Advanced Authentic Research

Projects (2017-18)

View our 2017-18 AAR Student Presentation projects that were featured at our annual Celebratory Showcase by discipline: Business, Humanities, Social Science, and STEM

 
Business

Business Owners and Mislabeling in the Seafood Industry

Within the seafood industry, mislabeling is common. Some studies have found the mislabeling rate to be as high as 33%. One potential solution is to educate consumers about the issue so they can avoid mislabeled food. This project will find out how much consumers know about the issue and evaluate if education is an effective method for combating mislabeled seafood.

Business

Case Study of Bay Area Entrepreneurs

In a region full of big corporations and rapidly advancing ventures and technology, my project will take a look at the flip side: the small businesses and business owners in an area that is dominated by these big companies.

Business

Ending Patent Trolls

A Patent Assertion Entity (PAE), often more commonly known as a “patent troll,” is a company that acquires overly broad patents to try and make money by threatening small businesses with lawsuits and collecting settlements. This project will examine how PAEs have negatively impacted innovation, the creation of small businesses, the economy, and stalling the ability for small businesses to... Read More

Business

How Adoption of Cryptocurrencies (e.g., Bitcoin) as a Mainstream Form of Payment Might Be Affected as High-Frequency Trading Becomes More Prevalent Among Major Currencies

The aim of this research project is to determine whether or not there is price correlation between Nvidia GPUs and Bitcoin. As Bitcoin becomes increasingly popular, the demand for graphics processing units (GPUs) has reached new heights. GPUs are needed because “miners,” or people who use computing power in exchange for Bitcoin, use them specifically because of their superior efficiency... Read More

Business

How Employee Benefits Affect Company Productivity

The harsh working enviornment of Apple factory employees in China and the lush work environment at Google's headquarters in Mountain View are both widely known, for opposite reasons. Although the treatment of the employees differs greatly, both groups are exceptionally efficient. How do employee benefits affect the behavior of the employees? In addition, how does employees' happiness affect... Read More

Business

How Korean Beauty Empowers Women Entrepreneurs in the U.S.

The recent wave of influence by Asian/Korean culture in the U.S., known as the Hallyu Wave, has brought food, Korean dramas, and K-pop to America, as well as Korea's unique, elaborate beauty/skincare culture. Dewy skin, natural looks, and patented cushion formulas have all made their marks in the U.S.. Women entrepreneurs in America have taken advantage of ideas from the Korean beauty market... Read More

Business

How Silicon Valley Companies Can Provide More Job Opportunities to Local Residents

Silicon Valley is a fiercely competitive market that large corporations and hopeful entrepreneurs flock to from all over the world. However, this has also led to an immense increase in the demand for land and building space. As a result, companies have begun to move into more residential areas, causing concern over gentrification. This project will study how well different companies integrate... Read More

Business

How Social Media Affects Gender Equality

This project focuses on how social media is being used to empower women. Despite efforts to use social media platforms to promote social good, women and women’s rights issues are aggressively being shamed on social media in an attempt to shut these efforts down. This problem negatively impacts all women, because women are impacted by the effects of both systemic and specific sexism in their... Read More

Business

How Teaspoon Collect Consumer Information to Better Target Marketing

Just two years ago, Teaspoon—a local Starbucks-like tea franchise with Asian influences—opened its very first store in Los Altos, CA. Now, it is one of the fastest growing companies in the Bay Area. With nine locations, twelve specialty drinks, and thousands of loyal customers, the demand for more effective digital marketing has increased greatly. Digital marketing is an essential part of any... Read More

Business

How to Minimize Risk in Stock Market Investment

When you buy stock, you become a shareholder, which means you now own a "part" of the company. If the company's profits go up, you "share" in those profits. If the company starts doing well, you start earning money. However if a company starts to do badly, you can lose money. My project will examine how to invest into companies effectively by analyzing their growth and identifying and reducing... Read More

Business

Income Effects on Computer Science

There is an increasing demand for computer science workers who are proficient in coding. Recently, the average annual salary for computer science workers in Silicon Valley has been around $133,000, and the national average is has been around $113,000, according to Glassdoor's salary database. Several nonprofits have been organized to help provide a bridge for underrepresented communities to... Read More

Business

Non-Traditional Variables for Measuring the Stability of the Economy

Despite efforts to improve our methods of analyzing the economy, we were unable to foresee the devastating crash of 2008. Traditional measures such as GDP fail to represent all aspects of the American economy. As a result, economists have researched the relationships between the economy’s stability and other variables, such as stock prices, banking development, and environmental conditions. I... Read More

Business

What Matters to Business Customers in Selecting an Airline

I am learning how to expand and grow my nonprofit, Robotics for All. The mission statement of Robotics for All is: “Robotics for All strives to educate students from disadvantaged communities in robotics and STEM to help them gain beneficial skills which will be useful throughout the rest of their academic and professional careers.” I currently teach at Mariano Castro Elementary School in... Read More

Social Science

"Pasung" Shackling the Mentally Ill in Indonesia

The goal of this project is to determine whether or not the government of Indonesia is aware of how severe “Pasung” shackling a mentally ill person is in rural and poorer parts of the country. The project is targeting those specific areas because they are far from hospitals, and most people there can’t afford proper medication or treatment. The project will consist of personal interviews from... Read More

Social Science

Causes of Stigma Against Students with ADHD in Palo Alto and How to Counter Them

Approximately 6.4 million children have been diagnosed with ADHD, with a 5% increase of diagnoses per year since 2003. There are many negative stigma associated with school-aged children with ADHD. The stigma can affect treatment efficiency as well as the mental well-being of individuals affected by ADHD. Prior studies have found that children with ADHD self-identified most of their behavior... Read More

Social Science

Changing the Narrative: How Men Can Be Encouraged to Express Their Emotions

Mainstream culture in the United States tends to promote hyper-masculinity, which rewards the rejection of emotion ("real men don't cry") and embraces sexual conquest ("sleep with as many women as possible, treat them poorly"). By being encouraged to reject emotion, men are discouraged from developing deep friendships or connections. This can also lead to mental health issues. This project... Read More

Social Science

Comparison of Left-Behind Children in Rural China and Immigrant Chinese Students in the United States

In recent years, China’s population of left-behind children (i.e., children who have at least one parent who has migrated to an urban area in search of employment to support the family) is on rise. Researchers have found a general trend of left-behind children’s emotional well-being and academic performance suffering negative effects due to the resulting lack of parental care. Also, as an... Read More

Social Science

Creativity in Education: Creativity Carts

Creativity carts are carts filled with arts and crafts supplies that are used in PAUSD elementary schools during creative sessions or lessons. I am going to administer surveys to teachers who participate in the creativity carts program to determine what additions can be made to the creativity carts to maximize their effectiveness, and how the creativity carts enhance the education of... Read More

Social Science

Developing a Better Litter Prevention Program

My project focuses on how to alleviate the issue of litter. This project will involve running a school-wide program where, using incentives, students are encouraged to pick up the litter they see around campus. Students who participate in the program will be in the running for a prize, which will be awarded at a public event. The goal of this pilot program is to instill an anti-littering... Read More

Social Science

Effectiveness and Availability of Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy for People with Mental Challenges in the Bay Area

This research project will examine the accesibility and effectiveness of equine-assisted therapy in the Bay Area. Case studies and interviews with therapists will be used to develop materials (specifically, a pamphlet) to increase access and outreach. This pamphlet will be developed as a tool to educate the public on what equine-assisted therapy is and what current resources exist in the Bay... Read More

Social Science

Environmental Racism

Environmental racism is about the deliberate placement of environmental hazards such as toxic waste and treatment plants for toxic waste in minority and low-income neighborhoods. Despite federal laws that protect these people, environmental racism is still a factor in moder American life. This research project will examine federal laws pertaining to racial discrimination and environmental... Read More

Social Science

Gardening and Student Health

This project focuses on bettering Paly students' health through a community garden. The intent is to show how a community garden can improve both physical and mental health. Students will be able to learn hard work and dedication while at the same time learning what its like to nurture something. Students' confidence will increase, and they will spend more time outside.

Social Science

How Age Affects Perceptions of Inclusion of People with Disabilities

Young children assigning meaning to their perceptions of people different than themselves is an indicator of developing judgements. Understanding this shift from perception to judgement may shed light on why people become less inclusive as they grow older. This project will study patterns of inclusivity in maturing children to determine if it is possible to reverse misinformed negative... Read More

Social Science

How Destructive Female Friendships Relate to Competition Between Women for Relationships and Professional Success

This project's goal is to look at unhealthy female friendships and to determine whether negative behaviors that can often arise between girls—such as the exclusion of "friends" and gossiping—are intentional or subconscious. This project will also study the differences between male and female friendships, for better or for worse, and what causes these differences. Through the examination of... Read More

Social Science

How Different Kinds of Media Affect Perception of Mental Health

I put together a podcast about mental health, which includes interviews about people's personal experiences. A focus group will be surveyed about their perceptions of mental health. Then, the podcast will be played to the same focus group, and they will be surveyed on their perception of mental health after the podcast. The two sets of surveys will be compared to determine whether and how the... Read More

Social Science

How Different Types of Unstable Housing Situations Lead to Distinct Health Outcomes Among HIV/AIDS Patients who Experience Housing Insecurity

Prior research has shown that unstable housing leads to significantly worse health outcomes for people living with HIV/AIDS. However, current housing programs for HIV/AIDS patients who experience housing insecurity have not been effective in promoting better health outcomes for these patients. Perhaps our measurement of homelessness is imprecise and overlooks a diversity of unstable housing... Read More

Social Science

How Government Policy Relating to Homelessness Affects the Education of Homeless Youth in the Bay Area

The goal of this project is to research the effects of both federal and state legislation in regard to the education of homeless students. Interviews with school administrators will be conducted to determine what changes, accommodations, and services homeless students need in order to succeed. This data will be synthesized, summarized, and then presented.

Social Science

How High Schools in America Support Students with Mental Health Issues

For this project, I will be going to different high schools in the Bay Area and meeting with their guidance counselors and administration. I will ask them what programs and services they offer to support students at school with mental health issues. I will then use this information to evaluate each school. The results will be used to create a baseline of what all students need.

Social Science

How PAUSD Can Encourage Racial Diversity in Honors and AP STEM Classes

This research project will be taking a case study inquiry approach to investigate the causes behind the lack of underrepresented minorities in honors and AP STEM classes at Palo Alto High School. Minorities make up a disproportionately small fraction of the greater STEM workforce, which may be attributed to a lacking high school curriculum. Through the coding of interviews, this project hopes... Read More

Social Science

How Political Isolation Affects Political Polarization

Our project analyzes political polarization in America. We built an algorithm that used phrases typically associated with Democrats or Republicans to try to determine which party a speech sample belongs to. We will run speeches from politicians that are in the minority political party in their state and see how accurate our algorithm is in determining the party of the speaker. We will compare... Read More

Social Science

How Toxicity and Gender Change the Way People Play Games Before the Game Even Starts

This research project will examine if and how toxicity and gender change the way people play video games before they pick up the controller. The medium for this project will be the online game Overwatch and—within the game—how players' choice of game character changes depending on whether or not they are exposed to toxicity. The aim is to see the impact of toxicity on stereotypes within gaming... Read More

Social Science

Identifying Effective Instructional Technology in 6-8 Education

This research aims to determine which types of instructional technology teachers should use to drive student learning. Over 90% of schools provide access to computers and internet access, but many teachers either choose not to use instructional technology or use technology ineffectively. This study aims to produce results that can assist teachers in choosing the most effective and efficient... Read More

Social Science

Identifying Effective Methods to Encourage Households to Compost

When food decays in a landfill, it is trapped under layers of garbage, creating an anaerobic environment that causes methane to be released into the atmosphere. When food is composted, it decays in an aerobic environment, producing carbon dioxide, a much less potent green house gas, instead. Although all Palo Alto residents have been given compost bins, they are not always used. This research... Read More

Social Science

Improving Effective Use of Existing Technology in Public Schools

The "digital divide" refers to the gap between privileged and underprivileged people as seen through their access to technology. Although technology has become more affordable, there is a lack of understanding of how to use it to its full advantage. Palo Alto High School provides students with Chromebooks, but these machines are dependent on wifi and lack significant standalone computer... Read More

Social Science

Increasing Access to Higher Education for Low-Income Students

There is a college access problem for low-income students. Nationwide efforts have been made to increase access to higher education, and nationwide efforts have been made to increase access, but “while half of all people from high-income families have a bachelor’s degree by age 25, just 1 in 10 people from low-income families do” (Bailey, Dynarski, 2011). This negatively impacts low-income... Read More

Social Science

Investigating Perception of Bias in U.S. News Outlets

In our polarized political environment, the claim that the media is biased is leveraged almost daily. However, most studies are in conflict in terms of severity and direction of bias, leading most researchers to conclude that perception of bias is, to a significant degree, in the eye of the beholder. This study investigates where consumers perceive bias (i.e., which news outlets are perceived... Read More

Social Science

Labor-related Macrosocial Forces of Japanese Karoshi

Karoshi, or death by overwork, is a serious social problem in Japan. Employees work ludicrous amounts of overtime, and over the years, they develop health issues in the heart and brain. In order to solve this issue, it is important to understand how it has come about, how it is understood, how it is being dealt with, and how it would ideally be dealt with. This project seeks to investigate the... Read More

Social Science

Mandatory Computer Science in School

Only about 40% of American public schools have computer science programs. Most of these are in the wealthiest regions in America. Children who live in low income neighborhoods will never have a chance to be exposed to these kinds of classes, and these classes could change their lives.

Social Science

Measuring How Speech Patterns Differ in State Congressional Speeches Using Partisan and/or Regional Key Phrases

For this project, we will be designing a program to analyze speech patterns in state congressional speeches based on key words and phrases. Certain words and phrases are more characteristic of one political party than another, and the frequency of those words can be used to measure the speaker's party polarization. By measuring how accurately the program can identify the party of the speaker,... Read More

Social Science

Mental Health in the Juvenile Justice System

Youths who have gone through the Juvenile Justice System are often underrepresented and overlooked. These youths often face irreversible changes to their mental health, such as the development of mental health disorders or the worsening of pre-existing conditions. Using data collected through a series of interviews and focus groups, we are going to create a proposal to submit to the city on... Read More

Social Science

Paly Student Satisfaction with School Wellness Programs

This project will collect qualitiative data as to how students view various wellness programs at Palo Alto High School. The results can be used to improve program offerings.

Social Science

Policy and the Movement of Undocumented Immigrants: A Look at the Correlation between State Policy and Undocumented Immigrant Populations in the United States over the Past 10 Years

Over the course of the last few years, undocumented immigration has become more of a hot topic than ever. With all the discussion in recent months about DACA, deportation, and other issues, it has become increasingly difficult to separate facts from inaccurate rhetoric to understand how immigrants are actually integrated into American society. By understanding the policies set in place by... Read More

Social Science

Protections Against Pesticide Exposure for Farmworkers

This study aims to understand the ways in which farmworkers are protected from exposure to pesticides. Using interviews with various stakeholders and coding to analyze them, this research will attempt to identify best practices for preventing exposure to pesticides.

Social Science

Reasons for and Impacts of Schools Cutting Their Arts Programs

This project aims to determine the impact that art classes have on the students. I have asked art teachers around the area to take a survey about their experience with under funding, and the impact that this has on their students.

Social Science

Reasons for High Dropout Rates in World Language Classes and How to Encourage Students to Continue in Language Education

In an increasingly globalized society, foreign language education is a key factor in breaking barriers and immersing oneself in a culture different from one's own. Most high schools have a two year language requirement, but many students choose not to continue language studies after the graduation requirement is met. Working with students and teachers, new methods of teaching were brainstormed... Read More

Social Science

Teacher Well-Being

Our project aims to assess teacher well-being at PALY. From research, teacher well-being affects not only teachers themselves, but it also affects the general climate of the school as well as the quality of students' education. We hope that by examining and bringing attention to the needs of the teachers at PALY, we can improve school, student, and teacher life all together.

Social Science

The Effectiveness of Breathing Techniques in Improving Athletes' Mindsets and Resilience to Failure

A large part of whether an athlete can succeed in high school and beyond is how they respond to and view failure and errors made while playing in a game, such as a missed shot or turnover in basketball. Game time situations, meaning events that take place during time-sensitive moments while facing an opponent in an official match, can be stressful. This stress can lead athletes to browbeat and... Read More

Social Science

The Effectiveness of Different Types of Music in Decreasing Stress, Increasing Motivation and Confidence, and Improving Mood

The aim of this research project is to study the deliberate use of music to decrease stress and increase motivation among high school students in Palo Alto. While music therapy has been shown to be affective in increasing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health, this practice requires the services of a trained music therapist. However, music can still benefit those who take... Read More

Social Science

The Harmful Effects of Gentrification

This project will examine the issue of gentrification in America. Gentrification involves racial segregation and socioeconomic segregation through displacement of minority communities. This project will examine the types of methods that are being employed to help victims of gentrification and the effectiveness of these methods. It will also provide real-world accounts of those who have... Read More

Social Science

The Importance of Student Participation in Language Development from Middle School to High School

This project is looking to see how the opinions of students in French Class on student participation in comparison to the effectiveness of student participation on Language apprehension. The data for this project comes from a survey that will be distributed throughout French Classes from grades 7 through 12.

Social Science

The Oral History of Palo Alto Senior Citizens

Many senior citizens in America struggle with feelings of loneliness and isolation, despite the efforts of various organizations to give seniors opportunities to interact socially. In a University of San Francisco study that included 1604 participants with an average 71 years old, 43% of seniors reported feeling lonely (Kim, 2012). Loneliness negatively impacts quality of life and can even... Read More

Social Science

The State of Arts Education in K-12 Public Schools

It is widely accepted that for education is important for America's youth. In particular, there is broad agreement that STEM subjects are essential, and that writing well is a valuable skill. However, an important opportunity in K-12 education is being ignored. K-12 public schools tend to lack arts education. Arguably, experiencing a Shakespeare performance by professional actors, viewing art... Read More

Social Science

The Voluntary Transfer Program and the Racial Achievement Gap in PAUSD

The “achievement gap” is the persistent disparity in educational performance among various groups and is a commonly discussed issue in today’s society. In reality, there are numerous achievement gaps: the gender achievement gap, socioeconomic status achievement gap, learning disabilities achievement gap, and the racial achievement gap. When people talk about a generic achievement gap, it is... Read More

Social Science

Tracking the Social Divide Between Special Education Students and General Education Students

My project is focused on the divide between Special Education and General Education students. I am researching the most effective ways of reaching a more diverse group of people through advertisements (in my project, flyers). To get to the bottom of this issue, I am looking at what design components, reach a more diverse group of people.

Social Science

Underlying Causes of Incarceration and Preventing Recidivism

The prison system in America is systemically flawed. Despite efforts to fight systemic racism and lower the black-to-white disparities in incarceration rates, a disproportionate number of black people are being incarcerated for crimes for which white people would not even be convicted. 1 in 3 black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetimes, as opposed to 1 in 17 white men (Knafo, 2013... Read More

Social Science

Using AI to Improve Relations Between the United States and North Korea

North Korea and the United States do not have a friendly relationship, partly because of past conflicts. For my project, I want to look for ways that artificial intelligence can be used to find solutions to the confict between these two nations. AI has been used previously to detect threats, and I want to build upon this idea see if it can be taken a step farther to develop solutions to... Read More

Social Science

Youth-Driven Mental Health Programs

I want to research how effective youth-driven wellness programs are at preventing student suicides. To do so, I will be surveying facilitators and participants and coding information from youth-driven mental health programs in Palo Alto.

STEM

Affordability of Medicine Within the United States

The prices of some pharmaceutical drugs in America have become unaffordable for many Americans. Although affordability varies for each drug, overall cost has become a problem because people who are sick might not be able to afford the medicine they need. The cost of medication is so high partly because drug companies need to pay for their research, which is understandable, given that companies... Read More

STEM

AI Algorithm that Calculates the Heart Rate from an Electrocardiogram (ECG)

My mentor will provide data sets of electrocardiograms that his company has collected. Using knowledge of machine learning that I will gain through background research, I will create an AI algorithm that will "learn" the relationship between an electrocardiogram and the heart rate. Essentially, I will feed my algorithm sets of electrocardiograms with corresponding heart rates, and the... Read More

STEM

Analyzing Sounds Emitted by Motorized Vehicles

I will record and visually display sounds emitted by motorized vehicles, and I will use software to analyze those recordings to see if there are any trends. A significant amount of research has been done on the analysis of voice, but little has been done on sound analysis regarding the environment and inanimate objects.

STEM

Applications of Nanotechnology in Medicine

In this project, I will be exploring the applications of nano scale particles in the field of medicine. Many medicinal techniques are effective but are not at peak efficiency and could be improved with nanotechnology. The development of nanotechnology will also impact the path medicine will take in the future and I will analyze current developments to get a sense of where the future is heading... Read More

STEM

Economic Gardens

The main roadblocks to developing fully sustainable gardens are factors that affect the water used in growing plants. Water ground soil evaporation is the amount of water that evaporates in an area of land in a given time frame. Groundwater erosion is a negative effect of having water flowing underground. Water efficiency is the amount of water that, when put into an area, is actually used by... Read More

STEM

Economical Transport of Probes into Interstellar Space

The idea behind this particular AAR project is to dig deeper into the practicality of sending satellites, probes, and other equipment into space. The launch of an object (similar to Voyager 1 and 2) to leave Earth will be simulated in this endeavor. A prototype design for a modern orbital class rocket will be developed. Over the course of this project, the estimated cost for launching... Read More

STEM

Effective Methods for a Counselor-Based School Mental Health Program to Prevent Additional Suicide deaths After a Public Suicide in PAUSD

Despite​​ ​​numerous​​ ​​attempts​​ ​​at​​ ​​preventing​​ ​​suicide,​​ ​​high​​-achievement​​ ​​communities​​ ​​are​ ​still​​ ​​struggling​​ ​​to​​ ​​design​ ​programs​​ ​​that​​ ​​are​​ ​​effective​​ ​​at​​ ​​preventing​​ ​​these​​ ​​deaths.​​ This​​ ​​problem​​ ​​has​ ​negatively​​ ​​impacted​​ ​​both​​ ​​​individuals​ and communities at large, since​​ ​​people​​ ​​are​​ ​​still​​ ​​... Read More

STEM

Effects of AI in a Changing Business Climate

As AI gains prevalence in more areas of society, it is becoming much more advanced and capable of rapidly changing many historically consistent or slow-to-evolve aspects of society, including business, economics, military strategy, entertainment. As AI capability continues to increase, how will AI affect business even further than it already has in the near future? To answer this question, I... Read More

STEM

Electric Regeneration in Electric Bikes

This research project will study electric regeneration's effect on battery life, total run time, and number of times the battery is able to be recharged in electric bicycles. Other factors that will be examined include the stress that electrical braking takes off of the friction brakes and the difference between electric braking with a throttle and electric braking with a switch.

STEM

Graph Theory Study of Metal Doped Graphene Edge State

There has been little study done on the edge state of graphene. By utilizing graph theory, we can accurately model the electron density in the edge state. This approach could be used to form certain carbon allotropes such as buckyballs and C nanotubes.

STEM

Graphene Doping

We will examine how properties of graphene change as we dope them with pairs of metals. We are using Quantum Espresso to simulate how the particles interact with each other. We will also compare these changes in properties to other experiments to see how this can be used as a semiconductor or for other purposes.

STEM

How Carbon Emissions Affect Climate Change

As global temperature begins to rise, there are many effects throughout the world, including more floods, more rain, droughts, freezing, natural disasters, etc. There are many reasons why this climate change is currently taking place, but it is primarily due to human activities such as releasing large amounts of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere through the burning of... Read More

STEM

How Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Causing Mutations in the Lever Arm of the Myosin Motor Affect the Function of the Myosin

The goal of this study is to understand how hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart disease usually caused by genetic mutations in the lever arm of the myosin motor) affects the function of myosin protein.

STEM

How Levels of the EGFR Protein in Cells Relate to Cancer Rates

The goal of this project is to study the correlation between the amount of the EGFR protein in a cell and its likelihood to be cancerous. Multiple databases and studies will be analyzed. The obtained data will be used to determine whether or not there is a correlation between EGFR levels and cancer rates.

STEM

How Low Income California Residents Are Affected by Their Enrollment with MediCal

While MediCal was created to benefit low-income residents in California, it has also succeeded in creating new inconveniences and injustices for its recipients. Many doctors do not accept MediCal insurance due to its low reimbursement rates for the doctors, causing access issues for recipients. While there are many great nonprofit health clinics, people may not be aware of this option and will... Read More

STEM

How the Length of DNA Multimers Influences the Efficiency of Transforming the Bacteria Bacillus Subtilis

As the need for efficient and safe pharmaceutical protein production grows with the population and number of therapeutics discoveries, the need to develop a more suitable, scalable host for protein production proves vital. The bacterial species Bacillus subtilis has substantial potential to serve as an efficient protein production host. However, transforming B. subtilis with foreign DNA is... Read More

STEM

How to Optimize and Naturalize Computer-Designed Images

Utilizing machine learning, computers can now be taught to generate real images. This project uses a general adversarial network (GAN) to generate images. A GAN is composed of two neural networks: one plays the painter and one the judge. The painter uses responses from the judge to improve its painting, eventually generating life-like images. However, getting a GAN to work as intended in this... Read More

STEM

How Variation in Response to Medication due to CYP450 Enzymes Affects Adverse Drug Reaction Rates (in Terms of Health and Healthcare Costs) Through Prevention of Adverse Drug Reaction?

Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs), negative reactions to medication when used as prescribed, are responsible for many deaths each year in the United States. Estimates from different studies range from 7,000 deaths a year (courtesy of a study conducted by the Institute of Medicine in 2000) to as high as 106,000 a year, which would place ADRs as the fourth leading cause of death in the United States... Read More

STEM

Identifying the Most Effective Single Agent for Treating Follicular Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Follicular lymphoma is the most common form of Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a disease that takes the lives of thousands each year. It is often treated with a combination of drugs tailored to be the most suitable for each individual patient, but there are dozens of single agents and treatment regimens that makes it confusing for the patient. This project attempts to resolve some confusion by... Read More

STEM

Improving Animal Models Best Represent Alzheimer’s Disease

This research project will analyze the flaws in using current mice models to evaluate Alzheimer’s disease. The limitations of mice models will be identified through extensive research and previous studies. These findings will contribute to suggesting potential improvements to the modeling of Alzheimer’s disease. The project will validate the findings by applying them to other organisms... Read More

STEM

Improving Animal Models Best Represent Alzheimer’s Disease

This research project will analyze the flaws in using current mice models to evaluate Alzheimer’s disease. The limitations of mice models will be identified through extensive research and previous studies. These findings will contribute to suggesting potential improvements to the modeling of Alzheimer’s disease. The project will validate the findings by applying them to other organisms... Read More

STEM

Integrating Autonomous Vehicles into Current Roadway Networks

With complete adoption of fully autonomous vehicles likely to take decades, it is important to understand how autonomous cars will operate simultaneously with human-driven cars. This research is investigating how to integrate autonomous vehicles into current roadway infrastructure via simulations of a metropolitan freeway. By measuring average trip time and traffic flow rate, different... Read More

STEM

Interest Levels in Science Classes at Paly

Nationwide, student interest levels are decreasing in science classes, and I want to see if this applies to Paly. I will be interviewing/surveying teachers and students with questions pertaining to the environment of Paly science classes. I will then use the results to draw concolusions about what we are/aren't doing correctly with the curriculum and class structure.

STEM

Modelling Control Factors For Mosquitoes In Many Environments

We will be creating a computer simulation that models how populations of mosquitoes are affected by certain vector control methods such as Wolbachia. This simulation will model a variety of methods and their effectiveness in various conditions and environments. The simulation will be interactive, with the ability to add factors in the process.

STEM

Plastic Straws in the Environment

I researched the effect of plastic straws as waste in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems as well as the effects on human health. Additionally, I studied what has already been done to combat the issue of plastic straw waste by investigating the ban in Seattle and previous environmental policies that have been implemented in Palo Alto. I then held a focus group to assess the best next steps and... Read More

STEM

Ration Bars

The purpose of my project is to develop a food bar that fits the needs of people displaced from their homes. I will be looking at aspects of taste, nutrition, and calories for my food bars. I will be testing the food bars under the guidance of the Biotech teacher.

STEM

Refer to my partner's (Joy Huang) submission; thank you!

Refer to my partner's (Joy Huang) submission; thank you!

STEM

Relationships Between Economic Status and Extracurricular Participation in Palo Alto

The achievement gap seems impacts more than just academics; for example, extracurricular activities are not accessible to everyone. I will be researching whether there is a disparity between various socioeconomic classes and their participation in club sports. My plan is to develop a scholarship program through the Stanford Soccer Club. I will use the application process to gather research... Read More

STEM

Relationships Between NASA Budget Cuts and the Output of Spinoff Biomedical Engineering Projects, and How These Innovations Have Impacted the Medical World

NASA’s spinoff projects have used technologies originally developed for space exploration that have been adapted and further developed for common use, especially relating to the medical world. I am looking into these spinoff projects and collecting data to determine if NASA's budget over the years has had an impact on the output of these projects.

STEM

Relative Health of Native vs. Foreign Trees in Palo Alto

There is a debate about whether native or foreign tree species should be planted in Palo Alto. This project will study how healthy each kind of tree is and use that information to determine what trees are better off in the suburban Palo Alto environment.

STEM

Solar Panels at Paly

This project will examine the feasability and impact of installing solar panels on the Paly campus. This is important to me because solar panels would let us reduce our carbon emissions and move to a more renewable energy source, which in turn will also help address global warming.

STEM

Study on the Effect of Doped Vertical Co, Ni, Fe Dimers in Pristine Graphene

We use the computational chemistry software Quantum Espresso to analyze the effects of doping vertical homonuclear and heteronuclear combinations of cobalt, nickel, and iron in graphene. Our goal is to expand on existing research in the growing field and hopefully affirm past research. We have yet to focus our application--we may focus on topics ranging from anything like water filtration to... Read More

STEM

Sustainable Plants in the Palo Alto Climate

This project will show how anyone can plant an organic edible garden in their own backyard or balcony, as long as they have an understanding of the local conditions and which crops to plant. I want to help promote gardening and fresh-grown food people can easily get.

STEM

Testing Graph Theory's Usefulness in Creating New Materials with Expected Properties through Computational Experiments Through Quantum Espresso Computer Simulations

This project will explore whether graph theory can be used to control chirality and model the genesis of chirality, a molecule not superimposable on its mirror image. This will be determined by observing isomorphism, or whether they are corresponding or similar in form, in CoCalc. Also, the project will explore whether properties of nanosystems calculated in Quantum Espresso (i.e.,... Read More

STEM

Testing the Link Between Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and HIV

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is one of the most pressing diseases in the medical field. Recent research has shown that it has to tendency to occur along with other illnesses. The study consists of a survey to find the prevalence of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and other diseases (Alzheimer's disease and HIV). The aim of this study is to be accessible, while still being applicable to the medical world... Read More

STEM

Testing Whether GANs Can Generate Photorealistic Images from Rough Sketches

Generative adversarial networks (GANs) can generate images from rough sketches, potentially making image composition much more efficient than it is currently. However, the images from GANs are generally not photorealistic enough to be used in many real life applications. This project will attempt to make a GAN generate truly photorealistic images that can be used in real life applications.

STEM

Testing Whether Marangoni Flows Are Caused by Evaporation and Gravity or Liquid Composition

The problem this project seeks to address is the lack of knowledge on the catalyst to thin film drainage over a curved surface. In certain instances, the drainage of the liquid is interrupted by a unique distribution of surface tension. These flows are called marangoni flows. Surface tension is a measurement of how much a liquid likes to stay in contact with itself. The driving force behind... Read More

STEM

The Effect of Embedding Transition Metals on the Spintronic Properties of Graphene Ribbons

Over the years, molecular simulations have evolved immensely. Density Functional Theory is one of these methods of molecular simulations, and while it is highly accurate, it is very expensive. In our research, we look for more efficient simulations. Can we use graph theory to model graphene? We compare our graph theory model to experimental data to access the accuracy.

STEM

The Effect of Music on Task Performance

The aim of my project is to see which genres of music are best for number memory. I noticed that some teachers at my school allowed students to listen to music while doing classwork, while others did not. I want to examine what impact different genres of music have on number memory, if any.

STEM

The Effect of Transfection on Metastatic Potential of Mouse 3T3 cells

I will be testing the variance of Metastatic Potential on Mouse 3T3 cells after they have been transfected. One group will be the Wild Type in which no transfection has been done. In another group, the p53 gene will be knocked down. The last group will have the Myosin Heavy Chain 9 gene will be knocked down. By using the Boyden Chamber, I will record the migration patterns of the cells, and I... Read More

STEM

The Effects of Particle Interactions on Nuclear Level Density and Temperature in the sd-space

Nuclear temperature, a parameter of the equation for level density as a function of energy that represents the internal chaotic motion of the nucleus, can be graphed as a function of the number of neutrons in the nucleus. These trends are the staggering of the temperatures of odd-neutron and even-neutron nuclei, as well as a minimum temperature value at the number of neutrons equaling the... Read More

STEM

The Effects of Stress on Working Memory in High School Students

Have you ever tried to remember a set of numbers only to forget them moments later? The research from this project will be used to create an understanding of how working memory is affected by stress in students ages 13-18.

STEM

The Genetics of Melanoma

The objective of this project is to understand the genetic trends underlying melanoma, a deadly form of cancer. Data was analyzed to determine the correlation between location and race with incidences of melanoma. These trends can be used by medical professionals to better increase education starting from a young age.

STEM

Using Computational Modeling Techniques to Analyze Cancer Cell/Tumor Growth, and Identifying Best Methods of Analyzing Data from Tools like Mass Spectrometry When Studying Tumor Growth

Despite extensive efforts to analyze cancer cells, no property has yet been found that can be applied to cure all types of cancer. As a result, doctors and pationes often must resort to using chemotherapy or radiotherapy to treat this deadly disease. This problem has negatively impacted cancer patients because it only provides a possibility of short term remission, and it does not contribute... Read More

STEM

Using Emotions to Improve Memorization

Emotional memory is consolidated and recalled much more efficiently than non-emotional memory, leading to clear and vivid recollections. However, different emotions release different chemical signals in the brain, leading to a difference in the efficiency of recalling the memory. Finding the emotion that help high school students remember information best can be further utilized in creating... Read More

STEM

Using Ocean Waves to Generate Power

I will design and build a prototype of a device that generates electricity from the power of ocean waves. It is intended for people who do not have access to electricity due to natural disasters or poverty. I will test it in the ocean and change the prototype to make it more effective and efficient.

STEM

Variations that Affect the Risk of Narcolepsy

Research on narcolepsy (a sleep disease) is scarce, and patients may not understand whether developments are made to help them. So, I conducted interviews with professors who wrote articles on narcolepsy and expressed adequate knowledge on the subject. The goal of these interviews is to gather information about what research is being done on narcolepsy recently, and what those professors... Read More

STEM

Wolbachia Spread Simulation

This project will be a computer simulation of Wolbachia spread through a given geographic region over some length of time. Initial conditions will include the size of the infected mosquito population to be introduced and the introduction location. Other factors that may affect Wolbachia spread will modeled after real world conditions. Some of these factors include climate, seasonal climate... Read More

Humanities

An Analysis of French and U.S Sino-centric Defense Policy by Examining the implementation of Unilateral Arms Embargoes by the Two Countries

The United States and France are two of the top five arms manufacturers and exporters in the world. Together, they purvey billions of dollars in weapons that fuel worldwide conflicts. This project will analyze the doctrine each government adopts to control their country's defense industry, using the Chinese arms embargo as a case study. This is especially relevant as military cooperation... Read More

Humanities

Analyzing the Achievement Gap in the Bay Area

In the Bay Area, there is a significant achievement gap between students of different races and socioeconomic statuses. I will visit two different local schools (one affluent, one struggling economically) develop and test curriculum to see if it makes a difference in students and their respective achievements. I will be using action research, specifically interviews and focus groups, to... Read More

Humanities

Anti-Trump Protests in Santa Clara County 2017-18

Documentary photography is a powerful medium to study the public actions of citizens. This project will use documentary photography to study and represent the characteristics of local anti-Trump protest events in Santa Clara County during the first year of the Donal Trump presidency.

Humanities

Availability of Physical Therapy to America's Indigent Population, and How It Could be Used to Combat the Opioid Crisis

This project will look into the availability of orthopedic physical therapy services for the indigent population in America. This will involve looking into how many free clinics provide such services as well as how much Medicaid and Medicare will pay for these services. This project will also attempt to determine if physical therapy can be an effective alternative to prescription painkillers... Read More

Humanities

Differences Between an Underground Artist and a Mainstream Artist

"Mainstream" musical artists are artists who can be heard on the radio and who are under contract to a record company. "Underground" artists are artist who do not appear on the radio and must either own their own record company or find alternative means of publishing their music.

Humanities

Garden Remodel

The purpose of this project is to remodel and refresh the Paly garden with a fresh new concept. I will also study how successful this new concept is in bringing more attention and interest to the existence of the AAR-Paly community garden.

Humanities

Graffiti: Not All Bad

The goal of my project is to shift public perception away from the popular stereotype of graffiti as a degenerative form of art. As part of my project, I will be displaying my original graffiti pieces in the forthcoming AAR-Paly Garden to demonstrate that graffiti can be used to enhance the beauty of any space. This project will be my first step toward becoming a public graffiti artist.

Humanities

How Art Can Help Students with Autism

Through interviews, we are going to examine the relationship between children with autism and art. We are going to interview students and their parents to determine the effects of art on the behavior and communication of children with autism.

Humanities

How Use of a Teen Mentoring Program Impacts the Academic Engagement of Third Graders

This research project will pilot a mentorship program within the context of a youth support and religious studies program within my church. In 5th grade, there has been a decline in enrollment and a drop-off in the number of students attending the program, and this project will study whether a mentorship program can be effective in sustaining and increasing participation. High school students... Read More

Humanities

I have not decided yet

xx

Humanities

Implications of Principles of Turner's Thesis on Mass Media

This dissertation examines the primary principles included in Frederick Jackson Turner’s The Significance of the Frontier in American History Thesis and applies them to the impact of mass and social media on American democracy. Based on the widespread 19th century American belief that land equaled life, opportunity, and the expansion of democracy, Turner's Thesis hypothesizes on how the... Read More

Humanities

Making Meaning Through Self Portraits

I compose self portraits as a way to express myself and to expand my AP art portfolio. My project will examine the way different techniques used by famous artists were employed to frame personal and cultural meaning (for example, how self portraiture was used to deal with issues like mortality, emotional stress and cultural events). By studying techniques and works from art history, I will use... Read More

Humanities

Racial Disparity in Standardized Testing

The city of Palo Alto embodies an environment where a lot of privilege exists. Palo Alto is a place where there are a plethora of tutors offered, education is a priority for all, and everyone has the chance to take standardized tests, like the ACT and SAT. However, there is a problem with standardized testing, specifically the racial disparity that occurs within it. My project explores the... Read More

Humanities

Sexism in Hollywood

My project examines issues that women currently face in the film industry: lack of opportunity in attaining roles at director and producer, sexual misconduct, and the inaccurate portrayal of women on screen. This issue has a major effect on the messages perpetuated in film, and the ability to have a more just world for women.

Humanities

Sunshine (novel)

I am using AAR to work on my novel, titled Sunshine. Sunshine chronicles a post-apocalyptic world, where regular catastrophes plague humanity and can only be driven off by a magical substance called "sunshine." The sunshine-seller, nephew of the deceased legendary figure Light-Bringer, distributes this "sunshine" and befriends two children named Alice and Tim. Throughout the story the... Read More

Humanities

The Benefits of Music Education

This project looks at the various aspects of music education in California. After Proposition 13 was passed, music education took a massive hit and now very few public elementary schools in California offer it. I will be researching the benefits of music education to gather data that demonstrates why it is an essential part of education.

Humanities

The Connection Between Art and Autism

This project will explore the connection between art and autism. We will research the ways art can be used as a tool to benefit children with autism by looking into the effects of exposure to art in the lives of children with autism. We will also be researching whether or not there is a connection between having autism and being exceptionally gifted at art, and if there is, what the reason... Read More

Humanities

The Effectiveness of the Tinsley Program and its Effect on the Racial Achievement Gap Within PAUSD

The Voluntary Transfer Program (VTP) within the Palo Alto Unified School District (PAUSD) is a program in which hundreds of students from low socioeconomic neighborhoods are enrolled in and bused to PAUSD schools. The racial achievement gap in schools is influenced by systematic bias, busing, and social identity threat. Busing is voluntary transportation from one school district to another.... Read More

Humanities

The Ideal Sexual Education for Middle and High School, and How It Compares to PAUSD's Sexual Education

Through researching United States laws, California laws, and studies on sexual education, I am attempting to find the ideal sexual education curriculum that results in the least amount of teenage STIs and pregnancies, as well as an increase in knowledge about consent. By finding the most affective and comprehensive sexual education methods, I will use this tool to compare the sexual education... Read More