The BASIS.ed
Senior Projects 2017

The Senior Project at BASIS Peoria 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 Peoria is one of 10 BASIS Curriculum 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

Adam R.

Preventing Airline Accidents

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Adam R.

Preventing Airline Accidents

BASIS advisor: Nick Leonardi
Onsite Mentor: April Eaton
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Despite all of the advancements in aviation that have occurred in the last century, aircraft still occasionally collide with terrain. The purpose of my project is to discover the errors that exist in current iterations of terrain avoidance and warning software (TAWS) and potential remedies for said issues. My research is conducted through the analysis of post-accident reports compiled by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), software testing conducted at ACSS, and software experimentation within a King Air aircraft. What my research has currently led me to conclude is that nuisance alerts are the leading cause for controlled flight into terrain accidents (CFIT). Once the errors in the TAWS software are brought to light, then hopefully any problems can be solved. Hopefully, these solutions would result in fewer preventable deaths.

Akansha M.

What is the Real F-Word?

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Akansha M.

What is the Real F-Word?

BASIS advisor: Ms. Ainslie
Internship location: National Organization for Women
Onsite Mentor: Kathryn Baumgardner
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In a world divided by polarization (and the perception of polarization) in the news and social media, getting neutral information has become a struggle. My project attemps to combine journalism, social media studies, and gender studies– I want to find a way to disseminate information about feminism without any negative stigma. To accomplish this goal, I surveyed a variety of adults who regularly employ social media, and focused my efforts on a particular group. Hopefully, my efforts to spread reliable information without any strong bias will not only aid my peers in understanding the dangers of narrow-minded perception, but will also encourage more open and safe discussion of previously controversial and avoided topics.

Alonza B.

Theatrical Character Development in Children vs Adults

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Alonza B.

Theatrical Character Development in Children vs Adults

BASIS advisor: Kathryn Grilliot
Internship location: BASIS Peoria
Onsite Mentor: Kathryn Grilliot, Sid Adams, Theater Teacher
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Studies have often asked whether children are inherently more creative and imaginative than adults in literary or artistic settings. But what about the realm of the theatre? Every actor goes through some kind of process when deciding how to present their character in a performance. Some may imagine a background story for the role in question. Others might analyze the script, searching for clues to the character’s motivations and personality. Researchers studying this process have discovered the influence that certain psychological traits, such as a strong sense of empathy, have on an actor’s ability to successfully portray each new character. This project seeks to explore the variations in characterization processes across different age groups (5th grade-Adult), with special consideration of the psychological factors involved. Data is collected via a curated survey, which was designed to measure the frequency of several characterization methods and to gauge the effect of empathy and imaginative thinking on the final performed result. I expect that results will indicate the benefits of including theatre in the larger educational process.

Arjun B.

Health Education: An Issue at a Crossroads

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Arjun B.

Health Education: An Issue at a Crossroads

BASIS advisor: Dr. Georgi
Internship location: Bloom365
Onsite Mentor: Donna Bartos, Executive Director
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The purpose of this research is to better understand the current state of health education for youth in Arizona. Arizona currently ranks in the top fifteen for teen STD contraction and teen pregnancy. On a national scale, one in three teens faces dating violence and rape in their adolescence. For my research, I will survey teenagers about a variety of topics regarding health and sex in order to better understand their current comprehension. I will then survey them again following their health education. The research should indicate the benefit of a comprehensive health education. By demonstrating the deficiencies and successes of health education, I will be able to create a curriculum that would foster safer and more responsible decision-making for teens.

Arjun S.

A Study on how Different Acting Techniques Affect Confidence Levels

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Arjun S.

A Study on how Different Acting Techniques Affect Confidence Levels

BASIS advisor: Melissa Georgi
Internship location: Dearing Acting Studio
Onsite Mentor: Sarah Harvey
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It is generally stated that acting is a practice that can boost a person’s confidence. This research project aims to elaborate upon that statement. There are multiple forms of acting that require different skills and talents. Does learning one acting technique (such as improv) over another (such as commercial acting) boost a person’s confidence levels in different ways? I hope that my time spent at the Dearing Acting Studio will help me not only to answer this question, but to find an application for my research. I also want to see the validity in implementing acting techniques in young children’s school curriculum in order to boost children’s self confidence from an early age.

Brendan M.

Dr. Robot: Marrying Engineering and Medicine for the Future

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Brendan M.

Dr. Robot: Marrying Engineering and Medicine for the Future

BASIS advisor: Dr. Georgi
Internship location: ASU Tempe
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Marvi, Professor
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Robots have quite a pervasive presence in the world we live in. My goal in conducting this research is to investigate the feasibility of designing, fabricating, and operating magnetically actuated medical micro-robots. This topic is quite uncharted, as the concept of medical micro-robotics is quite a fledgling field. To assess “feasibility,” a variety of smaller investigations into specific aspects of the robots’ functions (mainly locomotion and other actuation) will be conducted. As these investigations reveal that implementing medical micro-robots is actually quite difficult, the only question now is exactly how difficult, or in what time frame can such implementation occur. If the service crucial to the lives of billions of humans (medicine) can be improved to the point of micro-scale precision and the virtual eradication of human error, what are we waiting for? Say hello to Dr. Robot.

Daria S.

A Man's Best Friend? And Helper

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Daria S.

A Man's Best Friend? And Helper

BASIS advisor: Ricki Miller
Internship location: PowerPaws and FSDS
Onsite Mentor: Meg Flynn and Veronica Wiley
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The purpose of this project is to research how service dog institutions provide emotional support for their clients aside from training their service dog. Additionally, this project will determine any prejudices and misconceptions younger generations hold about service dogs and their handlers. The first step in this project involves attending training classes at two service dog training facilities, and observing training methodologies and client-trainer interactions. Next, a sample of the BASIS Peoria student population (5th-8th grade) will be surveyed to gather data on a younger generation’s views on service dogs. This study is intended to reveal which aspects of the service dog world are not emphasized to the younger public. The findings will then be used to create a presentation about service dogs to address any misconceptions identified in the survey, and to raise awareness of service dogs and their true purpose.

DJ M.

Leveling Up Cooperation

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DJ M.

Leveling Up Cooperation

BASIS advisor: Andrew Estes
Internship location: BASIS Peoria
Onsite Mentor: Jayme Dunn, Director of Student Affairs
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The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there is a correlation between team-based video games and cooperation, and to understand how to cultivate that relationship if there is one. During the course of the experiment, groups of fifth grade students in Late Bird, the BASIS Peoria afterschool program, volunteered as participants and were organized into two groups. The first group of students were exposed daily to a multi-player, team-based video game called Vainglory; the other group played different games. Since cooperation is not an easily measurable quantity, data for the experiment came statistics from physical teamwork-based activities that students in both groups also participated in. The anticipated outcome of the research would be that team-based video games do enhance a person’s cooperative skills. With an understanding of this research, cooperative skills can be better cultivated and developed for generations of people so that teamwork in schools, businesses, and other communities can be greatly enhanced.

Doyle B.

Music and Memory in Patients with Dementia

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Doyle B.

Music and Memory in Patients with Dementia

BASIS advisor: Mr. Kwit
Internship location: Scottsdale Memory Care
Onsite Mentor: Michelle/Lisa, Doctor
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This research project is meant to provide an answer to the question: does being around music affect retention in memory loss patients? The goal is to determine if music has any effect, and if so, whether or not there is a pattern among the patients which shows that music is either beneficial or damaging. This research project focuses on patients with dementia, a degenerative brain disorder which inhibits memory as the patient gets older. Dementia affects each person differently, and progresses at different rates. I am conducting my research through volunteering in a memory care facility that supports individuals with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and by talking with the residents there and observing their reactions to music. There does seem so far to be a general positive reaction to live music, indicating that there could be a positive effect on these people’s memory as a result of music. This research is significant as it hopefully will indicate that music can act as a retention therapy, resulting in better, clearer memories of patients’ past and present, and perhaps even as a method of combating developing memory loss.

Genevieve Q.

How High School Culture Affects the Value of Education in Arizona

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Genevieve Q.

How High School Culture Affects the Value of Education in Arizona

BASIS advisor: Jamie Dunn
Internship location: Sunset Heights Elementary School
Onsite Mentor: Danielle Bell, Teacher
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Arizona’s education has always been lacking; whether it be due to the ever decreasing funding from the state or the low morale of public school teachers, our state has been near the bottom of the charts for educational standards for far too long. My project investigates if the high school culture in Arizona’s public, charter, and private schools affects the quality of education that students receive just as much as the bureaucracy behind the schooling system. It also evaluates any discrepancies between the types of schools in question–if the academic-centric culture in BASIS, for example, leads to a more effective education than a public school with a broader focus on sports, art, and socializing. My research is conducted in the form of surveys to collect hard data and interviews to provide personal insight from high school students themselves, compiled in a documentary-style presentation. In general, I have found that high school culture shapes not only students’ academic experience, but also their personalities and opinions outside of school. High school is, whether we like it or not, something everyone must go through. Gaining personalized insight into the culture surrounding students’ everyday lives demonstrates more about education than simply test scores and statistics–it reveals what students gain as human beings.

Ionut (Daniel) T.

Academic Achievement Motivation and Conformity

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Ionut (Daniel) T.

Academic Achievement Motivation and Conformity

BASIS advisor: Andy Estes
Internship location: ASU
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My project examines achievement motivation and how it relates to conformity. Achievement motivation is an individual’s need to achieve. Atkinson (1957) made a distinction between two components of achievement motivation: the need for success and the fear of failure. Whether or not people are motivated to achieve, they have specific aims around achievement and approaches to success. This is where goal-orientations come in. There are four goal-orientation variables: performance-approach, performance-avoidance, mastery-approach, and mastery-approach. However, many authors feel we should consider achievement goals as having two parts: what and why. Therefore, they have suggested autonomous and controlling reasons for pursuing goals—autonomous being mostly internal and controlling being largely external to the individual. Michou et al. (2014) studied these goal orientations and reasons, and found links between the need for achievement, Map goals, Pap goals, and autonomous reasons; as well as fear of failure and Pap goals, Pav goals, and controlling reasons. In this study, I would like to see if these links hold up through overlaying conformity as a variable. Conformity is the act of changing one’s behavior to fit into a group. This study will specifically try to correlate achievement motivation with achievement goals and reasons, and conformity.

Julia G.

Let's Talk About It: Understanding the Science Behind Speech and Language

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Julia G.

Let's Talk About It: Understanding the Science Behind Speech and Language

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Hagerman
Internship location: Arizona State University Tempe
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Shelley Gray and Dr. Beate Peter, Professor
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The average child learns to speak with little effort on the parents’ part, but what really influences a child’s acquisition of language? Through analysis of children’s performance in a computer game, my project tests the links between working memory and language acquisition. Reaction time, word learning, and association abilities were tested to gain insight into how other functions of the brain relate to speech and language. This research can create more effective schooling systems and instruct teachers on how to structure lessons that complement a child’s working memory and language learning abilities.

Landon D.

Remote-Control Skies: Airspace Security during the Age of the Drone

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Landon D.

Remote-Control Skies: Airspace Security during the Age of the Drone

BASIS advisor: Nick Leonardi
Internship location: Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Sam Siewert, Professor
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The utilization of unmanned aerial systems (drones) in national airspace provides a uniquely challenging opportunity for America’s aviation industry. With over 7 million drones added to the market annually, the task of maintaining the security of our airspace is indeed a predicament for air traffic controllers. Drones do not respond to traditional methods of identifying aircraft such as primary and secondary radar. A joint research team at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Colorado: Boulder are cooperatively designing and testing a new drone detection device called the “Drone Net.” The device operates as a software-defined multispectral photometer that can be deployed on rooftops or other ground-based locations. The purpose of this project is to explore the viability of Drone Net and determine its practical accuracy and limitations. Upon conducting several field tests, gathering information about effective range, orientation and sensor fusion, it has become clear that Drone Net is an incredibly powerful open architecture. Upon the completion of Drone Net’s university research term, the system will be recommended to key agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security, for integration into national airspace. In sensitive areas, such as airports and university campuses, the ability to easily and quickly deploy systems to detect, identify, and classify drones is principal to the prevention of drone-related crime.

Mannat R.

Maximization of the Vertical Acceleration of a Quadcopter

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Mannat R.

Maximization of the Vertical Acceleration of a Quadcopter

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Heinzer
Internship location: Kutta Technologies
Onsite Mentor: Laura Ridenour, Engineer
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This project is intended to transform an off-the-shelf quadcopter to a much faster model. This involves maximizing its upward acceleration through modifications in its hardware. My research will be conducted at Kutta Technologies in two ways: simulations and modifications to a real quadcopter. This research will show how differences in propellers and the hardware of a quadcopter can cause an increase in its speed. I believe my work has many practical applications, as it will allow people to transform cheap drones into high-speed machines. It also has applications in the military, as faster drones will allow for quicker surveillance if needed in an emergency situation.

Marisa G.

From Proteins to Physiology: The Causes and Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

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Marisa G.

From Proteins to Physiology: The Causes and Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Miller
Internship location: Barrow Neurological Institute
Onsite Mentor: Dr. Glynnis Zieman, Doctor
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The primary purpose of this research is to determine the impact of brain injury rehabilitation on domestic violence victims with a history of traumatic brain injury. Patients in this population frequently experience some form of traumatic brain injury during their lifetime as a result of their increased exposure to recurrent head and neck trauma. These injuries can have long-term physiological, emotional, and cognitive effects which require consistent treatment. This study involves an analysis of traumatic brain injury patients before and after they undergo speech therapy over an extended period. By comparing symptom severity among patients in speech therapy and patients not in speech therapy, we can identify a positive correlation between the use of speech therapy and patient progress. This information could help improve health care access for traumatic brain injury patients in the future.

Nicole M.

Injury Profile and Prevention Program

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Nicole M.

Injury Profile and Prevention Program

BASIS advisor: Dr. Georgi
Internship location: Foothills Sports Medicine
Onsite Mentor: Itamar Stern
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Can dance injuries be prevented before the injury is treated at a physical therapy office? Every dance studio has different methods to train their dancers. As a result, each studio also has a unique set of injuries that are common among their dancers. By tracking the injuries at a dance studio, the data will reveal the common weaknesses in the studio’s training. With this information, dance teachers can add exercises that will strengthen the commonly weak muscles and decrease the rate of injury. To gather the data, dancers, teachers, and studio owners will be answering different surveys to gather information on how the dancers are trained and how the dancers are getting injured. Once the surveys are analyzed, I will give each studio back their results along with exercises to strengthen the weak points in their training. Overall most dance injuries are overuse injuries that in part can be avoided. Hopefully by revealing the studio’s weaknesses, the dance studio can help prevent injuries in young dancers, so their students can have the opportunity to dance well into their adult life.

Phillippe Adriane I.

The Optimization of Power Consumption of Quadcopters

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Phillippe Adriane I.

The Optimization of Power Consumption of Quadcopters

BASIS advisor: Ms. Heinzer
Internship location: Kutta Technologies
Onsite Mentor: Lora Ridenour , Engineer
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Quadcopters are currently one of the most versatile aero-machines. Their quad rotor system allows pitch, yaw, roll and acceleration; however, with these dimensions comes with the unfortunate disadvantage of a short flight time. The goal of this project is to minimize the power consumption of the quadcopter, i.e., to manipulate the endurance factor. The process of my research, conducted at Kutta Technologies, includes the construction of a quadcopter and then a process of variable manipulations that might theoretically decrease the power consumption. In the end the variables blade ratio, ducted propellers, and stability should increase the endurance of the quadcopter. The work done here would allow a better understanding of the quadcopter aerodynamics and help people save money.

Sarah A.

State-of-the-Art: An Exploration of Traditional Art in Modern Society

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Sarah A.

State-of-the-Art: An Exploration of Traditional Art in Modern Society

BASIS advisor: Ms. Headley
Internship location: Home of Brent Laycock, Calgary, Alberta, CA
Onsite Mentor: Brent Laycock, Artist
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Due to increased popularity in digital paintings and graphic design, many artists have abandoned traditional mediums and techniques in favor of drawing tablets and software. As a result, the use of conventional mediums such as pencil, paint, clay, etc., is decreasing, and many people believe that painting is dead. The goal of this project is to determine if traditional art still has a place in modern society, or in other words, if pieces made with conventional materials and techniques are still bought and appreciated in a society where almost everything has become unconventional or digital. By studying art with a professional painter, interviewing artists and gallery owners, and observing the art in various museums and galleries, I have been able to get a taste of what goes into making traditional art and how it is still appreciated today. My research and personal experience with creating art will show that traditional artists can still be successful and appreciated despite the common belief that art is not a practical occupation.

Shivaani M.

CyberThreat to My Democracy

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Shivaani M.

CyberThreat to My Democracy

BASIS advisor: Kim Heinzer
Internship location: 7016 W Blackhawk Dr Glendale, AZ 85308
Onsite Mentor: Dee Narla, Business Owner
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With the news coverage during the election of 2016 and the decline of investigative journalism, fake news has greatly influenced political discourse. The purpose of my project is to create the blueprint for a fact-checking app that cross-references information from a possible false article, with other news articles from credible sources. This app is my solution to stopping the spread of fake news. Most Americans get their news from different social media platforms and this is the reason why fake news continues to spread. Using people’s dependency on technology, rather than fighting against it, will be the key to decreasing the circulation of fake news. While there are great fake news checker websites available on the Internet, there are no such apps. Furthermore, app security would play a key role as it would be easy for fake news articles to merge into the list containing the credible sources. In order to better understand why fake news continues to circulate, I will be surveying the next generation of adults about where they get most of their news. I hope to use the data I gather from this survey to support why such an app needs to be created. My research about fake news, app development, and app security will be useful in minimizing the effect fake news has on politics.