In its sixth year, the UVA Research Symposium at Charlottesville High School featured a variety of student team research projects from Ms. Ray’s Biology II class.
Top honors went to the project “Rabies in Humans” by senior Thurston Whitlow and junior Ella Harriman.
“It was very interesting learning about research while raising awareness about this disease and exploring real world and real problems,” said Whitlow.
Each year, students are paired with UVA physicians, librarians, and scientists from the UVA School of Medicine and visit the campus library.
UVA School of Medicine Laboratory Specialist Brandon Kemp said, “The first thing I like to do is encourage students to make it a priority to make friends with the librarian, who can be an excellent resource.”
During the semester-long project, students are tasked with choosing a human medical disorder, researching, and preparing both a classroom slide presentation for their peers, and a presentation poster for the symposium. During the symposium, students present their research to various judges who provide feedback.
Mourad Ali, a post-doctoral research associate, has been participating in the symposium for three years.
“Our goal is to teach best research practices through this process so the students can ultimately do the work on their own,” said Ali.
“I really liked this project,” said Harriman. “Last year I took two sciences that were more theory-based, and this opportunity was much more interesting to me and gave me more practical uses.”
Other project topics included “The Effects of Vaping on Teenagers including Lung Disease,” “What are the Causes of Migraines in Adolescent Females,” and “Lactose Intolerance v. Milk Allergy in Children.”