The BASIS.ed
Senior Projects 2017

The Senior Project at BASIS Chandler 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 Chandler 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

Amy Z.

Empirical Analysis of Nature's Cellual Designs

See project info

Amy Z.

Empirical Analysis of Nature's Cellual Designs

BASIS advisor: Dr. Patricia Pearson
Internship location: Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Dhruv Bhate, Senior Technologist
Visit project blog

From Velcro to bullet trains, biomimicry is seen everywhere in modern technology. Research is expanding the potential of biomimicry by studying the cellular shape and structure of animal shells. Based on these shells, engineers can potentially improve industrial curved surfaces such as aircrafts and submarines for better mechanical performance while lowering material and environmental costs. Structural research could be of interest to the aerospace, automotive and larger manufacturing industries. My research explore the feasibility of establishing a mathematical relationship between an animal shell’s geometry and the shape and size of the cells that comprise it. Through a combination of 3D scanning, 3D printed models, and reading to gather data, my goal is to find an empirical explanation for the differences in cellular shape between similar species of animals.

Aniruddh K.

Data acquisition and statistical analysis in process engineering

See project info

Aniruddh K.

Data acquisition and statistical analysis in process engineering

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Teva Clark
Internship location: Microtech Southwest
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Andy Clark, Director of Engineering
Visit project blog

Behavioral analysis of data in process systems is the ultimate application of my accumulated experiences in high school statistics, mathematics, and physics. The processes themselves are derived from mathematical and physical models, and are streamlined using optimization methods that are at the heart of calculus. As the theoretically formulated processes are turned into production, statistical analysis is used to isolate and perfect different aspects of the procedures to ensure the utmost efficiency of the overall system. Research in process engineering is essential to improving industrial practices. In the case of plastic injection molding, inefficiencies in production process result in the disruption in the uniformity of the product, excess wastage of materials, and other potential disasters related to inconsistent measurements and calibrations of machines. The use of data driven methods to analyze the entirety of the production process assists with the perpetual task of improving and optimizing the outputs while reducing errors and eliminating opportunities for failure.

Arhum M.

Experimental Progress on Pancreatic Cancer Cells

See project info

Arhum M.

Experimental Progress on Pancreatic Cancer Cells

BASIS advisor: Mr. Matthew Cole
Internship location: Tgen-Pancreatic Research Center
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Haiyong Han, Professor, Clinical Translational Research Division
Visit project blog

Scientists can use 3-D models of pancreatic cancer cells to understand the ways they work and how they interact with their surroundings. My research starts with the development of spheroids, which are the above-mentioned 3-D models. I plan to experiment on the metabolic pathways created after these spheroids are developed. Pancreatic cancer cells tend to do glycolysis. Therefore, my experiments will attempt to check how the glycolysis can be altered. There is also potential for drug testing. Certain drugs can be tested, and how these drugs affect the cells can be measured.

Genevieve W.

The Correlation Between Outreach Events and Sales

See project info

Genevieve W.

The Correlation Between Outreach Events and Sales

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Teva Clark
Internship location: Slalom Consulting
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Jim Sikora , General Manager
Visit project blog

Companies are always looking to increase their sales and profits, whether that means selling goods or providing services to paying consumers. While interning with Slalom Phoenix this past summer, the office held a technologies training session to which they invited many current and prospective clients. By inviting those outside their own office to participate in the training event, they allowed for more people to learn about their company and in turn may have increased their sales. If there is a correlation between holding events like technologies training sessions and an increase in sales, then a company could use such events as an effective marketing strategy to increase company profits and build relationships with current and potential clientele. The goal for my project is to find if there is a significant correlation between holding events and increase in sales. My research will use Slalom Phoenix’s sales and events data to determine if there is convincing evidence of a significant correlation between sales and outreach through the use of Excel and Minitab programs to manipulate to into normalized and analyzable data.

Huy N.

Trends of Declining Teen Driving Accidents and What To Do Next

See project info

Huy N.

Trends of Declining Teen Driving Accidents and What To Do Next

BASIS advisor: Dr. Peter Delannoy
Internship location: Phoenix Children's Hospital
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Lois Sayrs, Director of Research, ASU Center for Child Well-Being, Evaluation Methodologist
Visit project blog

Accidents caused by teen driving have been on a decline since the introduction of the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL). The GDL puts restrictions on new drivers under the age of 18 for the first six months of vehicle operation. These restrictions limit distractions, including other people in the car by allowing only one passenger until those first six months are over (with exceptions such as family members). The GDL has shown empirical success for its duration until the last 4 years, when there has been another rise of accidents. This project will tackle this upward trend in order to prevent casualty through availability change and political change. The first step is to gather data to create a correlation of Trauma Center certification to teen driving accidents to observe how hospital organizations are reacting to these accidents. The data collected comes from previous the trauma center certification websites, through public means, and from the Phoenix Children’s Hospital database. The second step is to search the correlations throughout each state and create a change in our governmental policy to lower the rate of teen driving accidents again. This project will be completed through data collection and empirical analysis in order to give resounding information to the state legislature in order to strive for a change that will keep our upcoming generation, our future leaders, safe.

Irene Z.

Stem Cell Applications in Nerve Cell Regeneration

See project info

Irene Z.

Stem Cell Applications in Nerve Cell Regeneration

BASIS advisor: Dr. Karyn Fought
Internship location: Anicell Biotech
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Brandon Ames, President/CEO
Visit project blog

Nerve cell regeneration is a field of research constantly changing and improving, with stem cell applications as a part of the most cutting-edge research. Neuroregeneration has applications in all kinds of injuries, disorders, and disabilities. Like all science, the solution isn’t straightforward. Stem cells used to try to stimulate growth and repair parts of the nervous system, especially the central nervous system, often do not function properly. The question is, why? In relation to my internship with AniCell Biotech, a startup company that specializes in amniotic stem cell products for veterinary use, this project researches the complexities of stem cells and neuroregeneration. This includes studying applications of stem cells in other fields of medical research and why they work in other treatments, the current biggest issues with nerve cell regeneration and its effects on the body, and how stem cells can or cannot contribute to nerve cell regeneration and why. By better understanding such questions and their answers, we could make our way to some sense of clarity in such a complicated topic, fully appreciating the intricacies of clinical research and science, in all its difficult glory.

Isaac M.

Metalloproteins - Expanding the "Worker" Molecule of the Human Body

See project info

Isaac M.

Metalloproteins - Expanding the "Worker" Molecule of the Human Body

BASIS advisor: Mr. Matthew Cole
Internship location: ASU
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Mills, Assistant Professor, School of Molecular Sciences
Visit project blog

Metalloproteins are proteins that contain a metal ion cofactor and compose between a quarter and half of all proteins in the human body. This metal cofactor typically dictates the protein’s function and influences a protein to complete tasks varying from oxygen transportation to signal transduction, like the “fight or flight” reflex. In addition to making up a significant amount of the body’s proteins, metalloproteins are relatively easy to design and implement in biological/cellular models. The Mills Lab at ASU Biodesign aims to increase our understanding of metalloprotein functionality and further develop these biological “worker” molecules to broaden their applicability. My research at this lab works to form specific molecules and analyze the structures and functions of the created compounds. To provide further education on proteomics and amino acids for the next generation of scientists, I am also working to develop a supplemental educational tool for biology students using Foldit software.

Jaeyoung K.

The Apis mellifera GABAa Receptor (Rdl) in the Olfactory Circuit in the Honey Bee Brain

See project info

Jaeyoung K.

The Apis mellifera GABAa Receptor (Rdl) in the Olfactory Circuit in the Honey Bee Brain

BASIS advisor: Dr. Karyn Fought
Internship location: ASU School of Life Sciences
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Brian Smith , Trustees of ASU Professor, School of Life Sciences
Visit project blog

The work in the Smith Lab at Arizona State University is part of an ongoing project: “The Apis mellifera GABAa Receptor (Rdl) in the Olfactory Circuit in the Honey Bee Brain.” The Smith Lab investigates processes of learning and memory associated with olfactory cues. The lab uses behavioral analyses, fluorescence microscopy and molecular biology techniques on insect and mouse model animals. Through previous investigations the researchers established the importance of inhibitory signals, particularly from GABAa receptors, in the honey bee’s ability to process olfactory information. The lab developed the knockdown experiments in which the GABAa receptor level can be decreased. In the behavioral paradigm, the Smith Lab notably takes advantage of the Proboscis Extension feeding Reflex (PER) while conditioning bees to associate certain scents (odor) with the presence of food (sucrose). The research in the behavioral experiments involved observing the changes in the bees’ behavior toward odors by using the PER technique on bees with low versus normal levels of GABAa receptors. Processing of olfactory information in bee brains begins in the antennal lobe (AL). The presence of GABAa receptors in the AL was already established in the Smith Lab. However, it was not known what type of antennal lobe neurons express the receptor. Work in the neuroanatomical experiment involved identifying AL neurons that express the GABAa receptor by using both neuronal tracers to label different types of AL neurons and immunofluorescence techniques with anti-GABAa receptor antibodies.

Jai Pranav K.

Machine Vision Technology in Plastic Fabrication and Injection Molding of Battery Seals

See project info

Jai Pranav K.

Machine Vision Technology in Plastic Fabrication and Injection Molding of Battery Seals

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Teva Clark
Internship location: Microtech Southwest
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Andy Clark, Director of Engineering
Visit project blog

Machine vision technology is becoming a requisite for many manufacturers because it can be used to improve quality while also providing automation. Vision systems are approximately defined as computers equipped with the sensors and facilities needed to first identify, then examine, then communicate vital information with high accuracy and precision. Errors in the manufacturing process are immediately detected, allowing necessary modifications to be done quickly and efficiently. This means that a vision system identifies, examines, and communicates critical information all at once, and provides for consistent quality in manufacturing products. As such, they are widely prevalent in many fields, including the automotive, semiconductor and electronics industries. My project will consider them mainly in their use in plastic fabrication and injection molding, specifically with respect to the inspection of battery seals at MicroTech Southwest. I will focus on the utility, efficacy, and efficiency of this technology in manufacturing fields, as well as the comparative advantage of machine vision technology over other methods or technologies.

John B.

E-CVT: The Next Generation of SAE Transmissions

See project info

John B.

E-CVT: The Next Generation of SAE Transmissions

BASIS advisor: Mr. Matthew Smith
Internship location: ASU Polytechnic Campus
Onsite Mentor: Mr. James Contes , Senior Lecturer, Polytechnic School of Engineering
Visit project blog

The ASU Polytechnic campus houses a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja team, in which students take part in the design and construction of a fully-functioning off-road car. Every spring the team enters their new car into competitions against Baja teams from other colleges. For my project, I will be working with a team on developing new technology to convert a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) from a mechanical system to an electrical one. A mechanical CVT uses a belt system to keep the car in an optimal gear while driving. The goal of an E-CVT is to significantly increase the output of the car’s transmission by reducing the amount of time spent at lower-than-peak efficiency. If our endeavor succeeds, ASU will become the first university in the nation to have their team implement an electronic CVT (E-CVT). This project focuses on how the E-CVT was designed, and on just how advantageous it will prove to be in the Baja competition.

Kristy T.

Using the Virtual World to Combat Anxiety in the Real World

See project info

Kristy T.

Using the Virtual World to Combat Anxiety in the Real World

BASIS advisor: Ms. Sandra Gelblicht
Internship location: University of Advancing Technology
Onsite Mentor: Derric Clark, Instructor, Video Games and Virtual Reality
Visit project blog

New applications for virtual reality (VR) technology have revolutionized industry. While devices like Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift are widely used for gaming, there are practical applications of VR technology in the healthcare field as well. My project investigates the feasibility of using VR technology to reduce anxiety, particularly in the college sphere. Mental health can be easily overlooked during the hustle and excitement of college years. Innovation that facilitates a smooth lifestyle transition may positively impact students’ well-being. My study assesses the difference in college students’ anxiety levels after immersion into a soothing visual and auditory environment created with an HTC Vive. By comparing the results of a meditative experience and an interactive experience, I will test the effectiveness of each method. Although a quick VR session should not become a replacement for quality human interaction or a good night’s sleep, the realistic content of VR could serve as an interesting escape for the tech-savvy generation.

Nikash H.

Equine amniotic allograft for veterinary regenerative treatment

See project info

Nikash H.

Equine amniotic allograft for veterinary regenerative treatment

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Vidya Ananthnarayan
Internship location: Anicell Biotech
Onsite Mentor: Brandon Ames , President/CEO
Visit project blog

The use of stem cells for regenerative therapy is still a developing scientific field. Currently, stem cells can be used to treat a variety of injuries. Anicell Biotech is also interested in healing injuries; however, they are going a different route. Rather than using everyday bone marrow stem cells, Anicell uses amniotic components (amnion is the innermost membrane that encloses the embryo of a mammal and contains a high number of stem cells). Amnion is being used to help dogs and horses recover from what once used to be considered debilitating injuries. Anicell is one of the few companies using amniotic stem cells for regenerative purposes. My research is dedicated to finding out whether amniotic stem cells are more efficient at wound healing than their bone marrow counterparts. If equine amniotic cells prove to be more effective than stem cells, then veterinarians will switch to only using equine amniotic stem cells and thus can improve the quality of their patients’ lives by being better able to treat them.

Rachael K.

Building a Sensory Garden

See project info

Rachael K.

Building a Sensory Garden

BASIS advisor: Ms. Theresa Gburek
Internship location: Chandler Environmental Center
Onsite Mentor: Ms. Daniella Rodriguez, Recreation Coordinator
Visit project blog

Sensory gardens are composed to appeal to all five senses. Each plant is specifically chosen based on what it will bring to the overall atmosphere of the garden, whether that is a beautiful scent in the spring, a brilliant color in the dead of winter, or even the relaxing sound of birds chirping in the trees. The challenge of building such a garden is in choosing and caring for the plants, especially in Arizona’s scorching, arid conditions. So each plant must be meticulously curated not only for what it brings to the garden but also for its ability to survive. Sensory gardens can be of great use to communities since they bring social benefits, and can also be used for therapeutic purposes like helping those with sensory processing disorders. On par with the mission of the Environmental Education Center, the garden I will create for my project is proposed to be completely inclusive: every visitor can enjoy at least part of what the garden has to offer.

Raj S.

Determining the Dependence of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Expression on Opioid Receptors

See project info

Raj S.

Determining the Dependence of Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Expression on Opioid Receptors

BASIS advisor: Mr. Matthew Cole
Internship location: Barrow Neurological Institute
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Yongchang Chang, Associate Professor, Division of Neurobiology
Visit project blog

Although the α6β2β3 nAChR subtype might seem an obscure topic, it is actually critical in rewarding nicotine addiction. When the genes for this specific receptor subtype are inactivated, mice have been shown to stop self-administering nicotine because they consequently lack the receptors necessary to release dopamine (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter behind many addictions) upon nicotine administration. Similarly disabling these receptors in humans could have a remarkable impact on smoking cessation. Unfortunately, we are not yet certain because these receptors are extremely difficult to recreate in frog oocytes (egg cells), which are typically used to study receptor function due to their manipulability. Researchers hypothesize that in order to successfully express the genes for these receptors in frog oocytes, they must be inserted alongside genes coding for opioid receptors. This lab is testing this hypothesis by injecting the oocytes with both types of DNA, then using a voltage clamp to survey any electrical responses indicating successful expression. If this hypothesis proves correct, further research can determine the function of these apparently critical receptors and how to utilize them to combat nicotine addiction.

Ritika G.

Developing Better Screening and Awareness for Dyslexia

See project info

Ritika G.

Developing Better Screening and Awareness for Dyslexia

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Sandra Gelblicht
Internship location: Healing Hearts Pediatrics
Onsite Mentor: Nilam Khurana, Pediatrician/Co-Founder
Visit project blog

At this moment, there is no treatment to cure dyslexia; scientists must first discover the cause of this disability. Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. The goal of my project is to develop an efficient questionnaire for the diagnosis of dyslexia at an early age. My research includes four phases. Phase one addresses identifying the positive predicted value. Phase two develops version one of a questionnaire. Phase three is the first test of the questionnaire. Phase four is the review, revision, and rollout of an adequate screening tool for health care providers to test an efficiency spectrum for ultimate diagnosis of the issue.

Robert W.

SAE Baja Engineering with Soildworks 3D Modeling

See project info

Robert W.

SAE Baja Engineering with Soildworks 3D Modeling

BASIS advisor: Mr. Robert Cash
Internship location: ASU Polytechnic Campus
Onsite Mentor: Mr. James Contes , Senior Lecturer, Polytechnic School of Engineering
Visit project blog

Arizona State University’s mini Baja racing team fabricates 99% percent of the new car every year, including parts like chassis, power train, and break systems. Before the team even begins fabricating, however, countless hours are spent designing and modeling the pieces to ensure durability to withstand the extreme forces that the cars undergo while racing in the events like the rock crawl, the acceleration test, and the four-hour endurance course. To do this, the team uses Solidworks. Using this program, this project will document data on stresses of individual parts of the car as well as the documentation and replication of as much of the car as possible. The first step of my project will be to get more familiar with the car and program. More exact measurements of the car will need to be taken so that the car can be replicated in the Solidworks program. The second step will come when the car is completed and enters its testing phase before competition. The strength testing in the Solidworks program will be compared to the testing in the field.

Theodore N.

Teenage Depression: Detection and Solutions

See project info

Theodore N.

Teenage Depression: Detection and Solutions

BASIS advisor: Michael Spanne
Internship location: Camelback Pediatrics
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Kristin Struble, Pediatrician
Visit project blog

Depression is a common problem which plagues thousands of teens each year. As many as 20% of teens will experience depression, but only 30% of those cases are detected. Pediatric offices, such as Camelback Pediatrics where this project will occur, are extremely important in the detection and treatment of teenage depression. Detection of this disorder is typically achieved through an oral or written survey. The effects of depression can be long-lasting and difficult to resolve, so early detection and assistance is important. Following extensive research on the topic of teenage depression, the doctors of Camelback Pediatrics, in conjunction with their Maintenance of Certification (MOC) project are researching and enhancing aspects of these necessary procedures. Once confirmed and updated, depression disorders can be better detected and addressed medically.

Vijeeth G.

Expanding the Frontiers of Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

See project info

Vijeeth G.

Expanding the Frontiers of Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy

BASIS advisor: Mr. Matthew Cole
Internship location: Anicell Biotech
Onsite Mentor: Mr. Brandon Ames, President/CEO
Visit project blog

The largest growth spurt we experience isn’t when we’re 12 or 13 – it’s the nine months we spend in the womb, rapidly growing and developing. AniCell Biotech capitalizes on this fact, collecting amnion and amniotic fluid during animal birth and using them to produce stem cell-based treatments for otherwise unhealable wounds. Primarily focused on animal wounds at the moment, their product has generated tremendous results, greatly reducing the risk of infection and the need for euthanizations by bringing about quick and effective healing. As displayed by AniCell’s success, stem cells have tremendous potential to be an integral part of medicine’s future. My project takes inspiration from this and attempts to slowly expand the applications of stem cells, possibly starting with the improvement of existing treatments. By conducting independent research on stem cell therapy while simultaneously experiencing AniCell’s collection and production process, we can effectively explore this subject, observing the efficiency of existing treatments and linking them to studies on stem cell utilization. A few decades ago, stem cell therapy was an unimaginable concept, but now, it could very well be an important part of our futures, and is worth examining further.

Yixue (Anna) C.

Andrew Mellon and the Early 20th Century Economic Policy of the United States

See project info

Yixue (Anna) C.

Andrew Mellon and the Early 20th Century Economic Policy of the United States

BASIS advisor: Mr. Michael Hatch
Internship location: Coolidge Foundation
Onsite Mentor: Rushad Thomas , Program and Editorial Associate
Visit project blog

Andrew Mellon, a titan of industry in the 19th and 20th centuries, has been lambasted as a “robber baron” who manipulated government and exploited the common man for personal interests. However, Mellon was an influential figure who used sound economic judgement to further the growth of the American economy in the 1920s. The project will investigate the economic policies Andrew Mellon implemented or influenced as Secretary of Treasury. I will primarily use historical research methods at the Arizona State University’s library to complete a final paper. The Coolidge Foundation and Ms. Amity Shlaes, a trustee of the foundation and author of the biography Coolidge, will contribute perspectives of Mellon during his tenure as Secretary of the Treasury. I will contact economics, political science and history professors in local state universities to advise me on my research. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and authors who have conducted in-depth research into Mellon’s life will also add to my research on Mellon’s role as a policymaker and everyday citizen. Blogging on the foundation’s website will expand the scope of my research and reveal lessons from various aspects of Mellon’s life. By consolidating these historical perspectives and analyzing them in contrast with the relevant economic and historical data, I hope to make conclusions about policy that can be utilized to strengthen America’s modern economy.