Grade 11 student Janine Hsu recently took part in the 48th Annual Vancouver Island Regional Science Fair and took home more than one prize for her report and presentation. Janine took first place in the Senior division as well as capturing the Excellence in Research Award and the Munro Book prize for her project, Antioxidants and Atherosclerosis.
Janine was inspired to investigate atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in blood vessels, by her volunteer work at the Royal Jubilee hospital, where many patients were suffering from kidney failure, often as a result of atherosclerosis. She focused on how to reduce the mortality and morbidity rates of people suffering from atherosclerosis.
“After researching the main causes of atherosclerosis, I hypothesized that antioxidants could be beneficial,” explains Janine. She then began collecting data from various studies that measured antioxidant levels in atherosclerosis patients and tracked their response to antioxidant boosting vitamins, such as C and E, and foods, such as apples.
“The key hypothesis was about the amount and variety of antioxidants,” says Janine. “If you take vitamin E, vitamin C and others together, it’s more beneficial than just taking one type.” Her research concluded that a greater variety of antioxidants, taken over a long period and at regular intervals, was most effective. Janine has now entered her project in a national online competition.
Middle School student Ann Makosinski also placed in the Vancouver Island fair, taking second in the intermediate division for her project, A Quantitative Way of Measuring the Efficacy of Detergents.