News Archive

Winners Announced for 2024 Sigma Xi Student Research Showcase

April 23, 2024

For Immediate Release

SRS_2024_winners_combinedRESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NORTH CAROLINA – Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Honor Society presented awards for its 2024 Student Research Showcase. The virtual competition included 213 student participants across 13 disciplinary categories. Monetary awards were given for first and second place winners in the high school, undergraduate, and graduate divisions. Additional prizes were awarded for the top overall winner, people's choice, and interdisciplinary projects..

The 2024 overall winner was Catherine Zhao, a high school student from American Heritage School in Palm Beach, Florida. Her project, Chlorine-emulsified PDMS for Harvesting Energy from Water was awarded an additional $500 prize, sponsored by Athena Education.

The Student Research Showcase is an annual virtual competition aimed to build students' science communication skills so they can convey the value of their research to technical and nontechnical audiences. Participants submitted abstracts for entry into the competition in early spring. During a month-long evaluation period, students built websites, videos, and slideshows to present their research to a panel of judges and public audiences. Judges' evaluations were based on how well the students communicated enthusiasm for their projects; explained the significance of their research; used text, charts, and diagrams; and responded to questions. 

2024 Student Research Showcase Awards:


Catherine Zhao, American Heritage School Palm Beach
Chlorine-emulsified PDMS for Harvesting Energy from Water
$500 award, sponsored by Athena Education


Jaden Blankenship, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy
A Novel Treatment for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: NS1643
$250 award


First Place—$500
Hannah Swarm, Virginia Polytechnic and State University 
Wireworm Control in Virginia Cropping Systems

Second Place—$250 
Samantha Hamilton, Kyoto University
Camera Use & Sea Otter Disturbance


First Place—$500
Sophia Koontz, St. Mary’s College of Maryland
Rhizobia-Host Relation, Saltwater Intrusion

Second Place—$250
Rachel Echevarria, SUNY Fredonia
An Ontogenetic Study of Clam Shrimp Using SEM Imagery


First Place—$500
Catherine Zhao, American Heritage School Palm Beach
Chlorine-emulsified PDMS for Harvesting Energy from Water

Second Place (3-way tie)—$250

Andrew Kim, Seoul International School
Evening Primrose: Treating Waterborne and Pulmonary Disease

Pragathi Kasani-Akula, South Forsyth High School
Early Detection of TNBC Using Magnetofluorescent Carbon Dots

Yueshan Yu, Bronx High School of Science
CPZ Analog Inhibition of OCT2 for Improved Cancer Treatment


$375 awards, sponsored by Rudy Ruggles

Advances in Computation (Cyber Security, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence)
William Wakefield, Pine Crest School

Biology and Biotechnology (Understanding the Brain, Origins of Life (Assembling Tree of Life), Understanding Biological Systems)
Shannan Yates, Tulane University

Critical Breakthroughs (Energy from Fusion)
Edward Wu, Pittsford Sutherland High School

Design, Construction, and Manufacturing (Improving Urban Infrastructure, Innovations in Manufacturing, Advanced Materials)
Catherine Zhao, American Heritage School Palm Beach

Engineering (Making Solar Energy Affordable, Engineering Tools for Scientific Discoveries such as Lasers, Cameras, or Software)
Dishika Parikh, American Heritage High School Palm Beach

Environmental Challenges (Providing Access to Clean Water, Mitigating Climate Change, Food Security, Managing the Nitrogen Cycle, Sustaining Clean Air, Preserving Biodiversity)
Sophia Koontz, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Human Health (Advancing Drug Design and Limiting Drug Resistance, Advancing Health Informatics, Advancing Vaccines, Preventing Pandemics, Cancer Detection and Therapy)
Yoonseo Kim, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Human Sciences and Policy
Vidhi Miglani, Delhi Public School, Kaithal

Tools for Science, Education, and Personalized Learning
Vaishali Jha, Evergreen Valley High School

Understanding the Universe (Astronomy and Space Sciences)
Sahiba Kaur, H.H. Dow High School