13 teens receive STEM research grants from JHU's Center for Talented Youth

A sensor to help emergency vehicles measure the depth and speed of flood waters. A microorganism that can decompose BPA. A hydrogel injection that can help patients heal after a heart attack. These potentially game-changing ideas are among 10 promising STEM research proposals that earned their developers—teens ranging in age from 13 to 16 years old—2016 Cogito Research Awards from the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

The CTY Cogito Research Award is given annually to middle and high school students who demonstrate initiative, creativity, and promise in their STEM research project proposals. The 10 winning individuals and/or teams each receive a $599 grant and guidance from a mentor to develop their ideas. The student researchers will use the funds to purchase equipment, rent lab space, or pay for other project-related needs. They will blog about their progress on the CTY website and submit a final report on the results of their research later this year.

"We started this program two years ago hoping to inspire and enable students to confront tough scientific problems, and work to find answers," said Elaine Tuttle Hansen, CTY's executive director. "What we've seen so far are projects that demonstrate ingenuity and great promise."

This year's awards were funded by the Thakor Family Fund, which was established by CTY parent and donor Nitish V. Thakor and his family. A CTY judging panel selected the winning proposals from more than 250 student applications based on overall quality and promise to achieve compelling research results.

The 2016 CTY Cogito Research Awards winners are:

  • Jessika Baral, 16, Fremont, California
  • Anthony Clendenen, 15, Graham, Washington
  • Benjamin Cheng, 13, Foster City, California
  • Megha Gopal, 13, New Hyde Park, New York
  • Bridgette Han, 15, Palo Alto, California
  • Isha Mohapatra, 15, Easton, Pennsylvania
  • Anika Sanyal, 14, Los Altos, California
  • Alexandra So, 15, Los Angeles, California
  • Victoria Chen, 14, West Covina, California; Laura Xinyu Chen, 16, Pasadena, California; and Evina Wang, 15, San Gabriel, California
  • Katherine Duan, 13, and Alexander Kish, 13, Hanover, New Hampshire

More information about the winners and their proposals can be found on the Cogito website