COVID-19 Research Earns Ann Arbor Teen A Place In National STEM Contest

ANN ARBOR, MI – Judy Bai became curious about how COVID-19 is affecting the respiratory system when she heard stories from her mother about the impact of the pandemic on patients at the hospital where she worked.

Her curious computer research to identify genes linked to both lung cancer and COVID-19 to help doctors develop treatments has won her a spot in a national science, technology, engineering, and math competition Middle school where finalists compete for more than $ 100,000 in awards.

“I think it will be really fun to present and get to know other selected people,” said Bai.

Bai, 13, has a natural passion for the STEM field and takes several online classes in her spare time as an eighth grader at Ann Arbor’s Clague Middle School. Her father, who helped her on the project, is a professional researcher and teacher.

Bai is one of 30 students attending the Broadcom MASTERS nationwide. Each finalist takes part in team challenges and will be evaluated for their scientific research project in a virtual competition from October 22nd to 28th. All finalists will receive a prize of $ 500.

The challenges use project-based learning to master the finalists’ critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration skills in each of the 21st MINT areas. Participants will compete for prizes up to $ 25,000, three awards worth $ 10,000 and several other prizes.

Bai first submitted her project to a competition at the Science and Engineering Fair of Metro Detroit, where she won first place and secured her place in the national competition. Bai said she was looking forward to the national competition and looking forward to immersing himself in the whole experience.

“I honestly just want to take away the experience of competing at the national level,” she said. “I would definitely appreciate being selected to win one of the grand prizes, but it’s okay if I don’t. I just want to know that I did my best. “

The Broadcom Foundation is a non-profit promoting STEM education by funding research, recognizing scholarships, and increasing opportunities. The foundation inspires young people to pursue a career in the STEM field and develop 21st century skills for critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity.

STEM is a field that Bai already maintains professionally. In addition to the SAT and ACT training, she is currently taking two chemistry and “a few” math courses. She also likes to take part in synchronized and individual skating.

“I would like to be some kind of doctor in the medical field, more specifically a pediatrician,” she said. “To be honest, I love medical concepts and I know that MINT is very important, so I will definitely continue my MINT career.”


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