Innovation leads the way at PLTW senior showcase

"We want others to see the example we set and follow in our footsteps to ultimately create a better world for us all." -Tyler Dye, senior

Samantha Johnson

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Dressed to impress, seniors involved in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) spent last Friday presenting their projects at Union Station in Kansas City. After spending the fall and spring semesters preparing, PLTW students educated individuals from all over the KCMO area on a variety of topics.

Senior Logan Bradley chose to study the effects of the ApoeE4 gene, a gene that is known to increase someone’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease later in life.

“This project was really important to me because I’m very close with my grandparents, and Alzheimer’s Disease is something they speak of and worry of often. Alzheimer’s has become more prevalent in the modern world and will continue to increase over time,” Bradley said.

Bradley hopes to study the Apoe gene independently with the right funding and approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“Currently scientists are conducting experiments on the gene but are waiting for FDA approval,” Bradley said. “Theoretical means it can’t really be accomplished at this time with the technology and research available. I would love to see the Apoe gene researched further in the future,” he added.

While Alzheimer’s is seen as affecting the the elderly, Bradley noted that its impact is much more far reaching than that.

“Alzheimer’s Disease will continue to increase in our society and not only impacts the life of those diagnosed by also the lives of those around them,” Bradley said. “People need to be more educated on Alzheimer’s and know that it doesn’t just impact elderly,” he added.

Other PLTW students studied in groups of three or four. Seniors Tyler Dye, Elizabeth Lee and Annabelle Pham showcased their efforts to conserve energy in BSSD.

Our group was interested in the environmental benefits of something like this, but I was particularly passionate about how cost efficient it is to do and how self-sufficient something like this is. On top of the environmental benefits, it allows BSSD to be a leading advocate for a movement so great as this,” Dye said.

Though this project came from outside inspiration, all members were passionate on the topic. They collaborated with MC Power to incorporate solar panels into the district with the help of the bond and levy that passed this last summer.

“Our main issue as a group was that we weren’t necessarily inventing something new; we were just trying to find the most efficient way to implement renewable energy and the best method to go about doing this, at least, until we learned about the project with MC Power,” Dye said.

Due to inclement weather, Dye and his group had problems getting the proper measurements of each school they intended to convert to solar panels. However, they were able to begin their “go green” initiative by taking measurements at BSHS.

“While the team was sad to not get the pictures and measurements of the other schools we were tasked with, it was decided between us and (MC Power) to focus just on BSHS and create a very precise array of it, as it is one of the largest ones in the district,” Dye said.

Dye would like to see BSHS lead by example and help other districts take their first steps into conserving energy.

“We want others to see the example we set and follow in our footsteps to ultimately create a better world for us all. And that’s why we think it’s important to see this expanded, as everyone can benefit from the environmental and economic benefits that this brings, not just in our district, but hopefully eventually in neighboring districts and eventually even farther than that,” Dye said.