College Preparatory School for Girls Grades 3-12

12 Seniors Get Hands On in Science Research Program

12 Seniors Get Hands On in Science Research Program

Twelve seniors spent the past summer exploring hands-on, scientific research through Holton's immersive Science Research Program.

The Science Research Program gives a group of Upper School students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a professional research laboratory setting—an experience that builds familiarity, skills, and confidence, while also helping students expand their network and explore college and career options.

Maya AbiySophia Castro, Caroline DickeySophie DuncanRobin HessKhushi HotaGloria KalnitskayaDaniella NicholsEmme PastorTali SmithTomisin Sobande, and Caitlin Wang, all Class of 2022, each explored a topic alongside a mentor, either virtually or in-person, throughout the immersive, eight-week summer internship. 

Students were matched with one of Holton's partner institutions, which include the George Washington University School of Engineering, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences (USUHS), the University of Maryland, and Georgetown University.

"This group has made the most of a difficult situation, as while every student was partnered with one or more professional scientist mentors, many of them were not able to do in person research due to COVID limitations," said Dr. Hannah Krug, Sweet Instructor in STEM, Science Research Director, and Upper School Mathematics and Physics Teacher.

"Despite that, they have all gotten rave reviews from their mentors for their curiosity, their work ethic, and their excitement for science. In many cases they were presented with graduate-level work, but they rose to the challenge and each did a phenomenal job!  We are so grateful to all the mentors for providing such a great experience for our students."

Each student presented the results of their work to groups of their peers, fielding questions about their findings and their experience with the program.

Duncan worked with a group at George Washington University's Department of Biological Sciences to identify a new species of salamander -- a hands-on experience that found her collecting and identifying live salamanders, taking DNA samples from specimens, testing animals for disease, and so much more.

"It was awesome," she said. "I've loved science my whole life, so it's been really great to be able to go into a real lab and work with professionals." 

View more photos from the day on Vidigami, and click below to see each presentation. 

- Maya Abiy, The Search for the Perfect Lake: Looking for field analogs for ocean worlds

- Sophia Castro, Determinants of COVID-19

- Caroline Dickey, Novel Multidisciplinary Neuroscience Research with Magnetic Resonance Imaging

- Sophie Duncan, Species Delimitation in the Seal Salamander

- Robin Hess, Investigations in Public Health with the CDC

- Khushi Hota, Natural Language Processing for Mars Helicopter Flight

- Gloria Kalnitskaya, Hydrogels and the Speed of Sound

- Daniella Nichols, How Male Fruit Fly Brains and Mating Behavior Reflect Evolution (worked with Emme Pastor)

- Emme Pastor, How Male Fruit Fly Brains and Mating Behavior Reflect Evolution (worked with Daniella Nichols)

- Tali Smith, The Regulation of Artificial Intelligence

- Tomisin Sobande, Pesticide Registration

- Caitlin Wang, Identifying Second-Mode Wave Packets Using a Convolutional Neural Network