This week, four high school students selected by Science, Math, and Technology Education Center to participate in the North Carolina International Science Competition (NCISC) are traveling to Beijing, China to present their research, meet students from other countries, and experience Chinese culture. This blog highlights the journey of these future science rockstars of North Carolina! Today, we hear from Forrest Ashworth of Cary. See more pictures and updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
My name is Forrest Ashworth and I am an American high school student. I attend the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) in Durham, NC. I am currently in the 12th grade and I became very interested in conducting scientific research in the 11th grade.
The research project I am presenting at NCISC is entitled “Genetic Dissection of the Galanin Expressing Population of the Locus Coeruleus.” I was introduced to the idea for this project by my mentor who was trying to define the function of a subpopulation of neurons within the Locus Coeruleus of the brain. One of these subpopulations is a population of Galanin expressing neurons, which is what we decided to study for a variety of reasons.
I would like to thank the principal investigator that I worked with, Dr. Patricia Jensen, her post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Jacqueline de Marchena, the entire Jensen Lab, everyone in the core facilities at NIEHS that helped with this research, Dr. Myra Halpin of the NCSSM Research in Chemistry program, the intramural branch of NIEHS, and the SMT Center for funding.
Today was our first full day in China and it was already a very busy one. We woke up, had breakfast, and then it was off to the Beijing Museum of Natural History in downtown Beijing. We came back to the hotel to eat lunch, and then went to the Beijing Shunyi Niulanshan First Secondary School to set up posters for our presentations in the coming two days.
We worked very hard with the Chinese volunteers on translating our posters and presentations into Chinese. I now have notes in Chinese all around my poster for the key points of my talk so that more people understand. A volunteer will also be me with me to translate for non-English speaking judges.
We came back to the hotel for dinner, and then went out shopping in a nearby mall. I bought a Li-Ning (a major athletic wear company in China) sweatshirt for 200 yuan, or about $32.