• 93°
Joseph Macri, upper left, and Ashwin Prabhakar, upper right, placed second in nation in the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision STEM Competition. The young men are sophomores at Bob Jones High School. Jessye Gaines is their mentor and teaches in Bob Jones Engineering Academy. CONTRIBUTED

Bob Jones’ Marci, Prabhakar rank second nationally with Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision

MADISON – Joe Macri and Ashwin Prabhakar, sophomores at Bob Jones High School, claimed second place in the nation in ExploraVision STEM Competition, sponsored by Toshiba Corporation and National Science Teaching Association or NSTA.

Along with their distinguished title as a national winner, Macri and Prabhakar each will receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond.

“No other national winners are from the State of Alabama, and Joe and Ashwin were the youngest in their category of grades 10-12,” Jessye Gessner Gaines said. Gaines mentored Macri and Prabhakar and teaches with Bob Jones Engineering Academy.

Earlier this semester, both Bob Jones and James Clemens high schools won in regional meets in Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision. “The Bob Jones team of Ashwin and Joe were selected as regional winners, but now they also have been selected as national winners,” Gaines said.

Macri and Prabhakar tackled a contemporary crisis with their project, “An Artificial Intelligence-Based System to Neutralize Pesticides and Sustain Honey Bee Populations.” Their subject matter was uber-complex, as these three paragraphs demonstrate:

* “The goal of this project was to develop a system to protect pollinators like honey bees from pesticide toxicity. These pesticides bind to receptors in the nervous system of honey bees causing neurological dysfunction and subsequent death. To combat this, we present a novel peptide and bacteria based dual targeting system to mitigate the pesticide’s effects.”

* “Our autonomous solution comprises of a drone equipped with a machine learning algorithm to first identify crops and select the precise locations for pesticide neutralization. Next, the drone’s artificial intelligence system selectively dispenses an optimized concentration of formulations comprising of (a) synthetic peptides with high affinity to pesticides . . . and (b) bacteria mixtures with specific enzymes for rapid biodegradation of pesticides.”

* “Honey bees, one of the significant contributors of pollination in our ecosystem, are declining due to widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides. To overcome this, we present an automated system comprising of a drone integrated with machine learning algorithm for characterization of crops,” Macri and Prabhakar wrote.

“This is absolutely an amazing accomplishment,” Bob Jones Principal Sylvia Lambert said. “These are incredible and innovative young men. I am so very proud of them.”

Macri and Prabhakar participated virtually in an awards ceremony on June 4.

The National Science Teaching Association has headquarters in Arlington, Va. For more information, visit nsta.org.

Madison

Calhoun’s Esports program now offering full tuition scholarships

Digital Version

Digital version of The Madison Record – July 28, 2021

Madison

Recognition and extra precautions are needed to prevent heat illnesses

Madison

Mandy Leigh’s daughters inspired company, Two Girls and a Reading Corner

Madison

Trash Pandas bullpen baffles Barons in 5-2 win

Madison

Masks will continue to be optional in Madison City Schools

Business

Community supports local children through Bank Independent School Share Drive

Madison

USA Swimming Futures Championships taking place at Huntsville Aquatics Center July 28-31

Madison

ADPH: CDC issues guidance as transmission of contagious Delta COVID-19 variant surges

Harvest

‘Do Superheroes Go to School?’ Jennifer Lee Corley’s book has the answer

Madison

Zach Harting finishes in the semi-finals at Olympics, makes hometown very proud

Madison

Cindy Hewitt picked to lead the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library System

Madison

John Roberts announces candidacy for Alabama’s Fifth Congressional District

Madison

Lisa Thomas accepts busy responsibilities as City Clerk-Treasurer

Harvest

Catalyst Center plans Women’s Business Conference on Aug. 19

Madison

UPDATE: Watch party planned to cheer on Zach Harting as he competes in Olympics

Madison

Trash Pandas, Smokies suspended on Sunday, game to be completed on Aug. 31

Madison

Trash Pandas bats baffled in 8-3 loss on Saturday night

Madison

104-year-old WWII veteran and one of the oldest COVID survivors to throw opening pitch at American Legion championship game

Madison

Trash Pandas muscle-up over Smokies in Friday night home game

James Clemens High School

Aubrey Blomeley earns Girl Scouts’ Gold Award by aiding aspiring dancers

Madison

Sweet Grown Alabama hosted Farmers Market in Big Spring Park to promote local farmers

Madison

A look at the growing COVID numbers for Madison and Limestone counties

Huntsville

Huntsville approves survey for I-565 connector to Redstone

x