The BASIS.ed
Senior Projects 2017

The Senior Project at BASIS Tucson North 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 Tucson North 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

Alex C.

Music Chemistry: The K-Pop Formula

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Alex C.

Music Chemistry: The K-Pop Formula

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
Internship location: Metropia Inc.
Onsite Mentor: Jeff Lin, Associate Director of Software System Engineering
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South Korean pop music, or K-Pop, is a rapidly growing sector of the music industry, and has experienced increased economic success and international exposure over the last few years. Although a variety of possible causes have been postulated for this heightened popularity, this study aims to quantitatively analyze one aspect of K-Pop in particular – the music itself. Utilizing a novel method involving musical correlational analytics, this research will anatomize successful K-Pop songs released between 2014 and 2016 and parse existing databases for records of those songs. The songs will be analyzed with an online API, and the databases will be searched for information on how successful the songs actually are. These two sets of information will then be compared with each other and evaluated for meaningful correspondence. Out of all of the song attributes analyzed, the tempo and valence, or positivity, of a song will be the two values that are predicted to be correlated to the popularity of the song. These results potentially hold revelations of how a K-Pop song’s content and commercial success are linked, leading to large-scale implications in terms of how K-Pop music producers choose to develop their songs. Beyond these industrial ramifications, however, this study also adopts a methodology that can be applied to analyze other parts of the music industry.

Andrei D.

The Habitable Zone: NASA Data and our closest neighbors

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Andrei D.

The Habitable Zone: NASA Data and our closest neighbors

BASIS advisor: Dr. Greenfield
Internship location: U of Arizona Astronomy Dept.
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One of the most important projects NASA is working on is examining solar systems for planets within the “habitable zone.” Although this is my first experience with astrophysics, I am planning on using my internship with the University of Arizona’s Astronomy Department as a learning experience to broaden my field of interest. Through my project, I will research the stars within our nearby solar systems in order to search for a habitable region of planets around them. This was part of the preliminary research of one of NASA’s projects, as they work on finding planets capable of having life. The goals of my project are to contribute to the community of individuals searching for habitable exoplanets, and to pursue/broaden my interests in astrophysics in preparation for university study.

Annalee H.

Behavioral issues in shelter dogs and statistically analyzing adoption patterns

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Annalee H.

Behavioral issues in shelter dogs and statistically analyzing adoption patterns

BASIS advisor: Ms. Hubbard
Internship location: Pima Paws for Life
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Did you know that there is a total of 2.6 million cats and dogs euthanized each year in shelters, because they cannot get adopted quickly enough? I want to lessen that number significantly, so that those animals can have a better-than-nothing chance at finding their forever home. Pima Paws for Life is a not-for-profit, no-kill organization that shelters up to 35 dogs and cats at any given time; they have one building for dogs and another designated for cats. I strive to help rescue animals overcome common behavioral issues, such as anxiety and possessiveness over food. My goal is to create a method that every shelter can adapt for animals with behavioral issues, so that people can see their true personalities irrespective of the animals’ backgrounds. By conducting one-on-one training, and through a series of observational testing, hopefully these animals will overcome their adoption barriers. My method could help shelter animals from any shelter across the nation get adopted more quickly; each one is one fewer animal on death row. Not everyone understands how important it is for these animals to get adopted, so I will conduct my own statistical analysis on which dogs and cats are given the most attention and this will help put into light any bias against specific breeds or characteristics.

Ben W.

Laser Cutter Script

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Ben W.

Laser Cutter Script

BASIS advisor: Mr. Marinaccio
Internship location: Xerocraft
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Laser cutting is an automated process, used to cut detailed and highly reproducible two-dimensional objects out of a material. In order to achieve this, a vector art file is sent from a computer to the laser cutter; however, this vector art file often has slight imperfections that make it unsuitable for cutting. Currently these imperfections (lines not connecting, duplicate lines, etc.) are fixed manually and tediously by the user. This drastically increases the time required to perform a laser cut, and discourages makers from using the machine. XeroCraft has a laser cutter machine and wants the process to be more accessible to the community. I will create a script to automate the repair process and reduce the time required. I plan to create a stand alone program in Python to edit the vector art files (.svg), however; my advisor and I are also entertaining creating an extension script to the vector art file editor (Inkscape). This program will drastically reduce time spent laser cutting to allow others to focus on the creative aspect of laser cutting, and increase the amount of people who can access the laser cutting process.

Brendan H.

The Habitable Zone: Life Around Other Stars and Creating a Model for Planet Analysis

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Brendan H.

The Habitable Zone: Life Around Other Stars and Creating a Model for Planet Analysis

BASIS advisor: Dr. Rex
Internship location: University of Arizona Astronomy Dept.
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The race is currently on to be the first team to find life outside of our own solar system. The first step in this process is to locate what is called the Habitable Zone. This is the area around a star where the conditions are satisfactory enough for life to develop. For example, the temperature has to allow for liquid water, and there has to be enough UV radiation for certain biochemical compounds to synthesize, but not too much that life cannot develop. This step is where I am focusing my research. With a small group of other researchers, I am working on a computer program that can calculate the habitable zones for all the stars within roughly 35 light years of our solar system. I will then co-create a visual that is capable of showing the zone for each of the stars. After doing so, I will look at which of the stars already have confirmed planets, and which of those planets fall within the habitable zone that we calculate. Using this information, and information about the specific planets, we will prioritize which of the planets are most likely to have habitable conditions. The goal of this project is to create a target list for a future telescope biosignature survey.

Cameron B.

Cyber Security in an Insecure World

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Cameron B.

Cyber Security in an Insecure World

BASIS advisor: Mr. Balanda
Internship location: Avirtek: Cyber Security Firm
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In this project, I will be examining the mechanics of cyber attacks and the methods that are used to prevent them. I will first research weaknesses and vulnerabilities in different web-based applications, and subsequently develop my own tools for reinforcing such vulnerabilities. By working for an independent cyber-security firm I hope to gain greater insight into the process and issues surrounding this ever-growing industry.

Chris M.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit

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Chris M.

Sounds Like Teen Spirit

BASIS advisor: Mr. Martin-Casler
Internship location: Waterworks Recording Studio
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The location of my project is Waterworks Recording Studio in Tucson, where I will be studying how music is recorded in a professional setting. Waterworks Recording Studio is a prestigious recording studio that has worked with famous bands such as Sonic Youth to record high-quality albums. I’ll be spending three months rocking out, recording songs for underground bands, and better understanding the recording process and the music industry. I will have an up-close look at the music scene of Tucson and will help spread the music of rock and roll. The balance of sound among the musicians and the workings of the mixer will be my main focus, as I try to figure out how all of the instruments coalesce into the art of rock music on an album.

Christina H.

Low-Income Housing and its impacts on Education in Southern Arizona

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Christina H.

Low-Income Housing and its impacts on Education in Southern Arizona

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
Internship location: Habitat for Humanity Tucson
Onsite Mentor: Tom Hopkins, Director of Community Engagement and Org. Development
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Tucson is a unique city in Arizona in the sense that it is poverty-ridden, yet has shown a potential for economic growth. Important factors that would drive Tucson’s economic growth would be the noteworthy population increase, the housing market, and an increase in the rate of engagement within the community through jobs and volunteerism, just to name a few. The housing market is a unique sector to focus upon during an economic expansion, specifically affordable housing through Habitat for Humanity Tucson (HFHT), since they have not only contributed significant amounts of physical housing but have also demonstrated abilities to encourage higher education both directly and indirectly. One of the possible outcomes from economic growth in Tucson is income inequality, but HFHT homeowners have been shown to progress by getting higher-paying jobs, and students in the household are able to continue with their education. There has not been substantial research regarding the direct link between the physical presence of low-income housing and academic progress or success (success measured by making it to a form of higher education), I am attempting to study this correlation by assuming social networking is the connector. Social networking is prominent within HFHT’s heavy reliance upon volunteers and homeowner engagement when in the process of owning a home through their organization. I am choosing to define social networking through the multiple connections that HFHT has with outside organizations, some specifically geared towards encouraging higher education.

Daniel C.

From Sloughs to Sky Islands: A Photographic Look into the Relationship between Reptiles and Amphibians and the Environments they Inhabit

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Daniel C.

From Sloughs to Sky Islands: A Photographic Look into the Relationship between Reptiles and Amphibians and the Environments they Inhabit

BASIS advisor: Mr. McDonald
Internship location: Outdoor School District, Oregon
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Not many people understand how fragile and specific some animals’ relationships are to their environment. While many people might find the scientific research on these topics to be boring or difficult to understand, most people can appreciate a beautiful photograph. Because of this, I want to be able to show how delicate and distinct those relationships are through beautiful photographs of herpetofauna juxtaposed with their environments. My goal is for people to apply the ecological understanding gained from this juxtaposition to how they treat the environment in general. Amphibians are considered indicator species, the first to be affected by pollution and unnatural disturbances. Likewise, many reptiles occupy highly specific niche roles and are in constant threat of vanishing if their habitats are not respected and preserved. As a whole, many species of herpetofauna occupy unique habitats that have directly caused their evolution and specialization. The environment defines these animals, and understanding how linked this definition is to the identity of these species is essential for understanding the importance of preserving that environment. I want my research to be an artistic representation of the fragility of our ecosystems, clearly showing the vital relationship between subject and place in order to make the reasons to treat our natural surroundings with more respect salient in a simple and beautiful way.

Dilyn G.

Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Center Research

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Dilyn G.

Neuroendocrine Pancreatic Center Research

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Kolesikova
Internship location: University of Arizona Cancer Center
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Pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms (pNENs) are a rare form of pancreatic tumors. The most recent classification of these tumors was completed by the World Heath Organization in 2010 and subdivides the pNENs into three groups: NET G1, NET G2, and neuroendocrine carcinoma (NEC) based on proliferation rate. However, each individual classification includes a wide range of the tumors and does not further classify based on genetic background, whether the tumor is a primary tumor or it is metastasized, and tumor differentiation. By staining human tissue samples with antibodies, I will be able to highlight the cellular, stromal and nuclear parts of the cell. Using this information, I hope to identify proteins that come from mutant genes and better classify the tumors. The ultimate goal is to be able to link mutations to biomarkers in order to determine based on the mutations the best course of treatment for patients.

Dun J.

Scarlet Letters: Analyzing Electronic Media Communication to Enhance Blood Donations

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Dun J.

Scarlet Letters: Analyzing Electronic Media Communication to Enhance Blood Donations

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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The American Red Cross is responsible for collecting numerous pints of blood daily, but it faces a continual trend of shortages. Due to the close relationship Millennials hold with sites such as Facebook, social media has been identified as a viable candidate to help alleviate this problem. My research focuses on using electronic communication to enhance blood donations by targeting both the donor community and the public. I am conducting this project by surveying a set of key factors and their effects on self-reported motives to give blood. Questions in the surveys encompass both inquiring into a participant’s beliefs about motivational factors and their actions in certain scenarios. The responses will then be statistically analyzed. I hypothesize that direct social pressure will be among the most influential reason to why a person gives, and miscommunication and apathy to be significant detractors. I further propose that the often discussed fear of the donation process to be among the minority of negative motivators. As social media’s relation with collecting blood has been relatively unexplored in other studies, I believe this research can provide a different outlook to encouraging donations and standardize the findings on donor motivation in past studies. Furthermore, the results of this research demonstrate potential to be applied to other forms of consumer marketing as well.

Ekow B.

Songs from Scratch: The Process of Independent Music Production

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Ekow B.

Songs from Scratch: The Process of Independent Music Production

BASIS advisor: Mr. Martin-Casler
Internship location: Independent Sound Engineer
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Music is all around us. You can hear smooth jazz on the radio, the newest pop song on iTunes, or even an electronic beat in the background of a TV commercial, but how did all this content originate? More importantly, how does one now make high quality music in the new millenium? These are questions that many artists, with a growing opportunity to create and post music on sound-sharing websites and streaming services online, are currently asking themselves, and what I have sought to find out for myself. The purpose of this project is to explore how aspects such as technology and instrumentation have affected the process of modern music-making, and learn more about how music is created in a professional setting. I am doing this by observing the methods and tools used in a recording studio environment, both digital and traditional, and then attempting to apply what I learn to the creation of my own music. I am working with producer and sound engineer Daniel Naiman for my internship. He works with professional artists at his home studio, assists in recording studio tracks and live performances, has years of experience creating and mastering tracks, and knows a great deal about the music business. With the help of his knowledge and experience, I can hopefully gain a better understanding of how tracks are brought from start to finish and go on to make my own “songs from scratch.”

Eugene W.

"Time for Dinner": Comparing Similarities in Marketing between Modern-day Meal Delivery Kits and Baby Boomer Era TV Dinners

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Eugene W.

"Time for Dinner": Comparing Similarities in Marketing between Modern-day Meal Delivery Kits and Baby Boomer Era TV Dinners

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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Companies like Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Plated sell “Meal Delivery Kits,” which allow customers to order a package containing the ingredients and recipes for making a “home-cooked” dish. The Meal Delivery Kit industry is expected to expand by $5 billion over the next decade, with some regarding it as the next big innovation in home cooking. This development echoes the immense popularity of TV Dinners (trays with frozen meals simply requiring some stovetop or oven heating before ready, whose popularity grew in tandem with the newly-invented TV sets) within 1950s American households. Both modern-day Meal Delivery Kits and Cold-War era TV Dinners market their products as a time- and effort-saving food preparation alternative for busy working individuals and families. My research project delves deeper into the apparent connection between these two convenience food products, primarily focusing on advertising materials (both print and media). First off, I will utilize a quantitative scale to determine if an advertisement demonstrates an appeal to the concept of work-family conflict. Next, I will undertake a qualitative analysis of each advertisement, describing how different marketing aspects culminate into the overall message. In the end, I hope that my findings will reveal a fundamental similarity between Meal Delivery Kits and TV Dinners, and to determine what this sustained search for convenience means for American culture and society.

Garrett M.

Analysis and Experience in the Game Design Field

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Garrett M.

Analysis and Experience in the Game Design Field

BASIS advisor: Mr. Swindle
Internship location: Proper Villains
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Video games: once a novelty entertainment item, they have now become a massive, worldwide industry that brings in billions of dollars in revenue every year. While most people are content to just play games, few understand how the games they play are produced. The focus of this project is what goes into actually producing a full commercial game. I will be working at Proper Villains, a local company working on a game called Minibotz that will be released on Steam, the biggest online video game storefront, around the time of the conclusion of my project. I will be working on the coding and design aspects of the game, helping the team build a fully commercial game that will be released and sold to the millions of gamers who use Steam every day. My jobs will entail a lot of programming, which I hope to grow my experience in, and a lot of brainstorming and theory crafting about the design of levels, enemies, and player characters. Video games are a cornerstone of modern entertainment, and I hope to gain insight and practice into the world of their creation.

Geneva S.

Behavioral Issues and Grief in Middle School Students

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Geneva S.

Behavioral Issues and Grief in Middle School Students

BASIS advisor: Dr. Shroff
Internship location: Tu Nidito
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The purpose of this project is to discuss specific behavioral problems among middle school students who have had someone close to them die or receive a diagnosis of a serious, life-threatening illness. Many middle school students have behavioral issues for a variety of reasons, but this project will focus on which problems are specifically tied to grief and bereavement. It is a goal of my project that positive redirection strategies can be employed without discounting the child’s grieving process. Middle school is often a time of massive transition for students; the loss of a loved one can make this even more difficult, creating strain on students, their families, and their schools. Traditional discipline can often exacerbate these problems by isolating the student without addressing the underlying problems. Thus, a project specifically geared toward these challenges is valuable to BASIS Tucson North as a school and community. I will be reviewing the literature surrounding grief in middle school students in addition to working with bereaved students. I will also be talking with counsellors and volunteers at Tu Nidito and program staff at Camp Westwind about their experiences with students with specific behavioral problems and solutions. By studying grief both academically and anecdotally, I hope to come up with concrete ways that adults can support students experiencing grief.

Hailyn Y.

Young & Trendy

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Hailyn Y.

Young & Trendy

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
Internship location: Mutzine (online)
Onsite Mentor: Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Creator of website
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One interesting aspect of youth fashion in South Korea is that there is a distinct, identifiable style. Despite the myriad amount of clothing that is available on the market, the presentation and styling of these clothes by youth fall under the general concept/label of “Korean fashion.” While different individuals have personal preferences within fashion, the fashion “sense” of most of these youth appear to apply to a broader aesthetic, which I have labeled as their “fashion aesthetic.” Under the assumption that this aesthetic does exist, this research paper serves to investigate what this aesthetic is and whether my hypothesis, that fashion trends and social media are the two significant elements of this aesthetic, is true. Conducting a mixture of surveys and interviews, I will analyze fashion trends, including their creation, mediums, and effects. This project will explore what type of influence social media has on the fashion of these youth, in order to understand how these two factors contribute to running this fashion aesthetic. This may, in turn, allow us to delve deeper into the fashion conscience of South Korean youth and understand what role fashion plays in their lives.

Hannah P.

Landscape Design and Conservation

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Hannah P.

Landscape Design and Conservation

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Lundt
Internship location: FYRA Engineering
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My internship for this project will be with FYRA Engineering, an environmental engineering firm based out of Nebraska. With FYRA, I will work closely with Wheeler Elementary School, a school in Nebraska that recently reached out to FYRA for help with their environmental science education. Wheeler wants their earth science curriculum to become more hands-on, and it will be my job to help design the science curriculum by A) finding websites and articles about local environmental projects; B) testing out hands-on projects, such as soil samplers; and C) guiding students through the research and design of a rain garden. The students will also be studying whether or not a rain garden would be beneficial to build on their school site, something FYRA engineering will help with. Out of this project, FYRA engineering hopes to compile a trunk kit of sorts for earth science education, so that if other schools also came to them for help they would have a curriculum with projects already designed. The final product of this project will be a research paper detailing the effects of the environmental education on the school’s environmental consciousness, in addition to the trunk kit for science education.

Isabella B.

Healthcare, Policy, and Politics

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Isabella B.

Healthcare, Policy, and Politics

BASIS advisor: Mr. Judson
Internship location: Miami Planned Parenthood
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Through my project, I attempt to understand the reasons for the political fervor that surrounds women’s healthcare, particularly around its providers. I plan to work in the Health Center Advocacy program of the Planned Parenthood in Miami, Florida in order to help further my understanding of this. While there, I will speak with patients about their experiences with Planned Parenthood and ask them to be supporters of the health care provider. By including the work of various feminist authors, statements by opponents of Planned Parenthood’s work, and patient testimony in my research, I hope to see how this politicization affects the way in which women receive health services. I expect that a large part of the controversy surrounding women’s healthcare will be rooted in historical religious views of the woman’s body, as the property of her husband and as a being that should be “”pure.”” I also expect that the political controversy surrounding women’s healthcare has lowered the quality of it, especially for low-income and minority women. By understanding these issues, I hope to illuminate the ways in which a shift in attitude towards women’s healthcare could improve the services offered, raising the quality of life for all women and helping to ameliorate the inequalities present in the healthcare system.

Jared H.

Label Free Molecular Sensors

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Jared H.

Label Free Molecular Sensors

BASIS advisor: Dr. Greenfield
Internship location: University of Arizona Optics Dept.
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Label-free molecular detection is the detection of chemicals without the use of a label such as a radioactive atom or easily detectable chemical; the process determines the properties of an unknown chemical to find out its chemical make-up. The Judith Su Little Sensor Lab at the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences specializes in developing methods and technology for analyzing nanoparticles without the use of labels. The goal of my project at the Lab is to remove expensive and complicated labels that pose the risk of changing the molecular properties of the unknown from the process of nanoparticle identification in order to decrease the expenditure of time and money in molecular detection. This decrease will allow for more research to be done in fields involving Nano molecules such a medicine. I hope to achieve an understanding of molecular detection and the use of ultra-sensitive equipment, and gain insight into the field of academic research in a highly focused facility.

Javier J.

100% Engagement: Effects of Discovery Learning and Transformational Leadership on engagement levels of high school students

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Javier J.

100% Engagement: Effects of Discovery Learning and Transformational Leadership on engagement levels of high school students

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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In this new age of ever-evolving thinking and innovation, high school education remains stagnant. Instead of fully understanding a topic, students have relied on rote memorization and other passive methods in order to pass some final exam. Universities across the nation have faced the same problem of disengagement, but unlike high schools, many universities have created frameworks to push students to infinity and beyond. This study used a program created by the University of Arizona, the 100% Engagement Initiative, as a guide to see whether or not a similar framework can be applied to a high school education. The study focused on two activities within the 100% Engagement Initiative, Discovery and Leadership. In Discovery, the independent or collaborative inquiry, and (Transformational) Leadership, relationships are organized around a collective purpose in ways that transform, motivate, and enhance the actions and ethical aspirations of followers. By conducting a qualitative meta-analysis with aspects of a phenomenological study, this project reviewed various studies on the effects of Discovery and Leadership on engagement to gather data in order to see how viable a framework such as the 100% Engagement Initiative is. This study hopes to better understand the gap between engagement and high school education specifically, due to a certain lack of clear connections. In the future, the study can be pushed further into creating an independent framework to engage high school students.

Jonathan R.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

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Jonathan R.

Making Virtual Reality a Reality

BASIS advisor: Mr. Balanda
Internship location: University of Arizona Research and Learning
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Virtual Reality is a growing phenomenon that has just recently expanded outside of video games and into exercise. By bringing virtual reality to exercise, mundane workouts will feel less like a burden and more like a game, which will result in better and more consistent exercises for people. We are working with stationary bike trainers, processing units, and 3D rendering software. I will be feeding the raw input speed, gear, and other information from the stationary bike into the processing unit, which will then produce a 3D output to the virtual reality headset. This will enable the rider to feel like they are in an outside environment. The useful application that this project presents is the ability to not only make a rider feel like they are riding an actual course, but to project other riders beside them in the same environment. Rather than trying to race against a number, they could be racing against somebody else and it will feel much more authentic. Such an immersive training experience could increase a sense of healthy competition in the rider, which could lead to not only better training but more enjoyable exercise.

Julia M.

Investigation into Methods of Design Transfer to Textiles

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Julia M.

Investigation into Methods of Design Transfer to Textiles

BASIS advisor: Mr. McDonald
Internship location: Fiber Artists of Southern Arizona
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In the world of textile arts, there are many ways to take an image from one’s imagination and create a physical representation of that image. With a variety of media options, including dyeing, quilting, and embroidering, it is often difficult to decide how to create a desired design. The goal of this project is to investigate different methods of textile embellishment as well as the process of creating a textile design from start to finish. While onsite at El Sol Quilting Studio, I will witness and partake in electronic quilting, hand-guided quilting, fabric dyeing, and screen printing. This will allow me to develop a better understanding of the creation process by observing and utilizing the methods in question. By using the methods that I am investigating, I will be able to illustrate the benefits of each and present works of art that highlight each technique. Through intensive work with textile manipulation techniques, I will be able to create art that effectively utilizes and demonstrates different methods of textile manipulation.

Jylian G.

Spatial Memory Deficits in Aging Rats

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Jylian G.

Spatial Memory Deficits in Aging Rats

BASIS advisor: Dr. Kendall
Internship location: University of Arizona Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute
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I will be working at the University of Arizona’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. Under the mentorship of neuroscientist Dr. Carol Barnes, I will be researching the cognitive effects and spatial memory deficits in normal aging rats. Spatial memory is the part of memory responsible for recording information about one’s environment and orientation. By using yoked pairs of young and old albino rats in a series of carefully-designed experiments, such as mazes and mind tests, I will be able to explore the changes that occur as rodents age. There will be three phases of investigation: Habituation, the Linear Track, and the W-Maze. Each phase will closely examine the relationship between the spatially related activity of cells in the hippocampus and a rat’s ability to successfully navigate a w-shaped maze in an alternating pattern. My research with rodents will serve as a model for memory decline in the aged. In addition to this specific project, I have full access to the surrounding Brain Institute labs, so I will be able to watch other research experiments pertaining to cognition and neuroscience.

Kumai A.

Exoplanet Exploration

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Kumai A.

Exoplanet Exploration

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Buldis/Dr. Greenfield
Internship location: University of Arizona Astronomy Dept.
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Have you ever wondered if there were other planets that could harbor life, and if there were, how we would find them? Maybe you are interested in finding planets that already harbor life. As far as we know there are no planets in our solar system other than Earth that harbor life, which is why we’ll have to look for planets outside our solar system, also known as exoplanets. The goal of this project is to assess where habitable planets could be around stars within 10 parsecs (a unit of distance used in astronomy, equal to about 3.26 light years). Scientists at the Steward Observatory are working on different methods of finding new planets, some of which, hopefully, could harbor life. In my time there, I will focus my research on the telescope’s capabilities and limitations in finding exoplanets. I will use different articles found on NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) to learn about the different ways astronomers can detect exoplanets. I’ll be working with other Tucson North students as well, and we plan to co-produce a prioritized target list for future telescope biosignature surveys. Through this project I hope to get a better understanding of telescopes’ limitations, and one day be able to help improve their capabilities in discovering planets.

Luann Z.

Tech Savvy: Security Awareness of Smartphone Users

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Luann Z.

Tech Savvy: Security Awareness of Smartphone Users

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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Smartphone users are increasingly downloading third-party applications to increase utility of their devices. However, these downloads and installations are also security and privacy risks as applications are given access to sensitive personal information. Smartphones have been shown to have flawed security systems concerning everything from warnings presented by operating systems, to license agreements and Terms of Use, to legal regulation of consumer privacy, and even misconceptions by users of their phones’ security situation. To develop more effective and secure mobile systems, we must first understand user attitudes and awareness towards security and privacy on smartphone platforms when downloading and installing applications. I conducted a survey on the University of Arizona campus, gaining insight on individual’s attention to and understanding of security and agreement messages, trust in official application repositories, and comprehension of security need and compare these perceptions across operating systems. This will help consolidate an image of the current condition of the user-software interface in the mobile sphere, potentially supporting the concept of a security complacency, where users do hold security in high regard, but do not take it into account when downloading applications or securing their device.

Marian K.

Brain and Behavior of Patients with Parkinson's Disease

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Marian K.

Brain and Behavior of Patients with Parkinson's Disease

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Buldis
Internship location: University of Arizona Psychology Dept.
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The purpose of my senior research project is to learn about brain imaging findings in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and also to see how using noninvasive brain stimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, for Parkinson’s Disease affects the brain and behavior of patients. I will be looking at the transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) machine, housed in the University of Arizona Psychology Department, to see how this machine affects the brain and certain behaviors in Parkinson’s Disease. I will also be organizing different studies on how repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) affects the motor symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s Disease on a file. My research question is: how can repetitive noninvasive brain stimulation affect behaviors in Parkinson’s Disease, and how can these stimulations help improve future treatments? I expect that all the studies I explore will have the same conclusion, which is that rTMS is more effective in reducing motor symptoms in patients with PD than other sham-controlled rTMS. This topic in Parkinson’s Disease is important to the world because many people have this disease, and so research is important to help find more useful treatments for patients.

Michael V.

Virtual Reality and Varsity Jackets

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Michael V.

Virtual Reality and Varsity Jackets

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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Historically, women have been subject to the stifling hand of sexism, a presence which as of late has been found in two areas in particular: sports and video games. Less media attention overall is directed at female-dominated sports such as women’s volleyball, as compared to sports like men’s football. In video games, a major method of advertisement is the use of highly objectifying advertisements, compounded with the fetishization of, yet condescension to, “girl gamers.” I want to know whether these attitudes are truly a majority, or if they are simply the opinion of the more outspoken minority in the gaming community. It is also possible that it is a medium between the two, and that there is little correlation between sports and video games and sexism. This project is meant to examine the possible causes of sexism by assessing the amount of time that students and young adults spend on videogames, or sports, or both within a certain time period, and then comparing that data to the participants perceptions of gender. A pair of multiple choice sections and subsequent numerical responses determines type and amount of participation in sports and video games, while a word-association portion assesses perceived gender roles. I predict there will be a positive correlation between the activities, however, even if there isn’t, there is still work to be done in these communities.

Nupur P.

Social Anxiety and School Performance

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Nupur P.

Social Anxiety and School Performance

BASIS advisor: Mr. Johnston
Internship location: University of Arizona Pediatrics Dept.
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Social anxiety disorder is a condition in which a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. My project is focused on taking a deeper look into social anxiety: its root cause(s), how issues such as student anxiety need to be addressed in educational settings, and what can be done to help those who suffer. I am working with Dr. Jennifer Andrews at the University of Arizona College of Medicine, and we will be conducting a survey with young children to gain a better understanding of how students feel in certain types of social situations. Conducting a survey is the ultimate strategy in obtaining this data because it allows me to create a cohesive group of questions that would represent the emotions a student feels over a wide range of scenarios. Our goal is to identify which social actions, environments, and situations can trigger anxiety. With the discoveries from this experiment, administrators, educators, and families can incorporate a few simple steps into classrooms and at home to help children feel at ease. With the completion of my project, I hope to bring light to this issue and help schools take into consideration what small actions can be done to make school a less stressful and more enjoyable place for students. Taking social anxiety into account will help schools like BASIS improve their retention rates as well as make school a place where all students feel comfortable and supported.

BASIS.ed Senior Projects - Student not pictured

Pablo V.

Engineering: More than Nuts and Bolts

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Pablo V.

Engineering: More than Nuts and Bolts

BASIS advisor: Mr. Balanda
Internship location: Stabiltech
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The purpose of this project is to expose me to the real world engineering process. I will focus the objective of my project on exploring each stage of the engineering process, to provide insight to myself and future students interested in engineering. Another component that I will be exposed to is the sales side of production. When people think about what an engineer does, the majority of them picture a person designing something on a computer, printing blueprints, and sketching things. Many forget that people have to sell what they make, and an engineer with entrepreneurial focus makes AND sells. To cover this stage of the manufacturing process, I will spend time shadowingthe co-founder of Stabiltec, who handles the sales of the company. While this project will help me immensely in choosing the type of engineering that I want to pursue, I mainly want to provide insight of different work environments for younger students at BASIS Tucson North, who aspire to pursue engineering in their future. I will expose each component of the engineering process, sharing the all the complex tasks that engineers accomplish on a regular basis.

Paige H.

A Study in Preventative Photographic Conservation and Digital Preservation

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Paige H.

A Study in Preventative Photographic Conservation and Digital Preservation

BASIS advisor: Mr. McDonald
Internship location: Center for Creative Photography (University of Arizona)
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For this project, I am studying and comparing physical versus digital conservation of photographs at the university of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography. I will spend the first half of my internship monitoring the environment in which photographs and photographic negatives are stored. For the second half, I will be assisting in archives management and completing an internal research project about a photographer within the CCP collection. I hope that this project will demonstrate the importance of preservation so that researchers, and the public may be able to continue to enjoy and learn from the great works in the CCP collection.

Rafael J.

To Kill or Not To Kill: Moral Foundation Theory and Moral Dilmmeas in VIdeo Games

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Rafael J.

To Kill or Not To Kill: Moral Foundation Theory and Moral Dilmmeas in VIdeo Games

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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Video games are the latest medium that has the ability to expose the someone to moral dilemmas. However, video games give the player that ability to act in a moral dilemma instead of presenting a moral dilemma to a passive recipient, as is done by movies and books. Throughout this project, I will operate under the assumption that people will act according to their morals, both in real life and in video games. I will be examining the predictability of people’s decisions when presented with moral dilemmas in video games. In doing this, I will be using Lewis and Weaver’s method from “Mirrored Morality: An Exploration of Moral Choice in Video Games,” which utilizes the Moral Foundations Theory. The Moral Foundations Theory hypothesizes five different “foundations” that build one’s sense of morals. While it is commonely used to compare the differences in beliefs and values between different political ideologies, I will be using the Moral Foundation Questionnaire in order to identify the concentrations of the five different foundations in order to understand the moral concerns of each individual. I will be using Dishonored and a two-part survey. The results will be used as evidence to show a pattern that can be used to predict how a player will act in a moral dilemma.

Seth M.

Determining the characteristics and sustainability of Carbon-Linked Glycolipids as Surfactants

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Seth M.

Determining the characteristics and sustainability of Carbon-Linked Glycolipids as Surfactants

BASIS advisor: Mrs. Jewett
Internship location: Pemberton Research Group (U of A)
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In my project, I will be testing multiple traits of a molecule that is made of entirely biodegradable materials, in order to determine whether or not the molecule is more “green” and biologically-friendly than its counterparts of similar purpose but different chemical make-up. Throughout my time with the University of Arizona’s Pemberton Research Group, I will be using surface tensiometry, UV‐Vis. spectroscopy, and many other methods to test if this molecule is indeed more sustainable, as well as if the molecule is able to survive in more acidic environments than its counterparts. My own hypothesis is that this molecule will be more environmentally-friendly and stronger in acidic environments than previous molecules. My aspiration is to find a molecule that is more “green” so as to protect our Earth more. In particular, I believe that this research applies to the science of cleaning up oil spills; the molecule I will be working with can be applied to this task while maintaining environmental sustainability.

Sharon V.

MACRA and MIPS in a Medical Business

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Sharon V.

MACRA and MIPS in a Medical Business

BASIS advisor: Mr. Quinlin
Internship location: Catalina Pointe Arthritis Rheumatology
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Health care in the US is very complicated and expensive. The purpose of my project is to understand how different health care insurance models (Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid) work. I will specifically study the efficiency, effectiveness, and value of the new APMs (Alternative Payment Models), and MIPS (Merit-Based Incentive Payment Systems) programs which are part of the new Medicare Payment Reforms for physician reimbursement as per MACRA (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015). I will intern with the business associates of Catalina Pointe Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic to better comprehend the medical business model for a small specialty clinic and how the proposed reimbursements will affect them. I will scrutinize whether these new payment models can optimize the treatment and management outcomes for patients as well as continue adequate reimbursement of physicians and medical services. The new health care payment programs will greatly affect the ways by which medical establishments will try and provide the best care for the most reasonable price. At the internship I will also learn the microeconomics involved in running a medical business office. At the end of the internship, I will write a paper discussing what I learned about medical economics and the newly proposed health care payment programs.

Susan H.

Restorative Justice and Media Manipulation

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Susan H.

Restorative Justice and Media Manipulation

BASIS advisor: Dr. Rosinbum
Internship location: Pima County Teen Court
Onsite Mentor: Kate Spaulding, Manager of Teen Court
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There is a problem with the way in which our society perceives past offenders, which has ramifications for bringing them back into our society. Despite the idea that these past offenders should be reintroduced to a welcoming community, they instead struggle to change their lifestyles because of the community’s desire to ostracize them. This has negatively impacted ex-offenders because it creates a never-ending cycle of crime and punishment. A possible cause of this may be that the community does not know of or trust the rehabilitative approaches the criminal justice system attempts to take. The general public is also not very familiar with the idea of restorative justice and thus are not as receptive to welcoming past offenders back into the society. On the other hand, the general public is very familiar with crime, with media as the main cause. This, in turn, sparks a one-sided perspective when talking about past offenders. My project, which investigates the media manipulation in increasing familiarity of crime in comparison to restorative justice, may be the first step to remedy this situation.

Susana M.

How to trend on YouTube: One Model Away from Becoming a Famous Vlogger?

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Susana M.

How to trend on YouTube: One Model Away from Becoming a Famous Vlogger?

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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YouTube is a social media platform that allows anyone to upload and/or watch videos, and it has become a huge medium of user-generated content; video blogging (vlogging) is especially prevalent. Studying YouTube is valuable for understanding the social behavior of those creating public content, those viewing the content, and today’s global culture as a whole. Also, given that so much of the research on YouTube thus far has been quantitative in terms of how time, reviews, and the” related videos” feature affect popularity, I want to delve further by looking at the content people are producing and seeing if there is an empirical trend rather than a numerical trend that can predict and produce popularity. That said, my research question is: focusing on well-known American youtubers who specialize in vlogging, is there a common trend in their videos that enabled and furthered their popularity (based on the number of views) on YouTube, and would following that defined model actually create a popular YouTube channel? My hypothesis is that not only are there common trends among these YouTubers’ videos that can be reproduced, but that following such a trend would result in more views per video than a channel that did not follow the defined model; more views equals greater popularity. The goal is to demonstrate and validate my model by creating my own YouTube channel.

Sydnie G.

Emergency Medicine Vs. Primary Care Practices

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Sydnie G.

Emergency Medicine Vs. Primary Care Practices

BASIS advisor: Mr. Judson
Internship location: Arizona Community Physicians
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For my senior research project, I will be volunteering in the Emergency Room at Banner University Medical Center three days a week. For the other two days, I will be shadowing Dr. Dyson, a local pediatrician, in his private office. Each week I will be assisting nurses, doctors, and patients in the Emergency Room to gain experience in the medical field, and I will also be learning about pediatric medicine while working with Dr. Dyson. I hope to compare quality of care, continuity of care, the environments, and cost of a chaotic emergency department with a private practice medical office in hopes to provide information that would benefit patients in deciding where to receive personal healthcare. Each week I will write about my experiences at the hospital and pediatrician’s office and also give updates on my independent research. As an aspiring doctor, this exposure will give me keen insight into the medical field.

Tiffany P.

Stranger Things

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Tiffany P.

Stranger Things

BASIS advisor: Dr. John Rosinbum
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Language has the power to influence the way people think and perceive their surroundings. Because the transmission of language is an expression and extension of the individual, this project heavily assumes social constructivism, which is the idea that human development is situated and created through interactions between others. In the context of gender discussion, a social constructivist view contends that gender is a not an innate characteristic. A stereotypical representation of masculinity and femininity is prevalent in television shows, which has been shown to influence how people view themselves and the world around them. Traditional media often displays a power difference between the male and female identity, where the male counterpart is presented in a higher social status than the female. This paper examines the issues regarding gender roles in the first season of Stranger Things, a Netflix original television show that was released in July 2016, and will establish what kind of power structure is created based upon conversation. The aim of this project is to recognize if the show attempts to disrupt the pre-existing stereotype in gender status and creates a more egalitarian relationship between the two genders using the turn-taking system, which was developed by Harvey Sacks. My hypothesis is both genders speak to each other with respect and as equals, as there are very few interruptions between the first and second speakers within a conversation, and thus follows the guidelines of the turn-taking method.

Veronica M.

Graphic Novels for Education

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Veronica M.

Graphic Novels for Education

BASIS advisor: Mr. McDonald
Internship location: Arizona Desert Museum
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The Sonoran Desert is one of the most richly-populated and biodiverse deserts in the world, but not everyone knows that. By creating a graphic novel on the natural history of the Sonoran Desert, children especially can learn more about the environment that surrounds them in an educational and entertaining format. The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum cares for a vast array of Sonoran flora and fauna, as well as plenty of knowledgeable people. I am interning at their education department, learning about the wildlife myself from the docents and artistic life studies while assisting with education and maintenance myself. Through this, I can learn more about the process of creating an educational work and creating an educational comic.