Linglong Dai ’23 and Jimmy Ding ’23 were recognized at the Bucks County Science and Research Competition. Jimmy received an honorable mention in the environmental science category. Linglong placed third in mathematics and was subsequently invited to compete in the Delaware Valley Science Fair where she placed second in the mathematics category.
Jimmy’s research focused on removing Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) contaminants from water sources. PFOAs have been used in consumer products for many years and have been slowly phased out due to the adverse health effects that they have on the public. There are still some communities that are affected by these impurities in their drinking water, however, and that is what makes Jimmy’s research so relevant.
“My work, briefly, is tailoring zirconium-based Metal-Organic Framework UiO-66 with different functional groups to eliminate the hazardous PFOAs in a water environment,” Jimmy explained.
Linglong’s project was a long time in the making. The process began in April 2021. She shared that her research was “on the proposal of a secure shuffling cryptographic protocol that achieves assigning random order to a party of mutually distrusted members in a decentralized manner.… In a realistic setting, the protocol could be applied to circumstances like the [Diversity Immigrant Visa], which selects 50,000 applicants from a pool of more than 10 million of them to further their immigration process. The DIV lottery currently relies on a centralized procedure, but with our decentralized system, security and fortune are placed in participants’ own hands.”
For Linglong, the community at George School was integral to her success at both science fairs, “I have to say that the warmth and encouragement from George School teachers, especially Brian, give me the hope that perhaps my research is valuable. The realization motivated me to revamp my research project…. I used to work mostly by myself in research, I have never felt the support as much as at George School. Many teachers and friends have helped me along the way.”
Jimmy also shared his appreciation for the team who helped him in his research and submission to the competition. “Professor Zeng and her research team helped me a lot during the process, and I give special thanks to them. Also, Brian Patton, the research teacher in the George School Science Department, helped me to revise my essay and gave me the advice to apply for the whole program. I appreciate his work as well.”
The Bucks County Science and Research Competition gives students from seventeen area schools a platform to showcase their research. The Delaware Valley Science Fairs connects young minds with professionals in their field. The primary goals are that students will gain some insight into new directions for their research and be exposed to new ways of thinking.