Weekly roundup: Middle schooler to present at medical conference, Garden Grove seniors ‘adopt’ kindergartners for holiday event, and more

Corona del Mar Middle School student Maxwell Tran
(Photo courtesy of the Daily Pilot)

Just a day after his 14th birthday, eighth-grader Maxwell Tran will present to an audience of medical professionals and students at a research conference.

The Daily Pilot reported that the Corona del Mar Middle School student crafted a 3,000-character research paper in September to learn more about the function of vagus nerve stimulators — an implantable device designed to help those with epilepsy control their seizures.

Maxwell was inspired to research the effectiveness of the implant when he heard that his social studies teacher’s daughter, who battles seizures daily, would soon go through a short procedure to receive the small device.

After watching over 50 YouTube videos on vagus nerve stimulator implants and submitting his project, Maxwell’s summary statement — or “abstract” — was accepted by the Western Medical Research Conference. His hard work also earned him an invitation to speak at one of the conference events on Jan. 22.

While he has faced his own struggles with a speech impediment, his former teacher, Todd Eversgerd said he is confident in Maxwell’s ability to persevere and share the importance of his research.

“It’s not just a Max story,” Eversgerd told the Pilot. “It’s that others can benefit from it as well, as far as garnering information about VNS.”

Here are the other stories we have been following this week:

2023 Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award winners
(Fullerton Joint Union High School District)
  • Seven Orange County school districts were honored with Golden Bell Awards earlier this month for their achievements in biliteracy, technology, innovation and more.
  • The latest California School Dashboard data was released by the state education department on Dec. 15, highlighting the academic performance of schools and districts throughout the state in the 2021-22 school year.
  • More than 300 kindergartners from Garden Grove Unified School District were welcomed by seniors from Pacifica High School for a day full of performances, presents and pictures with Santa Claus at the annual Adopt-A-Child event.
(Garden Grove Unified School District)
(Garden Grove Unified School District)
  • With the expansion of transitional kindergarten starting next school year, EdSource answered 10 common questions parents may have about the early childhood education program.
  • A record 192 students from across the country used their computer science knowledge to design their own apps in the annual Congressional App Challenge sponsored by Rep. Young Kim.
  • A newly-passed proposition will allocate about $1 billion of the state’s education funding budget directly to arts and music education.

This is the part where we encourage you to keep up with local education news stories by bookmarking the OCDE Newsroomsubscribing for emailed updates and following us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.