Hopewell Valley Central High School Junior Recognized Internationally for Environmental Genetics Research

Sonja Michaluk

Hopewell Valley Central High School junior, Sonja Michaluk, was recognized internationally as an Intel International Science & Engineering Fair (ISEF) Finalist and earned a Grand Award (4th place) in Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Michaluk was awarded an all-expense paid trip to Phoenix, AZ, and presented her independent research with students from over 80 countries and territories around the globe. Millions of high school students worldwide compete each year for this opportunity from which approximately 1800 finalists are invited to attend Intel ISEF,  where doctoral level scientists review and judge their work.

Michaluk’s research entitled, “A Novel Method of Monitoring the Health of our Global Fresh Water Supply using DNA Barcoding of Chironomidae (Diptera)”, explored DNA Barcoding as a method for measuring the health of fresh water sources.

Sonja enjoyed meeting with Nobel Laureates, CEOs, as well as lunch with the co-inventor of the microprocessor.

Additionally, Michaluk has been chosen as the representative from the State of New Jersey to present her research nationally in Columbus, Ohio with the Water Environment Federation and Stockholm Junior Water Prize, the world’s most prestigious youth award for a water-related science project that seek to address current and future water challenges.

Michaluk commented “I am thankful for all my Hopewell Valley teachers who have supported me and especially Ms. Karen Lucci for teaching critical concepts and for her inspiration and encouragement!”

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