Springs Students Present Research at Regional Science Competition

Three Indian Springs students presented their research in the 2020 Alabama Junior Academy of Science regional competition, held February 13 at the University of Montevallo.

Catherine Kung ’22 presented her ongoing research on the creation of an artificial skin made of pectin, a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables. Catherine developed a process to jellify and dry the pectin into a flexible, skin-like surface. She found that adding heat or pressure to the skin creates a responsive electrical current that demonstrates multisensory capabilities and can be measured using copper wiring and metallic microbeads.

Simon Ma ’22 presented his research on the Human Protein Atlas, a Swedish-based program dedicated to mapping all human proteins in cells, tissues, and organs using innovative technologies. Simon used his knowledge in math and computer science to improve the network’s ability to analyze patterns in the model by adding a “global average pooling layer,” which minimizes error by reducing the total number of parameters in the model. 

Jack Yan ’21 presented his research on improving the movement and usability of prosthetic limbs by mimicking human joints, bones, and muscles. Jack designed a 20-part mechanical hand, printed it in resin using a 3D printer, and added potentiometers to create movement. The hand is controlled by an Arduino board which allows the user to change the angles of the fingers. In tests, Jack’s hand could successfully grasp larger objects.

Catherine was one of three students in the region to advance to the state competition on March 19–20 at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Congratulations, and go Springs!