TAMPA, Fla. - It started off as a STEM fair project. Now, two Middleton High School seniors are making their mark in the research world.
Tanu Bondu and Ojas Kalia can officially say they’re published authors in a research journal.
“When I was approached by these students who wanted to do an independent research project, I was really blown away by what they were actually trying to accomplish. It wasn’t just a cookie cutter experiment,” said their teacher, Alexander da Silva.
Kalia’s research essay, titled "What is the Effect of a Mixed Culture of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Anabaena on the Degradation of Polyvinyl chloride?”, hones in on how plastic can break down safely in water.
“I think if we’re able to use bacteria and bioremediation, we can work on degrading that plastic in a natural way,” he said.
Bondu focused on the Japanese theory about correlation between personality type and blood type, called Ketsueki-gata.
“I used statistical analysis to see if there was a correlation. I didn’t find any correlation but I’m hoping to continue this research to expand it,” she said.
As busy high schoolers, it was no easy feat, requiring hours and hours of commitment.
“They sent an email back, I get the paper back and it has 150 different edits from different scientists, and I said, 'Wow this is going to take a long time,'” Kalia said.
It’s mission accomplished - yet, it’s only the beginning of a bright future for these two.
They both say they continue on doing other research projects when they go to college.
Da Silva says he has a few other students following in their footsteps, working to publish their own research in the near future.