In June, Harker students Michael Kwan, Jimmy Lin, Sahana Srinivasan, Justin Xie, Shaya Zarkesh, Randy Zhao and Jerry Chen, now all grade 11, were named the best team in the country at the Test of Engineering, Aptitude, Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) National Conference in Nashville.
TEAMS is a STEM-based competition in which high school students apply their knowledge to solve current and upcoming challenges. Each year, a theme is chosen, and students compete at various regional events before the top-ranking teams meet at the National Conference to vie for the title of Best in Nation. At the state level, teams first submit a thoroughly researched essay. At the competitions, they take a multiple-choice exam and are tasked with completing a design challenge using provided materials.
This year’s theme was space exploration, and at the Nashville event the Harker team gave a presentation on space colonization. Their essay covered the field of optogenetics (controlling cells in living tissue through the use of light), which they studied in preparation for the exam portion of the competition.
“We all researched different topics in our spare time and then gathered once a week over the summer to pool everyone’s research together and discuss our strategy going forward,” Lin told the Winged Post. “Our whole team learned a lot through working together on the group events, and it was definitely exciting to see our hard work pay off when we ultimately came out on top.”