Three area high school students were recognized recently for opting to spend their summer break doing lab research and attending guest lectures as participants in the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida.
Three area high school students were recognized recently for opting to spend their summer break doing lab research and attending guest lectures as participants in the Student Science Training Program at the University of Florida rather than surfing, swimming or sunning.
The trio and their family members were guests of honor at Heart of Volusia, Inc.’s annual fall Student Recognition Dinner at the Halifax River Yacht Club, according to a news release from HOV.
Heart of Volusia, Inc., a registered nonprofit, promotes healthy hearts through research, education and community service. This year, HOV awarded $10,000 in grants to attend the summer program at UF. Recipients, who each received $3,000 tuition grants and are now high school seniors, include Nina Walls, Flagler Beach, a junior at Flagler/Palm Coast High; Carlos Sierra, Palm Coast, also a student at Flagler/Palm Coast High, who was awarded a $4,000 grant; and Harleen Kahlon, Ormond Beach, who attends Spruce Creek High School.
During the dinner, the students gave presentations on the SSTP research topics they undertook while at UF, the release states. Walls, for example, tackled “Genomic Integration of a Functional CRISPR-Cas9 System into the Laurel Wilt Pathogen.” Sierra, her classmate at Flagler/Palm Coast High, gave a capsule presentation of his project, “Investigations into the Ionic Transport Properties & Selectivity of Polycarbonate Track-etched Membranes.” Kahlon, meanwhile, said she was impressed by her lab findings, “Comparing the Root System Architecture of Southern Highbush Blueberry Cultivars.”
Dehlia Albreechtr, who coordinates the Student Science Training Program, attended the fall dinner and outlined the unique seven-week residential program that emphasizes research in science, math, computers or engineering as students team up with university faculty researchers.
Program participants live in campus residence halls. There’s a mix of lab work, morning and evening lectures and, for fun, field trips and a social each Friday for the close to 100 participants from all over the country, according to the release.
Over 45-plus years, Heart of Volusia has awarded more than $175,000 to send Volusia and Flagler county students to the SSTP.