The Virginia Junior Academy of Science announced student award winners at this year’s science symposium
Posted on 06/02/2021
dark shooting star-filled sky image with Virginia Junior Science Academy logo in the center

The Virginia Junior Academy of Science (VJAS) held its 80th annual meeting and research symposium in a virtual format. The VJAS inducted its slate of student officers for 2021-22 to include the selection of Hamza Arman Lateef, 10th-grade student at Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, as co-president. This is the first time a PWCS student has held a VJAS officer position.

The following PWCS students were among those whose scientific research was awarded at the VJAS symposium:

First place: 

Rania Lateef, eighth-grade student at Benton Middle School, was recognized for research titled “Opening Up a Can of Worms" in the animal and human sciences category.

Aatish Sethi (Battlefield High School) and Jasmine Agyepong (Patriot High School), 11th-grade students who also attend the Governor’s School @ Innovation Park, were recognized for research titled “A New Treatment? An Analysis of the Effect of Known Phytochemicals on SARS-CoV-2 Pathogenesis” in the chemistry category. Sethi and Agyepong were also selected to receive the Dr. Smith Shadomy Infectious Diseases Award. This award is given to the paper that evidences outstanding research in the field of infectious diseases.

Iqra Ahmad, Keren Czyra Gonzaga, and Thu Thien Luong, 11th-grade students at Osbourn Park High School who also attend the Governor's School @ Innovation Park, were recognized for research titled “Using a Computational Model to Determine the Binding Ability of Selected Estrogen Derivatives to α- AND β- Type Estrogen Receptors to Prevent Amyloid-β Aggregations” in the medicine and health category.

Shan Lateef, a Prince William County resident and former Benton Middle School student, who is a senior currently attending the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, was recognized for his research titled “What's All the Buzz? Drosophila melanogaster as a Unique Model for Addiction Disorders and Physiology after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)” in the zoology category. For his research, Lateef was also awarded the Virginia Association of Biology Educators Zoology Award for outstanding research in the field of zoology; and the Catesby Jones Award, given to the 12th-grade student whose paper evidences the most significant contribution to science; and the VJAS Grand High School Award, for the top research project by an individual or team of students in grades 9-12. Lateef additionally received honorary membership in the Virginia Association of Science, awarded to him for outstanding service to the Junior Academy and the VJAS Committee. Lateef is the outgoing VJAS president.

Second place: 

Naman Agarwal, 10th-grade student at Patriot High School, was recognized for research titled “An Indoor Farm Scouter Through Time-Based Imaging” in the engineering category.

Tony Bright, Hamza Arman Lateef, and Gabriel Ralston, 10th-grade students at Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School, were recognized for research titled “SeizureSeeker: A Novel Approach to Epileptic Seizure Detection Using Machine Learning” in the mathematics: theoretical and modeling category.

Third place:

Lucy Lu, seventh-grade student at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School, was recognized for research titled “How to Optimize Parameters That Would Affect the Speed of an Electromagnetic Train” in the engineering and technology category.

Zareef Said, seventh-grade student at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School, was recognized for research titled “The Effect of Mail-in Voting Fraud on a Battleground State’s Election Result” in the mathematics: patterns and relationships category.

Honorable mentions received in the physical science and astronomy category:

Livia Kouts, seventh-grade student at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School, was recognized for research titled “The Effect of Different Materials on the Volume of Sound School.”

Kaylyn Quinh Nguyen and Simran Patibanda, 11th-grade students at Osbourn Park High School who also attend the Governor's School @ Innovation Park, were recognized for research titled “The Connection Between Spiral Galaxies and Asymmetry: Analyzing Quadrupole Multipole Asymmetry in Spiral Galaxies and its Relation to other Galactic Characteristics.”