Museum Blog

Teen Science Scholar goes to the White House

Posted 3/31/2015 12:03 AM by Ian Miller | Comments

We are so excited to share the amazing story of one of our Teen Science Scholars, Tiye Garrett-Mills, who was selected to participate in the 5th Annual White House Science Fair on Monday, March 23. The Science Fair celebrates student winners from a broad range of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competitions from across America.

Through her project, “It’s All In The Same Vein,” Tiye sought to adapt a slow and costly x-ray imaging technique to a faster and more economical desktop scanner protocol to examine leaf vein networks. By using an HP deskjet scanner, Tiye was able to engineer several different methods to capture images that may help to reduce the cost and time it takes to produce high-resolution images of the vein networks in leaves.

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Additionally, Tiye was one of 10 students at the White House Science Fair that had the opportunity to personally present her project to President Obama.

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The impact of Tiye’s research is potentially far-reaching. Analysis of leaf vein networks provides a wealth of information about the evolutionary and ecological history of plants, and contributes to our understanding of climate change over time when compared to fossil leaves. By simultaneously providing a high quality and economic solution, Tiye has taken the first step in creating a more efficient tool for scientists who study the vein networks of leaves. She hopes to continue her research as she pursues her passions in engineering and biochemistry.

The Teen Science Scholars internship provides high school students opportunities to work in the Archives, Anthropology, Earth Sciences, Health Sciences, Museum Conservation, Space Sciences, and Zoology departments at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. The program has provided over 120 high school students the opportunity to be mentored by Museum scientists and collections staff since its beginning in 2006. To learn more about the program, click here.

Tiye, we are so proud of your accomplishments and can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Keep up the good work!

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