• Jessa Nelson

Show and tell with Olentangy STEM Academy

On Thursday, Dec. 13, four Olentangy Academy STEM students were honored at a school board meeting for their accomplishments at the OSBA Student Achievement Fair. The honorees included juniors Kristen Lillemoen, Yifei Zhuang and Andrew Holycross, as well as senior Andre Farinazo.

The STEM program is an option for students in high school to spend half their school day focusing on science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the Academy’s building, located right near Central Office on Orange Rd. STEM students receive a wide spectrum of opportunities which allow them to explore potential career fields.

Karen Sedoti, the principal at Olentangy STEM, introduced the students and summarized their experience this past November at the Student Achievement Fair at the OSBA Capital Conference in Columbus. The students shared their findings with other students and conference attendees at this event. Lillemoen, a student in the biomedical program, completed a study based on the effects of hand sanitizer versus washing hands with soap and water.

“I am very interest in microbiology as a career,” Lillemoen said. “I am currently going through the biomedical program and afterwards I hope to go to college for microbiology.”

Holycross presented his 3-D printed device that slid onto a baseball bat to hold the ball at the fair.

“When I swing, [the contraption] releases the ball, helping me to determine the best swing and power,” Holycross said, “and it is fully adjustable to fit any bat to help not only me but others train as well.”

Farinazo showcased his findings of the impact of velocity on mass for projectile and energy uses.

“The goal of this experiment was to design a more efficient hyperloop system, which is a supersonic train wave proposed between San Francisco and Los Angeles,” Farinazo said.

Farinazo was very interested in this topic, and although most seniors in STEM are not given the time to complete a study, he took matters into his own hands and did a lot of his research outside of school.

“Essentially, the concept is that their technology is suited really well for low passenger volumes,” Farinazo said, “but there becomes a problem when the amount of distance they have with each of the [hyperloop] launches gets smaller because they are putting more and more on the system each time, making it very inefficient.”

Farinazo’s overall findings led him to developing a system that will calculate how many train pods can connect and then it configures, based on the mass, how fast it will have to go for the distance needing traveled.

The STEM building is a very unique way for students to explore the outside world while remaining within classroom walls. Students can begin the STEM program as early as freshman year and may continue all throughout high school.

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