IMSA Students Present High-Level Research

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Byline: Justin Kmitch jkmitch@dailyherald.com

Area lecture halls were filled recently with discussions of "Radium Contamination in Drinking Water and the Growing Demand for Lake Michigan," "Molecular Mechanisms of Bone Marrow Stem Cell Maintenance" and "Development of a Method of Early Diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease."

Those conversations, though, weren't being conducted by doctors and scientists. At least not yet.

The IMSAloquium 2010 featured the research findings of more than 270 high school students involved in the Illinois Math and Science Academy's Student Inquiry and Research program, which pushes students to conduct and present findings of original research, engage in entrepreneurial applied science and technology activities, and collaborate with other students, mentors, scholars, researchers and inventors throughout the world.

The 15-minute presentations are meant to help them get comfortable defending their findings in a public setting, something many of them are sure to encounter one day.

South Barrington native Matthew Kleinjan, 17, worked with University of Chicago researchers for nearly nine months conducting interviews and tests on volunteer subjects before presenting his findings that individuals under stress are less likely to consume alcohol than rats are under similar levels of stress.

He decided on the project after watching other researchers at the university conduct a similar project involving nicotine. …