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Three Metro Schools Seniors Advance in National Math, Science and Technology Competition

Three Metro Schools seniors were honored as semifinalists in the 2016 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology, the nation’s premier research competition for high school students. The students were recognized for projects they completed as part of their participation in The School for Science and Math at Vanderbilt (SSMV), a program exclusively for Metro Schools high school students developed in partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of education and human development. “The achievements of these students should be commended. This is just one of the many examples of how our partnership with the SSMV benefits students throughout our district,” said Dr. Kristopher Elliott, the district’s STEM director. “Through their successful participation in the Siemens Competition, these students have clearly demonstrated their exceptional mastery of applied research in real world STEM concepts. We are grateful for the efforts of the Vanderbilt faculty in the SSMV and especially Dr. Virginia Shepherd for her leadership of the program.”

The semifinalists are:

Micah Foster micah Hume-Fogg Magnet High School, for “The SNARE-Clamp Protein Complexin 1 Regulates Synaptic Remodeling,” mentor David Miller, Cell & Developmental Biology

Alice Irizarry alice Hillsboro High School, for “Accuracy of Resting Functional MRI for Language Lateralization in Temporal Lobe Epilepsy,” mentor Victoria Morgan, Radiology & Radiological Sciences

Anna Reside annar Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet School, for “Stable Isotope Ecology of the Arid Adapted Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus),” mentor Larisa DeSantis, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Foster, Irizarry and Reside are among five semifinalists from Tennessee. None advanced as finalists. Nearly 1,600 projects were submitted to the Siemens competition this year, and 498 students from independent and team projects were selected as semifinalists nationwide.

SSMV students begin working hands-on with a Vanderbilt faculty member in their junior year to complete a research internship. While in the laboratory, students contribute to the scientific research goals of the professor through completion of an independent project. Students then present their research project in several formats and compete in several national science competitions.

SSMV is a function of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Dr. Virginia Shepherd is director of the Vanderbilt Center for Science Outreach. Dr. Angela Eeds is the director of SSMV, which has received support from a National Institutes of Health NCRR Science Education Partnership Award, Metro Nashville Public Schools and other generous donors.