PHS News

Spirit of Discovery

Students awarded for seeking sustainable solutions

Rajat+Doshi+%2811%29
Rajat Doshi (11)

Rajat Doshi (11)

Morgan Shelton

Morgan Shelton

Rajat Doshi (11)

Chloe-Amelie Aikman, Alexis Perno, Features Manager, News Manager

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Q: Tell me about your project. How did you place at the competition? What was the most challenging part?

Junior Rajat Doshi: “I essentially developed a novel molecule to remove arsenic from drinking water in a cost efficient and highly effective manner. I designed the molecule computationally using a two-part molecule system. At the State Science and Engineering Fair, I presented my findings where I won best at fair, and I will now be representing Florida at the INTEL International Science and Engineering Fair. The most challenging part was modeling the atomic structure of novel molecules to determine characteristics of it.”

Q: What was running through your mind when you won?

Doshi: “Honestly, when I heard my name, my entire body froze for a second and then everything just was a blur. It kind of felt like a movie. I remember walking up to the stage and everybody’s eyes were beaming at me. My entire body started to vibrate; I just could not stop shaking.”

Q: Why did you feel compelled to enter?

Doshi: “Water is an issue that I can relate to on a personal level since my family in India grapples with this issue on a daily basis, so I decided that I had to make a difference. This project was arduous, but my personal investment motivated me to continue striving at finding a solution to this problem.”

Q: How do you hope to see the results of your project applied to the real world? What’s the next step after this project?

Doshi: “Almost 300 million people worldwide are reliant on drinking water containing high concentrations of arsenic, so I see a lot of real world application of my molecule being used as a filter and cheap solution to a very expensive problem. I take away a sense of satisfaction that I was able to contribute towards a solution. So, the next step would be to implement my filter on a large scale in India and Bangladesh.”

Q: How are you planning to spread this project to the areas that need it? What’s the biggest obstacle you think you’ll face?

Doshi: “I am working on designing more prototypes of my filter to further validate the results so that I could eventually put my solution onto the market as a viable solution for people in developing countries to use. The biggest obstacle had to be balancing this project on top of schoolwork and clubs, but I fortunately learned how to manage my time way better.”

Q: Personally, how do you hope to pursue sciences in the future?

Doshi: “In the future, I really want to work in an interdisciplinary subsection between computers and water science. The small chance that I can help other people and impact their lives draws me to the fields of water science; hundreds of millions of people don’t have access to clean, portable water so it is vital for people to enter water science.”

Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your experiment?

Junior Kurt Rodriguez: “My experiment was basically trying to tackle the rising populations of this breed of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti, which is most known for carrying the Zika virus and spreading it throughout the Western hemisphere. I was trying to find an organic, cost-efficient, eco-friendly way to stop that instead of using pesticides.”

Q: Can you describe the procedure you went through to carry out your experiment?

Rodriguez: “By the end of October, I knew what I was doing; I had my research planned, I got in contact with the University of Florida, and Thanksgiving break I went up to Gainesville and I did the actual experiment.

When I was in the lab, I got organic pecans and organic black walnuts because I was testing the phenol compounds which were in the nut shells, and I crushed it up and weighed it out. The purpose of my experiment was that I didn’t use any chemicals added to it … so I just put it in natural spring water. I used 20 larvae per cup, including the control, so it added up to 400 larvae total. I hypothesized that the heated pecan nutshell solution would show the highest rate of mortality [in the mosquito larvae], but after 24 hours, neither provided a substantial amount — only about 5 percent.”

Q: What was the most challenging part of conducting this entire process? Con

versely, what was the most rewarding part?

Rodriguez: “Probably the most challenging part was the creative process in coming up with the project … and what would set my project apart from [other] experiments that were done.

It wasn’t about getting the award at the fair; it was actually going to the University of Florida and being with the professor and other graduate students in the lab. It kind of opened my eyes — your hard work really does affect people in the community. My project was really trying to create a sustainable solution … even though I didn’t “discover” anything, it was still a step in the right direction.”

Q: What’s the next step for your project?

Rodriguez: “I got first place in animal sciences [at Regionals] and I got the Sustainability Award. In February I advanced and [got] fifth place at States. It’s interesting because when you go to the state of Florida, you see the amount of depth that some of the students bring with some of their projects. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed when I didn’t get it, because over all, I had a good time and I met a lot of people at the University of Florida, so it wasn’t necessarily a loss.

I’m happy for the people who did get the awards, because I could tell that they really devoted a lot of time and effort into those projects. Perhaps next year, maybe if I continued this project, then I would be able to be in that same position.

What have you learned from this experience that you hope to take to the next?

The main thing that I learned from this project is that when you’re doing a scientific experiment, it’s all about the process. This year … I was disappointed when my project didn’t turn out. But I did more research, and the main thing that I would change is that, if I were to continue this project, I would start it over the summer and go to the University of Florida, and I would do those techniques that I found and I wouldn’t give up.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Q and A with House Representative Kathy Castor

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Chasing after the gold (leaf)

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Drawn to D.C.

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Thinking Outside the Square

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Top of class students share their insight

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Ecology club reduces environmental harm

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Band holds fundraiser for their indoor percussion group

  • Features

    E-Board hosts annual Pantherilla

  • Features

    “It Girls” Of The 2000’s: Which Are You?

  • Spirit of Discovery

    Features

    Q&A with JROTC Seniors

The student news site of H. B. Plant High School
Spirit of Discovery