Student Scientists Earn Top Awards

Student Scientists From Boise Schools Earn Top Awards in State Competition
Posted on 06/05/2024
This is the image for the news article titled Student Scientists From Boise Schools Earn Top Awards in State Competition Idaho Governor Brad Little recently commended the exceptional talent and innovation of high school students in the Gem State by presenting awards to the top three projects at the Idaho Research & Engineering Showcase. These projects, out of over 200 proposals, showcased a keen focus on critical issues such as disease diagnosis, antibiotic resistance, green energy solutions, and post-ACL tear recovery. Notably, all three award-winning projects hailed from the Boise School District, highlighting the District's commitment to fostering STEM education and empowering young minds to tackle real-world challenges. Governor Little's recognition underscores the importance of investing in the next generation of innovators and problem solvers in Idaho.

Boise High School senior Zhiyu Li earned first place for her project, "Quantification of Ampicillin through KinExA Technology," which addresses the global challenge of antibiotic resistance by exploring how to detect and quantify the antibiotic ampicillin in solution.

Zayah Cortright and Jalen Lu, a senior and junior at Boise High School and Timberline High School, respectively, took second place for their project, "ML Study of Perovskites as Electrocatalysts in Green Energy." The project examines how machine learning can accelerate research into green-energy storage by eliminating bottlenecks in the discovery process caused by cost limitations imposed by traditional catalysts like platinum.

Kiana Mohammadi and Amulya Tanikella, juniors at Capital High School who formerly attended Treasure Valley Math & Science Center, garnered third place for their project, "Examining Biomechanical Factors in Joints of ACLR Patients." The project identifies locomotion behaviors that can lead to reinjuries as patients recover from ACL tears with the goal of helping them recover faster.

"I'm really honored that my work could be recognized in this way," Li, the first-place winner, said, "and I'm very thankful for this opportunity to learn more about things that I'm interested in and to show that even research on this small of scale can show really detailed stuff about the world that we live in. There are so many undiscovered things that are left to be discovered by our generation."

Students submitting the first-, second-, and third-place projects will receive $2000, $1000, and $500 awards, respectively. A dozen other student researchers featured in the showcase will receive $250 awards.

STEM Award Recipients
Idaho Gov. Brad Little (third from left) poses with the students who submitted the top three projects in Idaho STEM Action Center's Idaho Research & Engineering Showcase. Pictured here are second-place winners Jalen Lu from Timberline High School and Zayah Cortright from Boise High School, Gov. Little, first-place winner senior Zhiyu Li from Boise High School (on screen), and Amulya Tanikella and Kiana Mohammadi from Capital High School. (photo by Otto Kitsinger for Idaho STEM Action Center)