Student scientist Veronica Reynoso has designs to help

Veronica Reynoso recently created a lamp powered by bioluminescent bacteria – Vibrio fischeri – rather than batteries, but was shrouded in darkness when harmful substances in the air shortened the bacteria’s life.

The Kennedy High junior will return to the drawing board at another time. Another project beckons.

Reynoso is creating a prototype for a peltier tile flashlight that works solely on the heat of the human hand – an award-winning creation by Canadian inventor Ann Makosinski the La Palma resident wants to personalize.

Just 16, Reynoso hopes undertaking such complex projects inspires a new generation of youth scientists to shoot for the moon.

“I’m fascinated with how to use my knowledge in science to help other people,” she said.

Her blog, “Youth Science Journal,” has posts such as “Super Moon,” “VEX Robotics: Snap Shot Launcher” and “Cosmic Staircase Star Song.”

Reynoso recently came across an Albert Einstein quote: “The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible.”

Even if you don’t get to the correct answer, the teen said, you’re still doing research to create something. That’s why she plans on pursuing an engineering degree in college, ideally at MIT or Caltech.

As a kid, Reynoso read “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” a series of 13 children’s novels that follows three siblings after tragedy befalls their family. Reynoso said she identified most with the character Violet, an “extremely smart girl who knows how to build things that would shade her and her siblings from whoever is getting them in trouble,” she explained.

“I have always liked to build things,” she added.

Reynoso sometimes refers to science as a passion; others, as a career.

She quit Kennedy’s cross country team to dedicate more time to researching, reading, honing her craft. Librarians know her by name and recognize the sound the last student in the building makes when she has an epiphany.

“I’m very much buried in my books because I’m quite often wowed by what I’m reading,” Reynoso said.

In June, Reynoso attended a seminar in Massachusetts for high school honors students interested in becoming physicians or medical scientists.

She heard from Nobel Laureates and National Media of Science winners, Ivy League and top medical school deans and patients saved by medical savants. Nominated for a spot at the seminar by the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, Reynoso met several of her heroes.

They shared the same message, she said: Never give up.

“She’s got perseverance,” said Jenny Dai-Jones, Reynoso’s 10th grade math teacher. “She works really hard day in and day out. She sticks with something and is willing to ask for help. She always follows through with her tasks.”

Many of Reynoso’s comments zoom over her friends’ heads.

“Speak English,” they joke. She’s trying.

Reynoso tutors children at her local library. She’s a member of Kennedy’s speech and debate team and active in her English class. She’s learning how to explain her findings in layman’s terms, to an audience less familiar with science and its lingo.

“I first knew Veronica when she was an eighth grader” at Walker Junior High, said Tiffany Weir, Reynoso’s English teacher at Kennedy. “She was a very bright student, very shy, very quiet. But my sense is she is starting to come more out of her shell and is gaining more of a voice in high school.”

Kennedy’s IB students are required to complete a CAS – creativity, activity, service – project by program’s end.

Reynoso and a few classmates chose to examine poverty. Struggling families in the Philippines, in China and elsewhere deserve to have electricity and other basic resources, she said.

Her hollow flashlight and bioluminescent lamp could help millions.

“I have role models and people who’ve inspired me to not be influenced by people who think I have to think this way or that way,” Reynoso said. “I’ve been told I have a gift and I shouldn’t waste it.”

Milan resident will attend Congress of Future Medical Leaders

Ethan Garrett, a ninth grader at Community Christian Academy, Taylor Mill, Kentucky, is a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders, which will be held in Lowell, Massachusetts, June 25-27.

The Milan resident is a Troop 646 Boy Scout and an active member of Church on Fire, Batesville and Harrison, Ohio, campuses.

The congress is an honors-only program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields. The purpose of this event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Garrett was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to represent Community Christian Academy based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.

During the three-day congress, Garrett will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science Winners talk about leading medical research, be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school, witness stories told by patients who are living medical miracles, be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies and learn about cutting edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists executive director. “Focused, bright and determined students like Ethan Garrett are our future, and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”

The academy offers free services and programs to students who want to be physicians or go into medical science. Some of the services and programs it offers are online social networks through which future doctors and medical scientists can communicate; opportunities for students to be guided and mentored by physicians and medical students; and communications for parents and students on college acceptance and finances, skills acquisition, internships, career guidance and much more.

It was founded on the belief that “we must identify prospective medical talent at the earliest possible age and help these students acquire the necessary experience and skills to take them to the doorstep of this vital career. Based in Washington, D.C., and with offices in Boston, the academy was chartered as a nonpartisan, taxpaying institution to help address this crisis by working to identify, encourage and mentor students who wish to devote their lives to the service of humanity as physicians and medical scientists.

For more information, visit www.FutureDocs.com or call 617-307-7425.

New Lenox student receives award of excellence

NEW LENOX – Lincoln-Way West High School senior Hailee Slate’s enrollment in human anatomy and physiology medical class combined with her attendance to a recent summer conference have both escalated her interest in the subject of neuroscience.

After applying for various science-related scholarships and researching potential universities, Hailee was contacted by The National Leadership Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists.

She received an invitation to join the three-day conference in Boston where she would learn from different speakers, network with other students, and observe live knee surgery. Her completion of the conference in June was commemorated with an official Award of Excellence, which was presented by her principal, Monica Schmitt, on Sept. 13.

Presenters at the conference included many notable speakers, including Nobel Prize winners, National Medal of Science recipients, and clinical directors. While Slate enjoyed each of the speakers, the most memorable presentation discussed how the brain is affected by a concussion.

JD high school student receives Award of Excellence at Congress of Future Medical Leaders

In June 2016, junior Abigail Zumbuhl, represented Jamesville-DeWitt High School and the State of New York at the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Boston, Massachusetts. While there, she received an Award of Excellence from the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists for her interest as a high school student to follow this career path.

The Congress of Future Medical Leaders is an elite gathering of the nation’s best and brightest high-achieving high school students who aspire to serve humanity as physicians or medical scientists (as biologists, engineers, software or hardware technologists or mathematicians).

Zumbuhl was surrounded by many fellow high school students who share her passion, ability and potential. This gathering is an opportunity for delegates to find new friends to help them reach their dreams and future colleagues to collaborate with.

While there, Zumbuhl watched live surgery and had a chance to question the surgeon in real time.

DHS junior attends medical leaders conference at UMass

As an 8-year-old child, Shaniya Cobb had aspirations of becoming a doctor. Cobb, now a Dyersburg High School junior, is still following her dream.

“I knew I wanted to become a doctor after talking with my pediatrician when I was 8,” said Cobb. “He told me to read the book ‘Gifted Hands’, the story of Ben Carson. Even though I didn’t read the book, I watched the movie, and from then on I knew I wanted to become a doctor.”

This past summer, Cobb was selected as a delegate to attend The Congress of Future Medical Leaders conference, presented by The National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Sciences, at the University of Massachusetts – Lowell. The conference occurred from June 25 — 27 at the university’s Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass, just outside of Boston.

“I was nominated by Ms. [Angie] Pickens (Biology, Anatomy, STEM teacher at DHS), and was selected and the end of school last year,” said Cobb. “It [the conference] lasted three days and different people from the medical field spoke. We even got to watch a knee surgery!”

As for the conference, Richard Rossi, president and executive director of The Conference of Future Medical Leaders oversaw and emceed the event. All delegates spent the three days participating in events and classes, as well as being treated to speakers such as NASA flight surgeon and astronaut Dr. Thomas Mashburn, Nobel Prize winners Sir Richard Roberts and Dr. Michael Brown, bionic eye recipient Larry Hester, Dr. J. Craig Venter, recipient of the Nation Medal of Science and scientist, among many others. According to Cobb, there were approximately nine speakers spread out over the three-day conference.

Ti Central student named national delegate

TICONDEROGA – Ticonderoga High School freshman Katherine-Michelle Gallipo has been named a delegate to the Congress of Future Medical Leaders in Lowell, Mass.

She will attend the congress, an honors program for high school students who want to become physicians or go into medical research fields, on June 25 through 27, 2017.

Gallipo was nominated by Dr. Robert Darling, the medical director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, to represent Ticonderoga High School, “based on her academic achievement, leadership potential and determination to serve humanity in the field of medicine.”

Darling said the purpose of the event is to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be physicians or medical scientists, to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

He said that during the three-day congress, Gallipo will join students from across the country and hear Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading medical research; be given advice from Ivy League and top medical school deans on what to expect in medical school; witness stories told by patients who are living medical miracles; be inspired by fellow teen medical science prodigies; and learn about cutting-edge advances and the future in medicine and medical technology.

“This is a crucial time in America when we need more doctors and medical scientists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, executive director of the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists, based in Washington, D.C.

“Focused, bright and determined students like Katherine-Michelle Gallipo are our future and she deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give her,” Rossi said.

Local student receives Award of Excellence and Leadership at the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders

Christian Oliver, a senior at Atlanta High School, was a delegate to the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders in Lowell, Mass., last summer. He is the son of Marwin and Carolyn Oliver.
The Congress is an honors-only program for high school students from across the country who are passionate about science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM).
He was nominated to represent Atlanta by the first winner of the Google Science Fair Shree Bose, who serves as the Academic Director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists, based on his academic achievement, leadership potential and passion for science and technology.
During the three-day Congress, he joined students from across the country and heard Nobel Laureates and National Medal of Science winners talk about leading scientific research, was given advice from deans of the world’s top tech universities, was inspired by fellow teen science prodigies and learned about cutting-edge advances and the future of science and technology.
“This is a crucial time in America when we need more nimble-minded and creative scientists and technologists who are even better prepared for a future that is changing exponentially,” said Richard Rossi, Executive Director of the National Academy of Future Scientists and Technologists. “Focused, bright and determined students like Christian Oliver are our future and he deserves all the mentoring and guidance we can give him.”
Oliver said, “I was grateful for this opportunity. It was truly a great honor and a great experience to represent myself, my school, and my parents, but in all that I do glory, honor and all praise goes to Christ.  God made it all possible. I look forward to the future plans that God has for me, for I know that are going to be great. There is nothing I cannot do with Christ on my side. Proverbs 3:6 says, ‘In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path.’ Thanks to those that have supported me in prayer, fellowship, monetary donations, or conversation. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”
All students attending the program must have a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or higher to attend.
The purpose of this event was to honor, inspire, motivate and direct the top students in the country who aspire to be scientists, technologists, and physicians to stay true to their dream and, after the event, to provide a path, plan and resources to help them reach their goal.

Local teen with dreams of being a surgeon needs help getting to by-invitation-only medical seminar

A student of Graceville High School who has given his time and energy to serve as the Tiger mascot at ball games, pep rallies, parades and other events needs his community’s help to take advantage of a rare opportunity.

Alexander Hunt, 15, has received a National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence and has a chance to receive a scholarship. He has been invited, as a delegate representing Jackson County, to attend a related seminar in a community near Boston, Massachusetts. The Congress of Future Medical Leaders will convene in June of next year. But to get there and pay for his related expenses, his mother, Teri Smith, needs to raise $1,800 before April of 2017.

A dispatcher for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, Smith said her son has been talking seriously about becoming a doctor since he was about 12 years old. That dream was spurred on by the fact that his older brother, Allen E. Hunt Jr., also known as “A.J.,” joined the Army around that time. Alex, she said, had always shown interest in the medical field, but expressed a specific desire to become a military medic after his brother signed on to serve in the nation’s armed forces. His dad, Allen E. Hunt Sr., works at Fort Benning as a supervisor of mechanics for a private contractor who works on vehicle projects for the military.

Alex is in the Senior Beta Club at Graceville High, as well as the Key Club. He maintains a 3.5 Grade Point Average and at school he carries the nickname “Smiles” because of his friendly and positive manner, his mother says.

Students are nominated to become seminar delegates by their teachers, counselors and principals based on their dedication to entering the medical field as physicians or scientists, their leadership potential and evidence of their academic excellence. Qualified students may also be identified through other means, such as academic events, recommendations, youth organizations, honor societies, medical institutions, medical societies, program alumni, and in-classroom surveys such as the Talent Identification Program administered by MyCollegeOptions.

At the seminar, speakers will include Harvard grad and science prodigy Shree Bose, who is the grand prize winner of the 2011 Google Science Fair; Sir Richard Roberts, who won the 1993 Nobel Prize in the category of physiology or medicine; Dr. Thomas Mashburn, a NASA flight surgeon and astronaut; and Princeton student Janelle Tam, who won the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge in Canada.

The family’s mailing address is 4033 Galilee Rd, Graceville, FL.-32440. Contributions can be sent there made out to Alex Hunt with a note in the memo line indicating the purpose of the donation is for the seminar. For more information, Teri Smith can be contacted at teri.smith070216@yahoo.com . She is arranging for a special fund to be set up at her bank in the near future, likely titled the Alex Hunt Seminar Fund.