High school students advance in science competition

March 20 2007

Five Indiana high school students advanced to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium following the Indiana regional competition March 15 - 17 at Indiana State University.

Jonathan Bell of R. Nelson Snider High School in Fort Wayne captured first place for research titled “Optimizing the Structural Stability of Model Buildings through the Use of a Biaxial Shaker Table and the Taguchi Method - A Third Year Continuation.”

Bell received a $2,000 scholarship to the college of his choice. This marks the third straight year Bell has advanced to the national symposium. He placed second in 2006 and finished in the top five at regional competition in 2005. His sponsor is Aaron Bell.

Ethan Sperry of Terre Haute South Vigo High School placed second and received a $1,500 scholarship for his research,” Immunological Correlates of Genetic Drift within White-tailed Deer Populations.” Sperry placed first in the 2006 competition. His sponsor is David Drake. He also worked with Rusty Gonser, assistant professor of life sciences at Indiana State.

Paul Baranay of Marian High School in Mishawaka placed third and received a $1,000 college scholarship. Placing fourth and fifth were Nyssa Boyd from Eastern High School in Pekin and Stacey Vosters from North Daviess High School in Elnora.

The top five students at the regional competition advance to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium May 2- 6 in Huntsville, Ala. By virtue of their first and second place showings, Bell and Sperry will compete for more prizes at the national symposium, including the top prize of a $16,000 college scholarship.

Should any of the winners advancing to the national competition have a conflict, four alternates were named to take their place. They are: Nicole Foerg from Winamac High School in Winamac, named as the first alternate; Emily Blanche from Marian High School in Mishawaka named as the second alternate; Melissa Baranay from Marian High School in Mishawaka, named as the third alternate; and Allison Lange of Noblesville High School in Noblesville, IN as the fourth alternate.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is funded by a grant awarded the ISU department of life sciences by the research offices of the U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force. The grant is administered by the Academy of Applied Sciences, based in Concord, N.H.

Contact: Rusty Gonser, assistant professor, life sciences, Indiana State University, (812) 237-2395 or rgonser@isugw.indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Indiana State University, (812) 237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu

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Story Highlights

Five Indiana high school students advanced to the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium following the Indiana regional competition March 15 - 17 at Indiana State University.

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