Senior Takes Intel to the Next Level

By Sydney Hoff

While the Intel Science Research Program is filled with many hard working and bright students, there is one who particularly stands out. Senior Wendy Willner has truly taken her project to the next level.

After interning during the summer, Wendy and her adviser decided that it would be best for her to continue working even after the warm weather had faded. Three months into school, Wendy was asked to stay on as an intern in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute through the spring. Although all tasks associated with the research part of BHS’s Intel Program were complete, Wendy continues her work, missing one day of school each week to work in the lab.

This endeavor consumes hours of time each week. Professor Gadhamshetty, Wendy’s adviser, shares that she “stretches beyond typical boundaries of a high school student… work[ing] incessantly and put[ting] in hard work to lay a scientific hypothesis and experimental plan, to collect and analyze data, and finally, to perform her research in a systematic manner.”

Wendy’s project is called “Biormediation of 3’3 Dichlorobenzidine through the use of Microbial Fuel Cells.” Through her work, she has found “what looks like a viable means of treating water contaminated 3’3 Dichlorobenizine, an EPA Group B2 Probable Human Carcinogen, while simultaneously producing electricity.” Wendy has been accepted to present her research this spring in two symposiums at the American Chemical Society in New Orleans Louisiana.

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