High-achieving science researchers take their research nationwide

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Eleven students who placed in the Florida Academy of Science competition last year were invited to present their research on a national scale at the American Junior Academy of Science (AJAS). After creating virtual boards, found here, the students traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the conference – as well as the concurrent American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) meeting – and speak to top scientists in several fields.

The conference kicked off March 2, where the students split into two tour groups. The first group visited the National Institute of Standards and Technology and toured federal labs that focused on advancements in laser technology and cryptography, as well as the calculation of a standard physics value. They later toured a net-zero energy house that simulated a four person home. The second group visited George Washington University, where they toured the university’s anthropology, biochemistry and fossil labs and learned about the programs offered to undergraduate and graduate researchers alike. 

The next day, students attended the AAAS conference, where they listened to speakers and visited booths. They finished off the day with a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Finally, March 4, students had the opportunity to eat breakfast with and speak directly with scientists at a Meet the Scientists event. They later explored the DC area before ending the day with a banquet and a speech from Nobel laureate William Phillips.

Those who toured George Washington University – from left to right, sophomore Calvin Mathew, juniors Shrika Kantipudi and Malcolm Owusu, senior Maya Neeranjun, Dr. Juliana Caulkins and sophomore Likhitha Selvan – pose for a picture outside the White House. (Photo/Juliana Caulkins)

At the March 4 Breakfast with Scientists, students – from left to right, senior Maya Neeranjun, sophomore Calvin Mathew, freshman Anagha Iyer and juniors Amara Okpala and Ella Gohari – spoke with Nobel laureate William Phillips, center seated, whose work in cooling rubidium gas to one-billionth of a degree above absolute zero won him the Nobel prize in physics. They also met with a Navy fighter jet pilot and a member of the COVID-19 Operation Warp Speed team. (Photo/Ella Gohari)

Senior Ellaheh Gohari is entering her fourth (and sadly final) year on staff and third year as co-EIC of the Patriot Post. She loves learning new things and can often be found going down Wikipedia rabbit holes in search of random knowledge. Outside of room 25310, she serves as co-president to both the Girls Excelling in Math and Science club and the Science National Honor Society. A science-lover, she enjoys exploring the subject through research projects with UMiami, volunteer tutoring with OTTER and fact-checks with MediaWise. She hopes you enjoy your time reading the Patriot Post.