SMSD Students Claim Top Honors at Symposium

SMSD Students Claim Top Honors at Symposium
Shawnee Mission School District

The strength of Shawnee Mission Biotechnology students could not be ignored at a recent Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS).

They claimed four out of the top five honors for research they presented to symposium judges. 

The regional competition drew entrants from Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Now, the Shawnee Mission honorees are preparing to present their work in a national symposium to be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April.

The students’ training in Shawnee Mission’s Biotechnology Signature Program prepared them well, Dr. Kenneth Lee, Biotechnology instructor shared.

“Their professionalism, from their attire to their acknowledgement of sponsors of the event, demonstrated skill beyond their years,” Dr. Lee expressed. “I believe the students are successful thanks to all of the work they put in on their projects. Additionally, the collaborative nature of the professors they work with at KU Medical Center to provide mentorship to high school students cannot be ignored.”

The honorees are:

Daniel James Schipfer, Shawnee Mission East Senior

Second Place for “Understanding the Role of Hyaluronan in Hepatic Aging.”

Schipfer also earned a $1,500 scholarship

Caleb Gilmore, Shawnee Mission East Junior

Third Place for “The Effect of Aftins on the Mitochondria”

Gilmore also earned a $1,000 scholarship.

Henry Bair, Shawnee Mission East Senior

Fourth place for “The Protective Role of NKG2D in Type 1 Diabetes Autoimmunity in the Non-Obese”

Olivia Fritz, Shawnee Mission West Senior

Fifth place for “Analysis and Characterization of Foam Polystyrene via Black Soldier Fly Larvae”

Biotechnology is a Signature Program offered to high school students at the Center for Academic Achievement. Dr. Kenneth Lee and Zulma Perez-Estrella serve as instructors. Signature Programs provide high school students the opportunity to explore unique areas of study in preparation for specialized academic and future career opportunities. Click here for more information.