2016 JSHS National Winners

54th National JSHS First Place Winners

STEM Stars Receive $192,000 in Scholarships at 54th National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium

More than 230 students competed in the 54th Annual National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) held in Dayton, Ohio on April 27-30, 2016. Representing high schools from across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Department of Defense Schools in Europe and Pacific, students presented their original research in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in one of eight categories. “For 54 years, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have worked together to showcase students’ excellence in STEM research,” said national event host Richard Baker, Director, Air Force STEM Outreach Programs. “These students represent the next generation of STEM innovation that will solve our nation’s greatest technology challenges.”

The national JSHS competition is the United States’ premiere showcase for STEM research by high school students. Students must first present their research at one of 47 regional competitions hosted by universities and Department of Defense schools. The top five students from each region participated in oral presentations or poster presentations at the national event. “While 32 students received awards, each and every student played a role in this collaborative science event,” said Jeff Singleton, Director of Basic Research, Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army.

The 3-day event was organized and supported by the US Army, Navy, and Air Force and administered by The Academy of Applied Science, a non-profit STEM education organization. Each service contributed speakers, exhibitors, and researchers through their respective educational outreach programs. Students learned from staff of the tri-services about current research and opportunities for STEM careers within the Department of Defense, academia, and government.

“We hope that this community of scientists is just the start of what becomes these students’ future in STEM careers,” said Singleton. “We need people like them to challenge the existing barriers to innovation, bring unique perspectives to old problems, and build a global STEM collaboration to take us to the next domain of unexplored territory. All of the sponsoring services are immensely proud of these students and their teachers and mentors who are dedicated to having scientific discovery survive and thrive.”

Students presented their original research to a team of national judges who are actively engaged in research and development at Department of Defense and university laboratories. Competition categories include: Environmental Science, Biomedical Sciences (molecular/cellular), Life Sciences, Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Math and Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Physical Sciences (physics, astronomy, internet of things, and Chemistry (physical chemistry, materials science, alternative fuels, geochemistry).

Scholarships totaling $192,000 were awarded to students who placed in the top three oral presentations and the first place poster presentation categories. Winners of the 54th Annual National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium are:

1st place oral presentations

  • Environmental Science: Paige Brown, Bangor, ME
  • Life Sciences: Piyush Pillarisetti, Philadelphia, PA
  • Biomedical Sciences: Demetri Maxim, Bethel, ME
  • Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences: Mark Tenzer, Roanoke, VA
  • Engineering & Technology: Maya Varma, San Jose, CA
  • Math & Computer Sciences: Utkarsh Tandon, Cupertino, CA
  • Physical Sciences: Dominick Rowan, Armonk, NY
  • Chemistry: Thomas Colburn, Oak Ridge, TN

2nd place oral presentations

  • Environmental Science: Ester Archer, Mankato, MN
  • Life Sciences: Emily Li, New York, NY
  • Biomedical Sciences: Julian Ubriaco, Kings Park, NY
  • Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences: Colin Norick, Columbia Falls, MT
  • Engineering & Technology: Arjun Dhawan, Evansville, IN
  • Math & Computer Sciences: Student from Chandler, AZ
  • Physical Sciences: Kaisa Crawford-Taylor, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
  • Chemistry: Manasa Pagadala, Bettendorf, IA

3rd place oral presentations

  • Environmental Science: Joshua Zhou, Durham, NC
  • Life Sciences: Anusha Zaman, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Biomedical Sciences: Aakshi Agarwal, Hamden, CT
  • Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences: Shelby Kinch, Missoula, MT
  • Engineering & Technology: Surabhi Mundada, Olympia, WA
  • Math & Computer Sciences: Mukurd Venkatakrishnan, Louisville, KY
  • Physical Sciences: Russell Ludwigsen, Albuquerque, NM
  • Chemistry: Spencer Perkins, McLean, VA

Poster Presentations

  • Environmental Science: Cathleen Mestre, Orlando, FL
  • Life Sciences: Hope Ushiroda-Garma, Honolulu, HI
  • Biomedical Sciences: Ishita Kapor, Columbia, SC
  • Medicine & Health/Behavioral Sciences: Karina Kalpaxis, Bronx, NY and Vinila Baljepally, Knoxville, TN
  • Engineering & Technology: Ashwin Datta, Hillsboro, OR
  • Math & Computer Sciences: Shalin Shah, Las Flores, CA
  • Chemistry: Rupa Palanki, Mobile, AL

Congratulations to all of our 2016 JSHS participants in the National and Regional events.

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