By Alicia Brown
This month, Nina Julian, a sophomore at Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS), received The Archer STEM Research Grant. Recipients receive up to $2,500 to fund an individual or team high school project. Julian was awarded $2,450 to fund her project to find a more effective and cheaper way to detect water quality.
The Archer STEM Research Grant is a merit based female-only award, funded by The Archer School for Girls. Julian started researching for the grant in October 2018 and with the help of junior Jasmeet Kaur, she was able to submit a successful research and funding proposal.
“She really helped me with the research and getting the project together so that all this would be possible,” Julian said.
Julian is a part of the school’s Science Team, specifically the Biotechnology team. She is the first sophomore at Granada Hills Charter to receive this grant, as historically recipients have been juniors or seniors.
Julian’s project is now in motion with the intention to test water quality in the Granada Hills area. To start, Julian has to choose between two devices in order to form the foundation of her project, both of which include 3D printing and engineering a biotechnology device. The project will most likely go into application starting February 2019.
“It’s crazy to see all that I have done, all this research I have put in, being fabricated into an actual project,” Julian said.
Science teacher and Science Team advisor Jeanette Chipps will be managing the project and aiding Julian in forming it into a team effort. The project will likely become a multi-year effort with at least five to ten people on the team. Chipps plans to take the team on trips to nearby water sources, such as Limekiln park and the Los Angeles River.
“It is wonderful that they are trying to encourage girls in STEM. They get to propose an idea, implement it, and present it to the world which doesn’t always happen in traditional settings,” Chipps said.
The Science Team provides a helpful medium for students like Julian to explore and further their interests. The original article that inspired Julian was not about water quality but disease detection and she was able to apply it accordingly.
“Because we are in Science Team we have more flexibility to do projects outside of the usual and Nina was excited about water quality in chemistry. This then helped her focus, and with the money and time, she gets to explore her ideas further,” Chipps said.
This project will be a large effort with the intention of creating a healthier community. All recipients of the STEM research grant are required to apply for the Archer RISE Award. With the project in motion she will participate in the Archer STEM Symposium to display her work. The symposium will take place on May 18, 2019.