STEM Poster Reviews: What Some of the Big Kids Are Up To 

One of the premiere academic sponsors of The Works Museum, Shattuck-St. Mary’s School in Faribault, fosters a love of STEM education with unique programming in engineering and BioScience. Every spring, the seniors in these two programs present their final research and design projects. Below we look back at what last year’s seniors go up to in STEM. 

Rebecca Guo ’20: When someone suffers from cardiac arrest outside of the hospital, EMTs and bystanders generally perform CPR. However, Rebecca realized that after twenty minutes of CPR, only 1.9% of patients leave the hospital with a good neurological outcome; in other words, there is no current method to ensure oxygenation of the entire brain during cardiac arrest. Rebecca’s solution was to work on a blood perfusion device that would be immediately available in ambulances and would prioritize the brain above other body parts. 

Keegan Cox ’20: Keegan wanted to design his own speaker, one that would fit nicely on a bookshelf and be a Stereo speaker, meaning that it would have two speakers for the left and right audio channels. The speaker also had to be “Hi-Fi,” or high fidelity. Keegan chose to build a passive speaker, which means it uses an external amplifier with an audio receiver rather than an internal one. You can hear Keegan explain more of his design here. 

James Ha ’20: Hearing loss is one of the most common disabilities out there, and James wanted to create a device to help people living with this disability avoid potentially dangerous situations, like traffic accidents. He wanted the device to recognize key vocal phrases like “Look out!” and then vibrate to warn the user that someone was trying to alert them. He also wanted it to be easy to wear, easy to take on and off, and aesthetically pleasing. You can learn more about James’s project here. 

Alvin Jiao ’20: An avid basketball player at Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Alvin wanted to design an affordable training board similar to the FitLight Trainer that uses LED lights to simulate a basketball game situation, increase the coordination of cognitive and physical abilities, and improve high school basketball players’ performance. He then would compare the performance of a control group of students that didn’t use the training board and an experimental group that did. 

Rebecca and Alvin are members of the BioScience Center of Excellence program at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School, while Keegan and James are members of the Engineering Center of Excellence programThe BioScience program provides guidance, intellectual challenges, and opportunities to explore for students who love science and are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. The Engineering program includes hands-on design and fabrication opportunities while preparing students for the rigors of college. 

Maren LaLiberty, M.D. is the founding director of the BioScience Center of Excellence program at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. She holds an M.D. and a B.A. in microbiology from the University of Minnesota. After practicing family medicine for several years, she decided to dedicate her life to teaching and coaching. She spent seven years coaching women’s rowing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before taking her extensive knowledge of biological sciences to St. Margaret’s School in Tappahannock, VA, where she taught science and math courses and coached the rowing team. 

 Alex Jones is the Director of the Engineering Center of Excellence program at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School. He earned a master’s degree in civil engineering from New Mexico State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He’s also currently completing final requirements to receive a master’s degree in education at UW-RF. He has worked as a senior engineer at Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc. in Kirtland, Ohio and as Engineer I at American Engineering Testing Inc. in St. Paul, Minn. before moving further into education.