KSD Students Earn Scholarship for Biomedical PLTW Senior Showcase

Kearney High School (KHS) seniors, Brandon Lee and Blake Mitton, have received a $1000 scholarship after earning third place at the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Senior Showcase hosted by the KC STEM Alliance. Their project titled Effectiveness of Antibacterial Compounds in Soap was submitted to the Biomedical Sciences showcase after conducting an experiment and in-depth analysis of their results.

The project focused on effectiveness of three antibacterial compounds in consumer soaps. The FDA banned nineteen such compounds in September 2016 because insufficient evidence was provided for their efficacy. Lee and Mitton decided to test the other 3 that were still in question from the FDA. Their research determined these antibacterial agents being promoted were not effective either.

“Biomedical Innovations (BI) is an awesome class,” said Lee. “I plan to do research for a living, and I had the opportunity to get a taste of it this year. I loved it! BI does a good job of letting you apply what you have learned, which is a blast!”

The effort these students put into their project certainly shows in the final product. PLTW Instructor Shane Remley monitored the project along the way, and watched as the students started to make this more than just your average research project.

“Blake and Brandon worked diligently on the project in class and on their own time and did an amazing job,” stated Remley. “They spent a lot of time over spring break in the lab to complete the necessary experiments and ensure the results.”

Blake and Brandon were among seven other Kearney High School seniors that worked tirelessly on their biomedical project. Five engineering teams from Kearney submitted their projects for presentation in the Pathway to Engineering Showcase. Their challenge was to find a problem to solve and use their engineering knowledge to improve our world. Seniors Dallas Swaggerty, Garrett Miller and William VanZant’s project, The Hive Mind, placed in the Top 10.

The Hive Mind was a design that allows beekeepers to set up each hive with a sensor that will alert the beekeeper when honey is ready to be harvested. It would essentially make beekeeping easier, more efficient, and more intelligent.

“The experience of the Project Lead the Way classes enables our students to confidently tackle the challenges that lay ahead in their future college and business careers,” said PLTW Instructor Mary Howard. “Our students presented their projects with confidence and Bulldog pride earned through hard work and sustained effort.”