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The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Ishan Joshi (’24) achieves top 300 scholar in STS science research competition

Ishan+Joshi+%2824%29+performed+and+submitted+his+research+on+bioenergy+from+microorganisms.
Aileen Hu
Ishan Joshi (’24) performed and submitted his research on bioenergy from microorganisms.

Ishan Joshi (‘24) is a top 300 scholar for Regeneron Science Talent Search (STS). The program is a research competition for high school seniors, who submit a research paper for evaluation by a panel of  judges. 

“I did my research on bioenergy– generating energy from the chemical reactions of microorganisms in soil,” said Joshi. “It was a combination of the stuff I did at home and also the stuff I did at school with my research advisor, who is Ms. Fewster.”

With a burning passion for his research, Joshi started off as a student of Ms. Fewster, his AP Environmental Science teacher. With his genuine interest in learning and absorbing knowledge from his teachers, he was able to put in the extra effort for his project.

“He’s a great student, but more than that, he’s genuinely curious and has the initiative and the drive to do his own research and to dig deeper,” said AV science teacher Robyn Fewster.

Starting with a small project, Joshi  researched about mycorrhizal fungi and their interactions with plants for the Alameda County Fair. He then progressed into looking at the relationships between the fungi and other plants.

“He was looking specifically at whether or not the fungi could help the plants absorb pollutants from the soil, known as bioremediation. So you can plant plants. and help to remove pollutants from the soil by harvesting the plants because the plants will uptake whatever the pollutants are,” said Fewster.

Joshi started writing his report first by gaining inspiration from other researchers. He then used his own knowledge of bioenergy to create ideas that would make up his complete project. 

“The process started with me reading scientific literature in the field, and I looked at what other people were currently doing. Then from there, I looked at issues with current approaches and created my own idea,” said Joshi.

Having approached his project from a wider angle, Joshi reflects that keeping an open mind in his research allowed him to be creative with his experiments and studies.

“I think a lot of people think only from the perspective of one field, like biology or physics or chemistry, but I think there’s a lot of value in merging fields together and looking at things from an interdisciplinary lens. That’s definitely something I did in this project and I think probably had to do with my success.” said Joshi.

Although he submitted his research paper to STS, Joshi had initially started the project for his own interests. Thus, the competition results came as a pleasant surprise, placing him in the Top 300 out of 2,162 students nationwide.

“I mainly did the research because I was passionate about it and I had already done it, so I thought I might as well submit it. But I wasn’t really expecting to win anything, so I was really happy that they saw value in what I did,” said Joshi.

Following his submission to STS, Joshi also has a publication of his paper pending at the Journal of Emerging Investigators, which he hopes to have done by March or April.

“This is definitely something I’d recommend to other people who’re interested in science. Just give it a shot, because you’ll never know if you’ll get it or not. So you should just try,” said Joshi.

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