2004-2005 Regional & National Awards
|Kelydra Welcker (left; first place regional award) and
Jennifer Worley (right; second place regional award) presented their
research at the National JSHS in San Diego, where Jennifer won a second
place in engineering and Kelydra, a third place in environmental
science. Congratulations to both young women! They are shown here
with WV-JSHS regional director Dr. Jeanne Sullivan.
||Delegates to the National JSHS included (left to right): Sarah
Harshman, Kelydra Welcker, Colleen Beatty, third place regional award
winner Kellen Calinger, and Jennifer Worley.
Abstracts for the five West Virginia delegates to the National JSHS:
Exploiting Mosquito Biology to Detect Bio-terrorism
South High School, Parkersburg, WV
Teacher: Susan Smith, Parkersburg South High School, Parkersburg WV
Human hormones are biologically active at extremely low
concentrations. Our legal system has termed the aggressive use of
hormones, and other naturally occurring biological substances, as a
weapon of mass destruction and named them "weaponized endogenous
Species-specific and gender determined characteristics of
Culicinae mosquitoes vary in the presence of human hormones and some
endocrine disruptive chemicals. Increasing concentrations of estrone,
estradiol, testosterone, androstenedione, and dehydroepiandrosterone
showed statistically significant changes in gender ratios and wingbeat
frequency variations in mosquitoes at levels known capable of causing
human effects. Wingbeat frequency variations induced by exposure to
human hormones were similar to those induced by styrene and degraded
Triton® but easily differentiated by comparing gender responses.
Increasing concentrations of styrene and Triton® generated
gender-specific nonmonotonic dose response curves analogous in shape to
those of estrone. Nonmonotonic dose response curves illustrating a
response to estrogens have previously only been reported in vertebrates.
Meeting Maslow's Basic Needs: Developing an Integrated Auxiliary
Designed Platform, and Utilizing It to Provide an Acceptable Working
Environment for Astronauts: A Four Year Study
High School, Keyser WV
Sponsor: Charles Worley II
The purpose of my research is to develop a dependable and stable mobile
work platform that can accommodate modules / systems that will supply
Astronauts four of their basic needs: Air, Fuel, Water and Shelter. To
accomplish this, a stable and dependable propulsion system must be
developed and incorporated in the work platform. My research focused on
incorporating the backup propulsion system into the primary. Once the
platform was created, mission supporting modules, capable of being
mounted on the platform, were developed. The units will satisfy the
stated four basic needs of an Astronaut.
The first unit focused on the production of oxygen, hydrogen, and
water. The second was centered on the development of an Autonomous
Robotic Arm with Network Capabilities. This proved to be a dependable
crane and mobile construction system.
If an Astronaut discovers life on Mars and runs out of air at the
same time, their immediate concern will be air and not focused on their
findings. To ensure the mission is their main concern, the Astronauts’
basic needs must be supplied.
Carbon Exchange Dynamics IV: Effects of Elevated CO2 on the
Production of Ribulose-1,5-Bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase and
Chlorophyll Compounds in Leaves of C3 and C4 Plants
Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy,
Sponsor: Manetta Calinger, NASA
Challenger Center, Wheeling WV
This year’s research is a field and
in-lab study of the effects of elevated atmospheric [CO2] and
soil nitrogen on [PCO2], soil CO2 emissions,
specific leaf area, and chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, xanthophyll,
Beta-carotene, and [Rubisco] and their effects on carbon sequestration.
In the field component, the increased CO2/nitrogen
environment experienced the highest [carbonate] followed by the elevated
CO2, the increased nitrogen and ambient environments. The
PCO2 and soil gas emissions followed similar patterns;
seasonal patterns existed. The highest readings occurred in the summer,
decreasing throughout the fall and winter. The elevated CO2/nitrogen
environment experienced the highest SLA, and the singly increased CO2 environment also exhibited higher levels. The heightened nitrogen
environment experienced slight SLA increases.
Because of similar results between
field and laboratory carbonate testing, an in-lab phase that modeled
effects of varying [CO2] was designed. The two elevated CO2
microcosms experienced higher [carbonate]; decreased CO2
environments experienced the lowest [carbonate].
The in-lab [carbonate] and [leaf
nitrates] were similar to the field phase. The [xanthophylls],
[Beta-carotene], and [chlorophyll a] followed similar patterns. The
decreased CO2 environments displayed lessened levels. The
ambient and decreased CO2 environment had similar
[chlorophyll b]; the increased CO2 environment had decreased
The Tree-of-Heaven?? Ailanthus: An Unwanted Invader
Beatty and Stephanie Morford
County High School, Franklin WV
Mrs. Paula Waggy, Pendleton County High School, Franklin, WV
investigation was designed to determine the rate of invasion of
Ailanthus altissima, a non-native tree, and the effect of different
habitat types on this rate. It was hypothesized that the rate of
invasion would be higher at Site 1, a woodland area located on a rocky
slope, than at Site 2, a shaley, herbaceous floodplain bordering the
South Branch of the Potomac River. This hypothesis was based upon the
flood intolerance of Ailanthus.
sites were sampled along transects radiating from the oldest Ailanthus
at the site in each of eight cardinal directions. DBH was recorded for
each Ailanthus within five meters of the transect. Core samples
of 146 trees were taken.
hypothesis was incorrect. The rates of invasion ranged from .6 to 2.4
meters/year at Site 1 and from .3 to 1.7 meters/year at Site 2, over a
shorter distance. The greater rates were at the sites' outside edges.
Shade from established trees appeared to be a significant factor in
slowing the spread.
is invading our native environments at an alarming rate.
Effects of Goldenseal on Plasmid-Induced, Ampicillin-Resistant,
Escherichia coli HB101
Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy, Wheeling WV
Mentor: Dr. H.A. Cook, West Liberty State
College, West Liberty WV
Antibiotic-resistant forms of bacteria are a growing problem of global
proportions. Scientists must look to other options for treating these
resistant bacteria. Phytomedicines may be an option, and have been used
as folk remedies for thousands of years. The feasibility of utilizing
phytomedicines as an alternative or complement to traditional antibiotic
therapies was investigated. The effects of the phytomedicine Goldenseal
(Hydrastis canedenis), popularly touted as effective in
inhibiting growth of a variety of bacteria, upon Escherichia coli
HB101 were determined. E. coli HB101 was transformed with the
engineered plasmid pGLO™ using a calcium chloride heat shock procedure.
Resultant transformants were resistant to ampicillin and expressed green
fluorescent protein when exposed to arabinose. Transformants were
cultured with varying concentrations of Goldenseal in the presence of
arabinose with or without ampicillin. Effect of Goldenseal was
determined by standard colony count technique. Results indicated
efficacy of Goldenseal against antibiotic resistant E. coli
HB101. Additionally, results were suggestive of a Goldenseal-mediated
reduction in the level of ampicillin resistance.