Student Research

Students, Schools Win Grant Funding for Scientific Research Projects
Posted on 12/14/2023
Portrait of students who did research

Nine MNPS students who participate in the Interdisciplinary Science and Research program at Vanderbilt University have received grant funding to support their independent research projects.

Each ISR student’s funding comes from the Tennessee Academy of Sciences or the Nashville Section of the American Chemical Society. The students and their projects are:


Hillsboro High School

portrait of two students

Delaney Fleming

Investigating the Impact of Electrolyte Content and Carbohydrate Content in Sport Drinks on the Transfer of Microplastics from Disposable Plastic Bottles into Drinks

Bruno Borger-Gilligan

The Development of 15 Nutrient Rich Breakfast replacement bars using Molecular Gastronomy


Overton High School

portrait of four students

Moreen Habib

Carbon Dioxide Sequestration Capabilities Effect on Varying Tree Population Soil Samples

Jamen Jackson

Acoustic Suppression Study on Aerogel

Ryan Spradling

Assessment of Fecal Coliform Bacteria Contamination in Tennessee Water Sources

Alex Zambrano

Assessment of the Effect of Microcystin on Cellular Regeneration of Dugesia dorotocephala


Stratford STEM Magnet High School

portrait of four three students

Coreas Ruffin

The complexity of cologne manufacture and its effects on olfactory perception

Emily Wagner

Maximizing Microbiological Growth Prevention in Cosmetics through Optimal Utilization of Preservatives

ShaNickqueya Whitworth

Genetic Variations in Taste Receptors among Stratford STEM High School Students

Grants for Research

The ISR program is a partnership between MNPS and Vanderbilt to help students broaden and deepen their understanding of STEM concepts and research principles while empowering teachers through scientific research. Each of the three high schools with students participating in ISR also received grants from TVA to support research:

  • Stratford’s ISR program was awarded $5,000 to fund a two-year water quality study in a local park. This year, students are establishing a baseline of water quality and aquatic bacterial load as well as surveying pet waste in the study area. Next year, they will run an educational program to encourage pet owners to pick up after their pets and then quantify the improvement to water quality. Additionally, Stratford received a $3,400 grant from the Tennessee Environmental Council to go towards beekeeping supplies for their new hives on campus.
  • Overton was awarded $5,000 from TSIN STEM Classroom Grants, sponsored by TVA and Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated. They will use the funding to develop a unit based on neuroscience. Students will be able to understand the parts of the brain through dissections, build prosthetic hands, and look at the impact of concussion on the brain. They also will examine how neurons send signals throughout the body by obtaining both an audio and a visual signal.
  • Hillsboro received $5,000 to fund a plastic pollution awareness campaign. Students are spearheading a four-pronged plan to develop plastic pollution awareness at Hillsboro cluster middle and high schools; develop bird feeders from recovered plastics to address dwindling native bird species populations; adopt and maintain a stretch of Richland Creek, and investigate the overall physical, chemical, and biological health of the Richland Creek watershed.
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