Devoted to protecting the environment, Grace Bridy, a rising junior at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, knew the TREES program was a perfect fit. She used this opportunity to further research the topic of fracking. Her TREES project studied the toxicity of water collected from fracking sites to reveal some of the underlying potential for health problems. In addition, she developed a web-based survey which will hopefully shed light on youths’ opinions and ideas about fracking. When she is not busy with her scientific studies, you can find her volunteering at the Academy of Natural Sciences or participating in various extracurricular activities. Some of these include Mathletes, Student Council, Ambassadors, Newspaper, Volleyball, or Softball. After high school, she hopes to major in chemistry and minor in environmental sciences and then continue contributing her time and work to the preservation of the environment.
Malley Chertkov was a rising senior at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey. She was president of the GSA, Feminist Club, and co-leader of the Better Beginnings service club. She was also part of her school’s a capella singing group and creative writing club. She loves biology and environmental science. Her project studied ways of synthesizing biodegradable plastic from hazardous waste. She hopes to receive a law degree and practice environmental law in the future.
Ralph was a rising junior at the University Scholars Program in West Chester, PA. His project focused on the health and toxicological effects of electronic cigarette ‘smoke’ on cultured cells. In his spare time, Ralph really enjoys shooting archery and participating in boy scouts, along with other activities at his school.
Anisha was a rising junior at the Agnes Irwin School during her time at TREES. Her project consisted of researching the mutagenic properties of biodiesel fuel. When not burning fuels in the lab, Anisha plays volleyball, swims, and is a member of her school’s crew team. She also is co-founder of the STEM club at her school, aimed at increasing girls’ interest in STEM fields. She is a member of her school’s robotics team and is also a representative on her school’s environmental board. TREES was a fabulous experience and she feels lucky to have been a part of the program.
Tyji was a rising senior at Lankenau Environmental Science Magnet High School in Philadelphia when he participated in TREES. His research focused on testing samples from the BP oil spill for carcinogens. When he’s not at TREES, he is either helping the community or at Math Science Upward Bound, a TRIO program for high school students at Temple University. He enjoys playing soccer and tennis during his free time.
Shreya was a rising sophomore at Council Rock High School North during her time at TREES. She has always been interested in learning about cancers along with their respective carcinogens, which gave her the idea to test the effects of ultraviolet radiation. In her free time, she enjoys playing basketball and skating. She is also a member of the Environmental Action Club, Pulsera program, and FCCLA. Shreya was very appreciative of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities she was given at the TREES program.
Rishab was a rising senior at Princeton High School during his time at TREES. About five years ago, a Chinese firm spiked infant formula with melamine to increase the apparent protein concentration. The added melamine sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese babies to the hospital. During the past couple years, scientists have found expensive and time consuming tests. To help society, he is interested in finding a fast, accurate, and inexpensive way to detect melamine in milk. In school, Rishab plays first singles for his tennis team. He also actively volunteers for the March of Dimes, an organization that raises money for premature babies. In the future Rishab hopes to study biomedical engineering.
Weiwei was a rising junior at Baldwin school in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She is really concerned about the air pollution in Bejing. Her project at TREES investigated 3-nitrobenzanthrone, a carcinogen found in diesel exhaust. In the future, she hopes to contribute to the effort of reducing the air pollution in her hometown. When not in the lab, Weiwei swims on her school’s team. She enjoys playing flute and will be joining the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra in the upcoming school year. As the ensemble coordinator of her school’s world music ensemble, she hopes to facilitate cultural interaction with music. She enjoyed her experience working in the lab and thanks everyone who helped her and gave her such an amazing opportunity.