We are so proud that our very own Jessie Gan, current 9th grader, has been selected as a top 30 finalist in the Broadcom MASTERS, the nation’s premier STEM competition for middle school students! Broadcom MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering for Rising Stars), a program founded and produced by the Society for Science & the Public, seeks to inspire young scientists, engineers and innovators who will solve the grand challenges of the future. Jessie was selected by a panel of distinguished scientists and engineers from a record high of 2,499 applicants in 37 states, Puerto Rico and the Department of Defense overseas.
Jessie’s project is titled Natural Antioxidant and Nano-Antioxidant Effects Against Oxidative Stress. Antioxidants can stop a chemical reaction called oxidation. That process steals electrons from molecules, and in living organisms it can cause cell damage. That damage can lead to a variety of chronic diseases. And some of those diseases can be deadly. Examples include atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes and cancer. When Jessie’s grandfather had lung cancer, his doctors suggested that he try nano-antioxidants. Those are antioxidants in the form of teeny, tiny particles. They’re measured on the scale of billionths of a meter. Jessie notes that existing research hasn’t done a complete job so far to compare different antioxidants and nano-oxidants to each other. She wanted to help fill that knowledge gap.