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Jan. 18, 2019 - Texas Junior Science & Humanities Symposium: 7 Students Earn Finalists Standing, 3 Finalists Qualify for National Competition

The Texas Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (TJSHS) took place at Texas A&M University on January 16-18. TJSHS promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, engineering and mathematics at the high school level. At the symposium, students present the results of their original research in a professional arena. Students who participate in the symposia also have the opportunity to meet and exchange ideas, interact with practicing researchers and explore future academic and career opportunities. A panel of preliminary judges select the top eight abstracts in eight categories from nominees to present their research. From Plano ISD, Alay Shah from Shepton High School took home the first place award, two students were selected as poster presenters. These three students will continue to the national level. Seven students were finalists in the competition.

First Place Finalist and Poster Presenters

These three students qualify to continue competition at the National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (NJSHS), April 24-27 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Alay Shah, first place

First place winner Alay Shah, Plano East Senior High School receiving his first place trophy.

  • Alay Shah, Shepton High School, first place and paper presenter
  • Abhinav Gadavaarthi, Plano West Senior High School, poster presenter
  • Tanaz Muhamed, The IB World School at Plano East Senior High School, poster presenter

TJSHS Finalists

  • Rithvik Ganesh, Jasper High School
  • Abhinav Godavarthi, Plano West Senior High School
  • Rohan Khera, Plano West Senior High School
  • Tanaz Muhamed, The IB World School at Plano East Senior High 
  • Kavya Muralidhar, The IB World School at Plano East Senior High 
  • Alay Shah, Shepton High School
  • Ashay Shah, Plano East Senior High School

photo of finalists

Finalists: (Front row) Abhinav Godavarthi, Plano West Senior High School; Tanaz Muhamed, IB World School at Plano East Senior High School; Kavya Muralidhar, IB World School at Plano East Senior High School and (back row) Rohan Khera, Plano West Senior High School; Alay Shah, Shepton High School; Ashay Shah, Plano East Senior High School; Rithvik Ganesh, Jasper High School.

Outstanding Teacher Award

Teachers are recognized for their exceptional contributions to promoting student research.

  • Nicole Lyssy, Plano West Senior High School AP Chemistry Team Leader, received a TJSHS outstanding teacher award



List of Plano ISD TJSHS Presenters

Behavioral and Social Sciences

  • Tanaz Muhamed - Finalist, Plano East Senior High School: An Investigation of how Relative Performance Indicators Influence One's Exploratory Decisions
  • Smaran Velidi, Plano East Senior High School: Hit or Miss? Creating a More Robust Concussion Diagnostic Tool and Protocol that Evaluates Head Impacts in the Different Levels of Football


  • Anjali Brown, Shepton High School: The Effect of Probiotics on Propionibacterium acnes Bacterial Colonies
  • Kennadi Cook, Academy High School: CNBP and c-REL and their Effect on Human Susceptibility to Tuberculosis
  • Akanksha Deka, Plano East Senior High School: A Computational and Microbiological Discovery Tool Identifies TatT as a Biomarker for the Chain-Hydrocarbonoclastic Bacteria
  • Abhinav Godavarthi - Finalist, Plano West Senior High School: Characterization of a Viral Glycoprotein Using a Network Model of Protein Structure
  • Noah Mathai, Jasper High School: Bacteria and Calcium aided Self-Healing Concrete


  • Rithvik Ganesh - Finalist, Jasper High School: Multidisciplinary study on plant-based derivatives as inhibitors of Beta-Secretase (BACE1) for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease
  • Olivia McCoy, Plano East Senior High School: Rice & Shine: The Effects of Different Rice Flooding Techniques on Methane Gas Emissions


  • Sujai Hiremath, Plano East Senior High School: Synthesizing Neodymium Oxide Nanoparticles for Biomedical Applications
  • Yusuf Khan, Plano Senior High School: A Novel Approach to Design a Combination Therapy Nanodrug for Cancer Treatment and its Characterization in Vitro
  • Pranathi Pilla, Jasper High School: The Ultra-Fast Detection of Bacterial Load Using Low-Cost Microbial Fuel Cell

Computer Science/Mathematics

  • Harshal Bharatia, Vines High School: Intellitherm: So Cool, It's Hot
  • Navya Ramakrishnan, Jasper High School: An Intelligent System for Early Detection of Eye Diseases that Lead to Irreversible Vision Loss
  • Liav Turkia, Academy High School: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Agent-Based Computational Economics

Engineering - Energy

  • Benjamin Li, Plano West Senior High School: Utilization of photoluminescent down-shifting CdSe quantum dots for optimization of photon conversion efficiency in Si solar cells
  • Benson Ngai, Shepton High School: Proveho: An Alternative Eco-Friendly Method Using Solar and Piezoelectric Harvesting Methods to Power Various Parts of A Fully Functional Automobile
  • Kunj Tapiawala, Williams High School: I’m attracted to the Power! -An innovative and novel approach to INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY OF HORIZONTAL AXIS WIND TURBINES
  • Brian Vo, Williams High School: Oceanic Power
  • Ashay Shah - Finalist, Plano East Senior High School: Porous Electrodes Derived from Polymer Blends of PAN-PS and PAN-PMMA Paired with a Low Cost Deep Eutectic Solvent for Wide-Temperature Range and High Energy Density Supercapacitors

Environmental/Earth Science

  • Kavya Muralidhar - Finalist, Plano East Senior High School: A Low Cost Technique to Combat Soil Contamination and Eutrophication in Organic Agricultural Communities
  • John Rho, Shepton High School: PEAR: Cost-Effective, High-Efficiency Remediation of Air Pollution (PM2.5 and VOCs) through an Automated Trash-Derived Purification Apparatus
  • Shiva Teerdhala, Plano East Senior High School: Bacterial Catabolism of the Herbicide Atrazine: Bioremediation of Herbicide Contaminated Soil and a Solution to Groundwater Pollution

General Engineering     

  • Rohan Khera, Finalist - Plano West Senior High School: ElectroTALKulogram: Using Electrooculography to Create a Novel Interface for ALS Patients to Communicate Using Eye Movements
  • Rohan Mehta, Plano East Senior High School: A Cost-Efficient Solution Towards Body Powered Prostheses Through Additive Manufacturing
  • Moksh Nirvaan, Clark High School: Improving Cardiovascular healthcare through a next-generation and cost-effective system integrating telemedicine and patient privacy.
  • Andrei Spiride, Plano East Senior High School: A Low Cost 3-DOF Upper Limb Exoskeleton for Arm Movement Assistance and Rehabilitation
  • Paritosh Suri, Plano West Senior High School: Electroencephalogram (EEG) sensor and subsequent analysis system optimization for point-of-care concussion diagnostic tool

Medicine and Health

  • Jishnu Basu, Vines High School: Efficacy of Coronary Stent Designs
  • Pratyush Mallick, Williams High School: Development of Bioglass Synthesized via Acid-Base Sol-gel polymerization
  • Jacob Mammen, Plano West Senior High School: A Mechanistic Insight into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy-Associated Cardiomyopathy
  • Alay Shah- FIRST PLACE, Shepton High School: Low-Cost Eye Movement Pattern Localization Biomarker for Neurodegenerative Disorders via Machine Learning