Beal Bank USA Southern Nevada Science Fair TMS Results

The Meadows School Campus
Albert Einstein said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” Teaching the acquisition of critical thinking skills, meaning the ability to question skillfully, gather, interpret, analyze, synthesize, reason, and reflect information, is the most crucial skill a teacher can provide a student. Critical thinking skills are essential for the individual and society alike. Critical thinking aids scientists as they troubleshoot experiments, physicians as they navigate complicated cases, and technological innovators as they pioneer scientific advances. Critical thinking skills enable society to thrive.

Critical thinking intertwines with our Core Value of Discovery. At the heart of discovery is the unearthing of new knowledge through the implementation of critical thinking skills. This year, The Meadows Upper School provides students with an opportunity to hone and refine their scientific critical thinking skills through our inaugural Advanced Topics Science Research course. In this course, students are challenged with observing the world around them to develop a research project with the ultimate goal of creating new knowledge about our natural world. Discovering new knowledge is the highest form of thinking. The course requires students to build on work using sound evidence and contribute to critical conversations around their research topics. Students analyze and interpret the data gathered and then reason the evidence to construct a scientific argument.

Our Advanced Topics Science Research students had the opportunity to showcase their original research and arguments on March 22 at the Beal Bank USA Southern Nevada Regional Science and Engineering Fair hosted by the UNLV College of Sciences. Many students and schools from across Southern Nevada participated in the event. Students had the opportunity to present their research to judges who were experts in their respective fields. The students performed exceptionally.

In the Molecular, Cellular, and Microbiology category, Lynsey Thomas won 1st place for her research titled, Effects of Artificial Sweeteners on the Gut Microbiome. Lynsey Thomas also won the Regeneron Biomedical Science Award for her research.

In the Medicine and Health category, Peter Diugu and Rachel Roarzarde were awarded Honorable Mentions for their research titled, Structure of Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels and its Interactions with Spider Venom Peptides, and Relationship between Countermovement Jump, Grip Strength, and Tennis Serve Velocity and Injury Prevention, respectively. McKenzie Gross won 2nd place for her research titled Increased Stroboscopic Visual Training on Spatial Awareness in High School Basketball Players.

In the Plant and Animal Science category, Emma Thalgott won 2nd place for her project titled Female Social Adaptability of the Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.

In the Behavioral & Social Sciences category, Nashrah Qureshi won 3rd place for her research titled, The Effect of Scents on Humans: How Certain Scents can Affect Memory and Better the Performance of Students in School.

In the Environmental, Energy, and Transportation category, Shazray Akbar won 3rd place for her research titled, Plant-Based Compostable Replacements for Plastics. Anna Barnes won 1st place for her research titled, The Efficiency and Potential of Hospital Plastic Waste Degradation Using Escherichia coli k-12 Transformed with PETase and MHETase Ideonella sakaiensis Enzymes.

Students received a monetary prize for themselves and our science department.

Our students attained the ideal of education presented by Einstein decades ago as students engaged in critical thinking to develop and refine their research projects. We will continue to cultivate student thinking and allow students to discover the joy of learning by enabling them to pursue research opportunities in what they love.

Brianna Cotter
Upper School Science Instructor
  • Science
  • Upper School