study of the law of limiting factors”
3rd place: Shreya Khullar (Iowa City West High School) — “Dendrochronological data analysis to measure climate sensitivity and to develop climate reconstructions”
4th place: Claire Gu (Valley High School) — “Predicting harmful algal blooms in Iowa’s green valley lake using a machine learning model”
5th place: Karshana Kalyanaraman (Johnston Senior High School) — “Novel miRNA and gene enrichment associated with cardiac function in athletes”
Approximately 160 high school students from all over the world attended the National JSHS to compete for scholarships and recognition in the fields of environmental science; life sciences; biomedical, cellular and molecular sciences; medicinal, behavioral and health sciences; engineering; mathematics and computer science; physics; and chemistry and material sciences.
This year marks the first time two Iowa regional finalists placed at National JSHS! It is also the first year an Iowa finalist has placed at National JSHS for a second time.
In 2019, Kayla earned third place in the Life Science division of the poster competition for her project, “Accelerating plant growth to improve crop production and soil fertility: analyzing the effects of macronutrients and mycorrhizal fungi for Zea mays: Phase III.” This year, Kayla earned third place in the Environmental division of the oral presentation competition.
Congratulations to all who participated in both the Iowa Regional and National Junior Science and Humanities Symposia! For more information on getting started with student research or the JSHS program, visit:
You’ll learn from a University of London researcher, Alice Pailhès. Alice studies free will and the illusion of control. Her presentation will present various original experiments using magic tricks, as well as their surprising results.
Travel to Cape Town, South Africa, and meet Lesley. Find out how this researcher went from being called Shark Bait to the Shark Warrior when she met an extraordinary shark named Maxine. Join Lesley for a virtual underwater dive to meet sharks! Learn about these amazing animals, the threats they face, and why we need to save our sharks.
Travel to Lisbon, Portugal, and meet Joana. She will take you out to visit her beehives! Joana is a 4th generation beekeeper, and her passion for bees began when she was seven, and her grandfather took her to an apiary. She rescues wild bee colonies!
Travel to Pompeii, Italy, to meet Roberto and go back into Roman times! Discover the ancient history and beauty of Pompeii, the famous site buried by the Vesuvius eruption in 79 AD. Learn the city’s history, from the beginning to the eruption and then to the discovery of the remains. Roberto is an archaeologist and an authorized guide of the Campania Region. He has worked as an archaeologist all around the Mediterranean Sea.
After a world tour, come home to Iowa and meet some local STEM experts.
Meet biochemist Dr. Maxwell J. Holle. Maxwell evaluates unique antimicrobials used to kill the harmful bacteria in cheese! These chemical substances can improve cheese safety by killing and hindering the growth of the bacteria that cause the illness so that everyone can eat them. He grew up in Oskaloosa, IA, and now he is an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Iowa.
Walkthrough a patient case with a Carver College of Medicine medical student and work together to diagnose a patient. Ask any questions you have about being a medical student and becoming a doctor!
Meet a University of Iowa rocket scientist and an engineer on NASA rocket and satellite missions. Suman Sherwani has an engineering degree from the University of Iowa and went to rocket school in Norway. Yep, rocket school is a thing! Join this Q & A session to get a backstage pass to engineering school, landing a dream internship, going to an international rocket school, and working on NASA missions.
You will also have an opportunity to learn from high school students conducting their own original research!
Welcome back to another year of inventing, Iowa! We are excited to announce that we will be hosting the Invent Iowa State Convention on April 19, 2021. Due to the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, students will participate virtually.
Invent Iowa state finalists have a strong track record of going on to win big at the National Invention Convention! For the past four consecutive years, Iowa students have brought home national prizes. Your future inventor could be next!
Our website has been updated to reflect dates and deadlines for the 2020-2021 academic year. If you plan to participate, be sure to mark your calendars for these important dates.
The free National Invention Convention curriculum can be accessed here.
Please feel free to pass along the information below to other educators or parents who may be interested in learning more about invention education.
Questions? We’re here to help at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Congratulations to 6-year-old Charles Smith (Ottumwa Community School District) for his appearance on Good Morning America! Charles is a winner of our 2019 Invent Iowa competition who went on to win 1st place in his grade level at the National Invention Convention!
Charles invented the Benge Beacon, a device to help firefighters find the exits in a smoky house. See his invention in action and watch his national television debut! (Trust us, you won’t regret it.)
Charles also won $5,000 in seed money and a mentorship opportunity with entrepreneur Chelsea Hirschhorn through the SSK Kidventor $25,000 giveaway! 🤩 (Watch the announcement here: https://gma.abc/2O3XmJW)