Two Montana Students Compete in National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium


Two Montana students from Baker High School and Hellgate High School recently participated in the National Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The students advanced from the Intermountain Junior Science & Humanities Symposium, which was hosted for the ninth year by Montana Technological University.

Eden Maxwell, a junior from Hellgate High School in Missoula, presented research orally. Sayge Barkley, a senior from Baker High School, presented a poster.

There are 49 regional symposiums, and more than 8,000 research papers were submitted. The top 18 presentations in each region move on to regionals, which then send on three poster presenters and two oral presenters to nationals.

Montana Tech also hosted the California Southern Junior Science & Humanities Symposium for a second year. Tom Reget, of the Institute for Educational Opportunities, served as director for both regional symposiums and accompanied the students to Albuquerque. Willow Affleck, a science teacher from Hellgate High School, and My-Nga Ingram, a science teacher from Westview High School in San Diego, California, also served as chaperones.

The following out-of-state students presented posters at the national event: Wency Sou, a junior from Boise Senior High School; Kavya Gupta, a junior from Westview High School in San Diego, California; and Tyler Yang, a junior from Yorba Linda High School in Yorba Linda, California.

The following out-of-state students presented research orally at the national event: Marianne Liu, a junior from West High School in Sandy, Utah; Nithin Parthasarathy, a senior from Northwood High School in Irvine, California; and Diya Sreedhar, a freshman from Troy High School in Irvine, California.

Marianne Liu finished in first place for her research presentation in the chemistry category, entitled, “A Data Science Approach for Advanced Solid Polymer Electrolyte Design.” She received a $12,000 scholarship award. A total of $192,000 in undergraduate tuition scholarships is presented to the top three finalists in the National Symposium research paper oral competition in each subject category.

The Junior Science and Humanities Symposium is sponsored by Tri-Services (Army, Navy & Air Force) who provided all transportation, lodging, and meals at the National Symposium. Students on the trip also took part in tours of the Air Force Research Laboratories, University of New Mexico School of Engineering, University of New Mexico – Power Systems & Emerging Technology Laboratory, and the National Museum of Nuclear Science and History.