APS students are ENGAGED with Georgia Tech!


Incredible project presentations by incredible students. Check out the full list of projects at the end of this blog.

Geniuses surrounded me this morning! Our students are seriously smart and today, 22 brilliant APS high school students had their scientific research work celebrated by our friends over at Georgia Tech!

All of these students participated this school year in the Project ENGAGES Research Scholars program, a new high school science education program developed at Georgia Tech in partnership with Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, B.E.S.T Academy, Mays High School and KIPP Atlanta Collegiate. The program provides an opportunity for graduate students and post-doctoral fellows to mentor high school students in research while gaining valuable mentoring and project management experiences.


Scholars were chosen from Coretta Scott King Young Women’s Leadership Academy, B.E.S.T Academy, Mays High School and KIPP Atlanta Collegiate.

Our partners are awesome, so it was great to be there with our students and G.P. “Bud” Peterson; Dr. Gary Mays, dean of the College of Engineering; and Dr. Bob Nerem, professor emeritus for the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience. I am a big fan of Project ENGAGES and a big fan of Georgia Tech because of the work and opportunities they offer for our students.

Partnerships like Project ENGAGES folds neatly and perfectly into our ongoing needs for STEM education, sponsorships and programs. In addition to strong STEM curriculum, we need to get our kids directly engaged in the work with real-world projects with real-world implications and impacts.

~1438205823~GtechPRES2015-028We can’t ask for better partnerships in academia than the ones found here in Atlanta, especially as we attempt to do more for students in the STEM environment. This time last year we announced the APS Scholars @ Georgia Tech program, a groundbreaking scholarship opportunity for exceptional APS students. Then, this spring, we announced an incredible new partnership with Achieve Atlanta, an organization spearheaded by the Whitehead Foundation and Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta that will give tremendous support to high school students as they apply for college.

I was in awe of the work that came from these students … these high school students…as they spoke about experiments involving computers, polymers, bioscience, stem cells, robotics and a few things I cannot even begin to pronounce.

Seriously, this is some high-level research, experiments and work, and I couldn’t be more grateful to Georgia Tech for making Project ENGAGES happen. And as the work clearly demonstrated, our students time and time again rise up to our expectations and not only meet them … but often exceed them.

So a big congratulations and thanks to all of the students today, their mentors and to everyone at Georgia Tech!  Check out an impressive list of student projects below.

Watch Qwantayvious Stiggers from B.E.S.T. Academy present — Regenerating Articular Cartilage with Heparan Sulfate Hydrogels using Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells
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Project ENGAGES Research Scholars

Taren Carter-CSK– The Fluid Mechanics of Taste
Alexus Clark-CSK– Mobilizing Brain Cancers with Stimulation from Electric Fields
Kendreze Holland-BEST– Analysis of Cathepsins K, L, S Intracellular Localization In Transfected HEK-293T Cells
Qwantayvious Stiggers-BEST– Regenerating Articular Cartilage with Heparan Sulfate Hydrogels using Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells
Jahizreal Aquart-BEST–Using immunostaining and image analysis to evaluate islet transplantation sites
Makala Faniel-KIPP– Use of a Laser Beaming Apparatus to Improve the Energy Efficiency of UAVs
Taylor Garlington-MAYS– Underwater Sensing Networks
Jalyn Gordon-KIPP– Building Dynamic Information Systems to Support Army Families with Exceptional Needs
Nicole Gullatt-MAYS– Modeling the Effects of Bruch’s Membrane Opening Shape on the Biomechanics of the Rat Model of Glaucoma
Cydney Jones-CSK–Fluid and Structural Biomechanics of Lepidoptera Antennae
Kristen Kelley-MAYS– Immuno-modulatory Hydrogels for Stem Cell Therapy after Traumatic Brain Injury
Adam Keys-BEST– Applications of Piezoelectric Harvesting Technology
Chrisangela Martin-CSK– The Role of Heme Degradation in Enzyme-Mediated Polyaniline Polymerization
Dezmanique Martin-KIPP– Optimizing the User Experience for Army Families using Java Frameworks
Jada Maxwell-MAYS– Analysis of cathepsin activity in cathepsin knockout mice
Kavaunte Perry-BEST– Development of a Heat Polymer Generator for Energy Production
Ayan Robinson-KIPP– Development of a Rocker Bogie Suspension System for a Robotic Vehicle
Asha Scott-KIPP– Exploring the Pro-Regenerative Actions of Resolvins
Quiara Sharp-CSK– The Impact of Microenvironment Stiffness on Lymphatic Muscle Cell Function
Omari Weems-MAYS–The Effect of Surface Stiffness on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function
Dionte West-BEST– Piezoelectrics: Production, Harvesting, and Storage
Darius Worthem-BEST– Gap junction inhibition effect on stem cell pluripotency and induced differentiation
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