Rockville, Md., 11th grader Junzhi Xie recognized for wastewater treatment method, will represent Maryland in International BioGENEius Challenge.
GAITHERSBURG, Md., June 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit organization that provides life-changing STEM experiences, announced today that Junzhi Xie, a junior at Richard Mongtomery High School in Rockville, Maryland has won the 2021 Maryland BioGENEius Challenge.
The BioGENEius Challenge is the premier biotechnology competition for high school students, recognizing outstanding original research in the field for healthcare, sustainability, and the environment. As the Maryland BioGENEius finalist Xie will represent the state in the International BioGENEius Challenge at the 2021 Digital BIO International Convention.
“Learning Undefeated is proud to recognize these exceptional students who think creatively and continue to challenge themselves,” said Learning Undefeated CEO Brian Gaines. “During the pandemic, STEM education was thrown on its’ head causing many students to miss out on a tangible classroom investigation opportunity. This unusual school year did not stop these students from continuing their research, making the already impressive feat of completing such high-level analyses at this age even more remarkable. ”
Xie’s project titled, Phytoremediation: An Innovative Wastewater Treatment Method For Removal of Microplastic Particles, focuses on eradicating microplastic contamination of marine and freshwater bodies through the use of a new method called phytoremediation. Xie’s idea was to introduce phytoremediation, a way of removing pollutants via accumulation in plants, as a solution to microplastic pollution. Common duckweed (Lemna minor) was exposed to to microplastic concentrations and was deemed overall successful in removing over 65% of microplastic particles from wastewater.
The International BioGENEius Challenge at the BIO International Convention will be held digitally this year. Representing Maryland at the virtual competition, Xie will have the opportunity to engage with leading companies, scientists and innovators currently transforming the scientific landscape.
Runners up in the 2021 Maryland competition were:
- 2nd Place – Shisui Torii, a 10th grade Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School student, for Fecal Small RNAs as Potential Biomarker and Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- 3rd Place – Aditi Gubba, an 11th grade Poolesville High School student, for A Novel Approach to Tackle Osteoarthritis: Engineering a Self-Administrable Tissue Regenerative Transdermal Patch for Articular Cartilage Growth and Inflammation Alleviation
About Learning Undefeated
Learning Undefeated (formerly MdBio Foundation) is a non-profit organization that provides life-changing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education opportunities for underserved communities. Through innovative and experiential education programs for grades K-12, we are sparking interest in STEM careers and building the workforce that will drive the innovation economy. Learning Undefeated’s flagship education program features mobile STEM labs that have provided hands-on learning opportunities to more than 300,000 K-12 students in 18 states since 2003. Learning Undefeated also operates several other celebrated STEM education programs including Anywhere Labs digital learning bundles, the Young Science Explorers Program, a summer camp for middle school students; Advancing Tomorrow’s Leaders in STEM (ATLAS) College and Career Exploration Program; STEM Leadership Experience; student competitions; after-school programs; curriculum development; and disaster recovery education. Visit learningundefeated.org or follow on social media @LearningUNDFTD.