Sigma Xi wins at the Swamp

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Sigma Xi, the science research honor society, visited the University of Florida Feb. 4-6 to compete at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium.

In order to be eligible for the competition  students were chosen weeks before the conference on the basis of their research paper. From Heritage, six students were selected: sophomores Nicholas Kwok and Mikaella Mishiev and juniors Scott Shin, Hanna Zhang, Calvin Mathew and Likhitha Selvan. Kwok, Mathew and Selvan competed in speaker presentations while Zhang, Shin and Mishiev competed with poster presentations. 

As for the rest of the Sigma Xi clan, all 26 students spent their time at the Reitz Union game room in between Keynote speakers, student presentations and lab tours. On the first day, students listened to Dr. Robert Ferl, a Distinguished Professor in Horticulture at the University of Florida, explain his work  exploring plant growth in space. 

The second day, competitors set up their presentations bright and early to compete until 3 p.m. Later, Dr. Gareth Fraser, an Associate Professor in Biology at UF, presented his years of research studying shark teeth and its contribution to human genomics. To wind down and blow off some competition stress, the Biomedical Engineering Band, made up of four students and one professor, played some jazzy tunes for the audience. After, students either enjoyed bowling in the Gameroom or belting out Bruno Mars at karaoke. 

Finally, on the last day, students toured various science labs at UF, from those studying intersections between language and behavioral science to mass spectrometry. 

Here are the awards:

National Recognition (will be competing at the national symposium May 1-4):

1st Place Poster – Mikaella Mishiev, 10

2nd Place Speaker – Calvin Mathew, 11

Regional Recognition:

Top 6 Poster – Scott Shin, 11

Top 9 Speaker – Likhitha Selvan, 11

While touring the Brain Language and Bilingualism Lab (The Blab Lab), graduate student Yihan Chen demonstrated how to use a sodium-rich gel to connect electroencephalogram (EEG) cap’s electrodes to brain activity. With the EEG, they are able to locate areas of brain activity while  experimenting with various stimuli. (Photo/Lauren Wong)

From left to right, juniors Likhitha Selvan, Scott Shin, Calvin Mathew and sophomore Mikaella Mishiev each received a certificate award. Mathew and Mishiev will compete at the 62nd National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico, May 1-4, against 245 other high school students. (Photo/Lauren Wong)

This is Lauren’s second year on the staff. She enjoys playing Papa’s Sushiria, taking naps and writing whatever’s on her mind. She’s excited to make this year the best one yet and have an awesome entertainment section.