Ebere Agwuncha and Hailey Caffie said that they pursued research subjects in which they had an interest for their senior year mentorship class at Proviso Mathematics and Science Academy.
For Ebere, it was her interest in biomedical engineering as she learned how to use three-dimensional printing to create a prosthetic finger. For Hailey, an interest in veterinary medicine and biology led her to Brookfield Zoo, where she studied the effects of management change on the activity budget of the Humboldt penguin.
For their work, Ebere and Hailey were named the top research scholars for the Class of 2015 at the Eighth Annual PMSA Senior Research Symposium on Tuesday, May 12. Thirty-one seniors exhibited the findings of their research on posters and presentations on PMSA’s fifth floor as mentors, parents, and other visitors learned about their work.
Mr. Matthew Brown, a PMSA teacher who coordinated the symposium with Ms. Darlyne Delaney, said that the students were motivated by their opportunity to work with professionals in their chosen field and by their interest in their subject areas.
"The biggest motivation is when you’re place the students in the area they’re really interested in and we’ve been largely successful," Mr. Brown said.
Mr. Brown said that students’ projects were judged on the overall research and presentation, its impact on society, and the originality of the research. Hailey’s research, for example, will be presented in a zoological peer magazine with her mentor.
Jennifer Ortiz, a PMSA senior, researched the effects of technology on students and teachers in the classroom. Surveying students and teachers at PMSA and Stevenson Middle School in Melrose Park, she said that she wanted to find out if students had become dependent on the technology.
"Students are so reliant on technology if they don’t have their cell phone, they don’t know what to do," said Jennifer, who wants to be a teacher.
Stefan King, a PMSA senior, studied the access to medical specialists that low-income adults have. He found that those who receive Medicaid are less likely to see a specialist.
"Our main objective is to increase access to specialty care because (Medicaid recipients) are more prone to chronic diseases," said Stefan, who wants to become a neurosurgeon.
Dr. Bessie Karvelas, principal at PMSA, said that she was proud of all of the seniors in the mentorship program.
"You did a phenomenal job," she said. "I’m so proud of you. I know that wherever you go, you’re going to be the best."
For more photos of the research symposium, please click here