Science Research Honors
This two-term laboratory science course provides the opportunity to plan and execute a self-directed scientific research project to fulfill requirements for graduating with Honors in Science. Research projects that qualify for local, state, national, or international competitions will be submitted. It is anticipated that as a student proceeds through and reflects upon the research phase of this course, the student will increase his/her appreciation for science and develop a working awareness of the interrelationship of science, technology, and society.
As part of the Science Research Honors course, The Brian M. Barefoot Endowed Program for Entrepreneurial Studies will support teams of students pursuing more modern, long-term investigations, including solar cells, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and fuel cells. Their experiences will be similar to those of researchers in universities, professional laboratories, and high-tech startup companies.
Prerequisites: Each student should have completed or be in the process of completing the three core science courses (Physics, Chemistry, Biology). Waiver of this requirement will be on a student-by-student basis.
Student Research Facilities
Culver Academies offers research students with cutting-edge facilities and equipment. Students do most of their research in the 1800-square-foot designated research room with an attached woodshop. They also have access to an advanced chemistry laboratory, seismograph, and computer controlled telescope with a CCD camera.
Students have access to a variety of cutting-edge equipment, including Vernier and PASCO computer-interfaced measuring tools, incubators, sterilizers, fume hoods, high precision balances, and a growth chamber.
Current Student Research
2014-2015 Science Honors Seminar student projects:
Dante Badalich: Determining ethanol potential of algae species through growth
Colin Dean: Hot water and alkaline pretreatment of cellulosic biomass
Lauren Engelbrecht: Comparing the efficiency of ethanol production of various strains of yeast through fermentation
Freda Hu: Comparing mushroom cellulase efficiency
Chris Neu: Cellulolytic enzymes in e. Coli bacteria
Michael Noronha: Comparing efficiency of various acid preparations for hydrolysis of cellulosic biomass
Roberto Salinas: Measurement of cellulose in sugarcane bagasse after alkaline pretreatment
Ricardo Segovia: Growing algae for ethanol fuel
Aaron Weitgenant: Comparing the viability of algal ethanol production between the CC-125 and CC-4425 strains of c. Reinhardtii
Johnny Young: Ethanol production by yeast and lactobaccili through fermentation
2015-2016 Science Honors Seminar student projects
Gabrielle Ménard: Congo Red as an assay to measure levels of cellulose
Sierra Salerni: Measuring the efficiency of ethanol production of various strains of yeast using Saccrafacation over varying periods of time and with various temperatures
Hsin-Fu Shen: Testing for the expression of two cellulase genes in mushroom species
Kary Stevick: The effects of nutrient deprivation on cellulose production in saltwater and freshwater macro algae
Yindong Sun: A novel method for the determination of forage cellulose content
Anne Marie Wright: Ethanol production by clostridium thermocellum on various cellulose substrates
Phil Yang: Investigation of the feasibility of direct recycling of formic acid in cellulosic biomass pretreatment
Dr. Mark Prochaska
Dr. Chris Carrillo