The BASIS.ed
Senior Projects 2017

The Senior Project at BASIS Ahwatukee is a selective program that involves an off-campus research project or internship of the students’ choice and design. Students select a BASIS.ed faculty member as their advisor and work with a mentor at their selected research site. These projects may be completed anywhere in the world. At the end of the trimester, students return to campus and present an analysis of their findings to peers, staff, and parents.

BASIS Ahwatukee is one of 10 BASIS charter schools participating in the 2017 BASIS.ed Senior Project Program. To view the details of a specific project, select a student below.

See all BASIS.ed Senior Projects

Anivarya K.

Narrative Medicine

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Anivarya K.

Narrative Medicine

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Rachna Nath
Internship location: University of Arizona College of Medicine
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Hartmark-Hill, Head of Narrative Medicine
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Current health practices are so focused on treating patients by prescribing medication or performing invasive procedures that healthcare often sacrifices the emotions and value of an individual patient’s life for the efficiency of technical procedures. In today’s fast-paced society, medical technology and antibiotics advance but only attend to the superficial health of a patient. Narrative medicine is an effort to re-humanize healthcare by integrating empathy and an openness for narrating patient or doctor experience into clinical practices. Research shows that promoting “storytelling” in clinical environments allows for better diagnosis, stronger patient-doctor relationships, and improved patient health. In my research I plan to study the effect that narration has on practicing clinicians, such as medical students, in their ability to diagnose, increase patient return, and extrapolate new patient conditions. By developing a Likert scale and surveying three samples of medical students – a group in the Student Health Outreach for Wellness (SHOW) Clinic, a group in the Humans of SHOW program within the SHOW Clinic, and a group in a clinical setting that does not promote narrative medicine – we can determine how and to what extent “storytelling” impacts a clinician’s experience in patient care. This investigation can serve as a breakthrough in non-invasive treatments and patient care by posing the clinical environment as an emotional outlet for patients and doctors alike.

Christopher James P.

Solution to Pollution: Creating Plastic-Eating Bacteria

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Christopher James P.

Solution to Pollution: Creating Plastic-Eating Bacteria

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Rachna Nath
Internship location: School of Life Sciences Department at Arizona State University
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Gary Tahmahkera , Lab Coordinator
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Plastic pollution is one of the most pressing problems facing modern society. “Recycling” plastic does not actually reduce the amount of new plastic produced because plastic breaks down progressively as it is recycled, causing manufacturers to need to produce newer, stronger plastic. Scientists based in Japan discovered a bacteria capable of breaking down plastic to its basic components which can be reused to recreate plastic without decreasing the strength of the plastic. Unfortunately, the bacteria was found to be too slow at degrading plastic. My project aims to genetically modify this bacteria and increase its growth rate, which would increase the rate at which it consumes plastic. The creation of a bacteria capable of efficiently breaking down plastic would negate the need to constantly produce new plastic and provide a viable means to removing the plastic polluting our environment.

Crystal V.

Through the Looking Glass: Nutrition on Academics in Vietnam

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Crystal V.

Through the Looking Glass: Nutrition on Academics in Vietnam

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Raechl Kynor
Internship location: Three Schools in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
Onsite Mentor: Ms. Thanh Vo, Literature Teacher
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Have you ever wondered how nutrition may impact how we perform on a daily basis? The goal of this project is to explore the extent of nutrition’s impact on adolescent academic performance in Saigon, Vietnam. Nutrition is an important factor in a child’s learning development, impacting concentration, behavior, and cognitive ability. From fresh poultry to herbs grown right in back of the restaurant, Vietnam is a food hub comprised of proud cooks and passionate eaters. In a city with a rich history and a refined cuisine influenced by the French, I will uncover the food options readily available in Saigon, determine their nutritional value, and compare their diet to the American standard of healthy eating. As previously studied by many researchers and dietitians, data shows that a lack of nutrition positively correlates to lower academic performance in students. However, does the same result apply to an audience on the other side of the world? By conducting this project, not only will I be able to explore the importance of a healthy diet in children, but also bring awareness to a country in which nutrition has not been widely studied.

Elijah P.

BASIS: A Cultural Perspective

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Elijah P.

BASIS: A Cultural Perspective

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Natalie Wilcoxen
Internship location: BASIS D.C.
Onsite Mentor: Mrs. Heather Vita, Head of Operations
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With the number of charter schools in the United States on the rise, students and families face an incredible diversity of choice when selecting a competitive high school program. The BASIS academic program was first introduced by Michael and Olga Block when they opened BASIS Tucson in 1998. Over the last 18 years, BASIS has dominated lists of the most rigorous high school programs in the country. By interviewing students and faculty at both the Washington, D.C. and Ahwatukee campuses, I hope to establish and articulate what school culture exists on these different campuses and how this school culture affects the academic, social, or personal needs of its students. Conducting this research will provide students and faculty an opportunity to reflect on the BASIS experience while also providing insight into what makes the BASIS model unique both in an Arizona and Washington, D.C. context.

Max B.

Determining the Hubble Constant

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Max B.

Determining the Hubble Constant

BASIS advisor: Dr. Shawn Whaley
Internship location: Earth and Space Exploration Department at Arizona State University
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Nathaniel Butler, Assistant Professor of Astrophysics
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In 1925, American astronomer Edwin Hubble determined that universe is expanding. Then, in 1998, with the launch of the Hubble Telescope, astronomers found that the universe expands at an increasing rate, prompting experts to debate the rate at which that expansion occurs. This rate, the Hubble Constant, is one of the most important cosmological values because it allows astronomers to determine the universe’s age and size. Several astronomers have made Hubble Constant calculations, but due to their own individual data, the answers they arrive at vary. With recent innovations in technology, however, they have come to a closer conclusion. For this project, I will imitate the measurements made by astronomers in order to find the rate at which the universe is expanding through the use of Python, a programming language, which will allow me to input data collected from supernovas. This data includes redshift (the change of light in space), velocity, and distance. All these values will be vital in my contribution to finding the universe’s rate of expansion.