Researchers end competitive season with a win

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In one of the last trips of the year, research students traveled to compete in the annual CeMast Symposium. Following a long day of travel, they arrived April 30 to Normal, a small town in Illinois to compete in the competition for the second year in a row.

At the symposium, over 60 students presented one-on-one to their judge, and participated in  in-depth conversations with them regarding their research. “This trip really helped me step out of my comfort zone,” said freshman Shriya Naarshima.  “I really got to discuss my project with my judge and reflect on my experiment. I specifically got feedback about ways to further analyze my data and tips on future publication in student journals.” 

Post-judging, students were given rubrics with valuable feedback provided and ideas for further research.  

They also had the chance to explore Illinois State, where the symposium was held. This included viewing classrooms and playing touch football on the field. 

Following judging, sophomores Calvin Mathew and Kamilat Mustapha won first and second place respectively. Following her win, Mustapha said, “I’m glad I won, but I’m even happier that I came on the trip. I became closer with a lot of people and had a lot of fun, even if our flight was a little delayed.” Students returned home May 2, ending their research competitive season with a win. 

Sophomores Calvin Mathew and Kamilat Mustapha pose with their certificates post-awards ceremony. Mathew’s project was regarding hydrogel knee implants, while Mustapha’s was encoding a prediction system for turtle nesting. (Photos/Emma Delgado)

Emma, a current sophomore at American Heritage, is extremely excited to be joining the Patriot Post Staff this year! As an active reader and writer, she is often found scribbling away in a notebook or devouring a novel. Outside of newspaper, she is an active member of Science Research, Model UN, Science Olympiad, Key Club, and much more. In her rare free time, you can find her watching musicals, volunteering at an assisted living facility for the memory-loss, or catching up on her latest TV drama.