Weekly roundup: Troy High School scholar honored for STEM research, alternative education students perform at Segerstrom Center, and more

Troy High School sophomore Cloris Shi
Troy High School student Cloris Shi was recognized for her work in STEM. (The 74 / Cloris Shi)

Two years ago, Troy High School student Cloris Shi conducted research with machine learning methods to analyze six different coronaviruses and the mutations of the receptor-binding domain.

Now, at 15 years old, the incoming sophomore has been named one of this year’s 16 under 16: 2022 Class of STEM Achievers by The 74, an education news site.

As reported by EdSource, 16 scholars were recognized by The 74 for their outstanding achievements in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Including Shi, students age 12 to 16 throughout the nation were chosen with the help of an independent panel of judges who conducted the selection process based on three pieces of criteria — creativity, change-making and resilience.

With her innovative research in 2020, Shi was able to predict the genetic links between coronavirus species and variants within a species. The algorithm she created set up a pipeline to study novel viruses and earned her a scholarship by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

Her project titled “Analysis of the Amino Acid Frequencies in the Receptor-Binding Domains of Six Coronaviruses” was also nationally recognized in the Broadcom MASTERS top 300 projects — a premier middle school STEM competition.

In addition to her scientific discoveries, Shi started her school’s chapter of STEAM for All, which organizes educational competitions and community service projects to increase interest in STEAM with elementary and middle school students.

Learn more here about all 16 STEM scholars.

Here are the other stories we’ve been following this week:

  • Each summer for the past 31 years, OCDE has partnered with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to host the Summer at the Center program. ACCESS students wrapped up the two-week course learning about musical theater with live performances on July 29 and 30.
  • Ballerina Misty Copeland spoke to educators and students from the Orange County Department of Education’s ACCESS program last week about her early life and the career obstacles she’s faced during a meeting hosted by the Careers Without Borders series.
  • More than two dozen elementary and high school students joined Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho last week to taste test new menu items for the 2022-23 school year.
  • A San Francisco Superior Court judge struck down a city ordinance last week that allowed non-U.S. citizens to vote in school board elections.
  • With laws in place that allow individuals other than police or security officials to carry guns on school grounds in more than 29 states excluding California, the New York Times reports that more teachers in other states may carry handguns in the wake of the Uvalde elementary school tragedy.

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.