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Summer STEM: Building A Stronger and Lighter Impact Attenuator

By Zenia Alarcon, VI Form et al

Summer STEM: Building A Stronger and Lighter Impact Attenuator

I attended the Summer STEM Program at The Cooper Union, and I took the Race Car Engineer and Design course. I am interested in engineering and wanted to know if it was something I wanted to pursue in college.

An impact attenuator is an object that purposely deforms to protect the driver in a crash. Our goal: to create an impact attenuator that is stronger yet lighter then what is on the car right now and is made out of carbon fiber.

Click on Image for Full Google Slide presentation.

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CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

By Grant Gattuso and Frank Hua, VI Form

CAR T Cell–Giving Cancer Patients New Hope

This past summer we had the opportunity to work in a cancer research lab in Seattle for four weeks— a very unique experience, especially for high schoolers.  We worked in Dr. Michael Jensen’s ‘82 lab in the Ben Towne Center For Childhood Cancer Research, which is affiliated with Seattle Children’s Hospital. The lab focuses on CAR T Cell, a immunotherapy that gives cancer patients a new hope. (more…)

Vonegut’s Cat’s Cradle: Thoughts on Science, Ethics, and Being Human

By Jiwon Choi, VI Form

Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle: Thoughts on Science, Ethics, and Being Human

I am drawn to science. I always loved history and literature, too, but science made sense to me, scratched my itch in a way other subjects never did. As I did chemistry experiments or drew molecular diagrams, I felt part of a never-ending search for truth, an heir to the great, inexhaustible spirit of inquiry.

And every year I saw more evidence for the validity and even nobility of that spirit. Whether it was the laser cutter that lets me instantly carve out trophies for the little kids who come for free robotics classes on Saturdays or a news item about advancements in self-driving cars, science met my expectations time and time again, sparking my imagination and literally making my heart beat faster.

Of course, I’m not ignorant of the repercussions that come along with new discoveries. I’ve read plenty of pieces about the threats AI will pose to the workforce, and I worry about accidents involving autonomous cars. But still, when I did my mental cost-benefit analysis, science was unequivocally a net good. And besides, isn’t it science itself that will find solutions to these problems? Surprisingly to me, it was in a literature class that my attitude about science was shaken forever. Almost immediately upon beginning Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, my heart sank, filling me with an uncomfortable feeling I couldn’t resolve. (more…)

Treating AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms)

By Megan Christy, VI Form

Treating AAA (Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms)

I am captivated by one particularly compelling question: how can we manipulate the body so it fixes itself? Could a combination of biology, chemistry, physics, and engineering be the answer?

I began exploring this question in the summer of 2017 while participating in a biomedical engineering program at Boston Leadership Institute. There, I applied this question to the way in which we treat aneurysms. Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) are a “silent killer.” They form when the walls of a blood vessel weaken and are difficult to diagnose due to the lack of symptoms prior to rupture.[1] Once ruptured, AAAs have a mortality rate of 90%.[2] When an unruptured AAA is diagnosed, it is vitally important to treat it in a minimally invasive and lasting manner. (more…)

Computer Vision: Mapping Poverty in Uganda

By Cathy Zhou, IV Form

Computer Vision: Mapping Poverty in Uganda

This summer, I attended an all-girls program called Ai-4-ALL, formerly known as SAILORS (Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s Outreach Summer Program). Inspired by the camp’s model “AI will change the world. Who will change AI?” I believe that people, instead of perceiving artificial intelligence (AI) as threats, should use it as a tool for impact. During this camp, I, along with seven other AI-enthusiasts, created a model for mapping poverty using satellite images. (more…)

Software Pipeline Connecting Close-Range Photogrammetry and 3D Printing

By Gillian Yue, VI Form

Software Pipeline Connecting Close-Range Photogrammetry and 3D Printing

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Abstract/Introduction

The aim of this project is to make it possible for an average person with no prior knowledge in photogrammetry to 3D-print small objects found in daily lives. My work is to create a software that serves as a pipeline; the software connects the multiple processes that are required to transform the input of of photos of the target object into an output of a 3D printable model file. In other words, what used to be a complicated process of switching between different tools and manually processing the model to make it 3D printable becomes a simple one-click routine where the user can provide the initial group of photos, and then simply sit next to the 3D printer to wait for the object to come out half an hour later. (more…)