Brookhaven Tech students win at Polymer Science competition

Published 5:00 pm Tuesday, February 13, 2024

On Jan. 25-26, 2024, Brookhaven Technical Center’s Polymer Science II students competed with year-2 students from across the state at the annual Technology Students Association (TSA)-sanctioned High School Polymer Science competition, hosted and conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Polymer Science and Engineering.

This year, BTC students placed in each of the four events included in competition: Research Poster Presentations, Chemistry of Polymers Exam, Lab Practicum Proficiency, and Team Challenge. Prior to live competition, students selected and researched an issue in the medical field that could be positively impacted through the use of polymers. Based on their findings, students proposed three polymer-based solutions and designated a best approach. Prior to live competition, students submitted an abstract and slide presentation for judging. They also prepared and presented research posters at live competition.

Jaiden Hardy took first place with his project titled, “Looking Into a Green Future,” concerning the use of more environmentally-friendly polymers for eyeglass construction.

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Jaylenn Berrios and Eva Mason placed second for their research into “Minimizing Damage and Recovery Time in Osteogenesis Imperfecta.”

In the Chemistry of Polymers event, BTC students swept the awards: first place to Jaylenn Berrios, second to Michael Anderson, and third to Ian Kellum.

For the Lab Practicum event, students were provided a box of supplies to determine densities of a variety of objects. Michael Anderson, Emma Mirabal, and Kennedy Powell earned three of the top five lab skills proficiency awards. For the Team Challenge event, students had two hours to construct the best strength-to-weight ratio bridge, meeting stringent specifications, using pasta and a low temperature hot-melt adhesive system. BTC’s team of Ian Kellum (captain), Jaiden Hardy, Eva Mason, Kennedy Powell, and Isaac Stovall claimed third place. Congratulations to these competitors and their proud Polymer Science instructor, Leah Ann Peavey.