Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

South Carolina’s 2023 Magnificent Nine



Nine students who presented at the Department of Defense South Carolina Junior Science and Humanities Symposia ( JSHS) Friday, January 27, at USC have been recognized for their research.

The JSHS program is jointly sponsored by the United States Departments of Army, Navy, and Air Force, in cooperation with leading research universities throughout the nation. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the headquarters for the National JSHS, directed by Andrea Malenya. The primary aims of JSHS are to promote original research and experimentation in science, engineering, and mathematics at the high school level, and to publicly recognize students for outstanding achievement.

The Department of Defense (DOD) South Carolina JSHS program is under the College of Arts and Sciences at USC, Center for Science Education. Fifty students presented their research at USC January 27 in competition for scholarships and travel to the 2023 National JSHS symposium JSHS Meeting Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, April 12–Saturday, April 15, Founders Inn, Virginia Beach, Va. Five of these students will represent South Carolina at the National JHSH Meeting. They are Madison Han and Meghan Pasala, both of Spring Valley High School; Andy Yang, Dutch Fork High School; Carlynn Rychener, Chapin High School; Henry Lewis of Porta-Gaud School in Charleston. Jisoo Lee, of Spring Valley High School, was picked from South Carolina as a Presidential Scholar. Hats off to the teachers who sponsored and mentored these students— Michelle Wyatt, Heather Alexander, Michelle Spigner, and Lindsey Regan of Spring Valley High School; Patrick Smallwood, Center for Advanced Technical Studies; Lisa Maylath, Chapin High School; Sarah Bauer, Porter-Gaud School; Katy Roop, Academic Magnet School, Charleston; and Gilbert Ramseur, Hilton Head Prep. The nine students:



Madison Han is a senior in the Discovery Magnet Program at Spring Valley High School in Columbia. Her interests in biology and environmental issues led her to study the use of bioremediation to decontaminate the environment.

Ansley Othersen is a part of the Academic Leadership Academy at Chapin High School. During her junior and senior years, she completed two research papers, one of which compared bacterial hand contamination following the use of either a shake dry or jet air dryer method.

Andy Yang is a junior in the STEM Program at Dutch Fork High School. He is interested in innovation with machine learning, specifically developing algorithms to enhance objection recognition for fuzzy natured images.

Meghan Pasala is a senior in the Discovery Magnet Program at Spring Valley High School. She has a passion for understanding issues in the courtroom, and she studied false confession cases in her research.

Carlynn Rychener is a senior in the Academic Leadership Academy program at Chapin High School. Rychener’s passion for protecting the environment and global health has led her to conduct two years of research.

Jisoo Lee is a junior at Spring Valley High. Her research investigated whether there was a correlation between what motivated students at Spring Valley to join their magnet programs and how successful they were in their programs.

Branner Umberger is a junior attending Spring Hill High School. Branner has been researching the different types of solar photovoltaic technology available to consumers. His research focuses on discovering which of the three major solar panel types is best suited for homes wishing to also utilize battery storage systems.

Student winners not from the Midlands

Gunnar Ternstrom is a senior at Hilton Head Preparatory School in South Carolina. Angela Mei is a senior at Academic Magnet High School in Charleston. Henry Lewis attends Porter-Gaud School in Charleston.

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