Idaho Science & Engineering Fair Club

TVMSC was excited to participate in the inaugural year of the Idaho Science and Engineering Fair in 2017.  From this inaugural Idaho Science and Engineering Fair, one TVMSC team's research work earned second place overall. The girls also won Best of Category in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, along with a Category Gold and special awards from Mu Alpha Theta and the U.S. Air Force.

The Science and Engineering project chosen was the 'Effect of Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 on Collagen Integrity in Microgravity' experiment designed and submitted by TVMSC students, Brynne Coulam and Catherine Ji.  This same body of research had been selected as a finalist for the 'Student Space Flight Experiments Program' (SSEP) Mission 8 to the International Space Station from Boise, ID. Their work was one of 15 student research projects sent to the ISS. Upon returning the samples to earth, the TVMSC students continued to analyze data and work with additional hypotheses to expand their work. Brynne and Catherine had the opportunity to share their research during a presentation and poster session at the Smithsonian.

Brynne and Catherine later had the opportunity to present their research at the 2017 Western Idaho Science and Engineering Fair. They had built upon their earlier research and continued to analyze data gathered from the samples sent to the ISS.  This research focusing on whether an enzyme that degrades collagen is more potent in a microgravity environment.

Brynne and Catherine were mentored by Dr. David Whitacre and Dr. Paul Verhage, teachers at TVMSC.  The students conducted their ongoing research work under the guidance of Dr. Oxford and Stephanie Tuft at Boise State University.

As a result of their strong performance at the Western Idaho Science & Engineering Fair, the team was given the opportunity to attend the National Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles.