Changing the world in high school

June 29, 2020

Weeks before virtual meetings became the new normal, a gathering of curiosity and research took place in San Antonio.

The Alamo Regional Science & Engineering Fair features hundreds of projects from youth in grades 6-12 across 32 counties, all focused on trying to make the world a better place.

BioBridge Global awards three scholarships in the high school division, recognizing projects that represent our ASPIRE values and support our mission.

The organization has been a part of the fair since at least 2004 and has recognized innovative projects including a new fire extinguisher design, kinetic energy to power a pacemaker, and a patent for flower preservation.

One of the BBG science fair awardees from Keystone School created a fly model to study strokes and the effect of methylene-blue inhibition on active capase-3, demonstrating the potential to limit neurodegeneration after a stroke.

“It was the first time we have given an award to a team project. These students spent a lot of time working with flies. Impressive kids,” said Scott Jones, VP of Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global.

Another awardee from Northside Health Careers High School developed a virtual reality program so caregivers and healthcare professionals could get a feel for what it is like to suffer from dementia. She developed and implemented the program at Veterans Affairs, where she volunteered with patients who have dementia.  

“She is now looking at implementing the program at home healthcare agencies,” said Jones. “Very cool to see a young student so passionate about helping people.”

The last awardee from John Jay High School used machine learning to examine disease patterns in medical imaging. He created two applications: one from x-rays to identify infection from viral versus bacterial pneumoniae and another that uses eye images from patients with diabetic retinopathy.

“The idea of the programs is to use it for training and as a resource for physicians that want a second opinion. He is also working on designing other programs that use machine learning for diagnosing diseases. This kid is an IT genius,” said Jones.

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