Gahanna Lincoln High School became a living laboratory Jan. 31 when Science Academy students demonstrated research projects to classmates and the community.

Gahanna Lincoln High School became a living laboratory Jan. 31 when Science Academy students demonstrated research projects to classmates and the community.

During the sixth annual Science Symposium, students presented projects on topics ranging from the possibility of an algae-based biofuel to the development of a virtually controlled robotic hand.

Gahanna Lincoln science teachers as well as community members judged poster presentations and interacted with the students, who were dressed formally for the event.

Sibi Sengottuvel's project featured the development of an accelerometer-based wheelchair control system for patients with limited mobility or complete quadriplegia.

"They don't have hand movements, so I made a controller they could use using their head," he said. "The more they tilt their head forward, the faster they go. With most wheelchairs (for quadrapalegics), you can't control the speed or how fast they turn."

Sibi used tools including a helmet, game controller and cellular phone.

Aaron Grgurich developed a cost-efficient all-terrain analytical Remotely Operated Vehicle.

He said the purpose of the ROV is to be able to collect data such as light and temperatures and to view surroundings.

Grgurich used a remote control car, a USB camera, sensors and a small Netbook computer for the project.

The sensors, camera and Netbook were attached to the car, allowing data to be collected through the computer program Logger Pro. The onboard Netbook was shared using Google Chrome desktop sharing. This allowed the onboard Netbook to be viewed and controlled by any other computer as long as both computers had access to the Internet.

Aaron said the arrangement of the instruments worked very well, and data were easily collected through the computer software.

Jonathan Chang's project involved an infrared sensor system for mobile target tracking.

He said the purpose was to develop an actively tracking missile defense prototype and utilize infrared sensors to detect and follow projectiles on unpredictable paths.

Other Academy students and their projects included:

* Ross Candor, the design, production and testing of a prototype cognitive-based human exoskeleton.

* Kyle Clark, development of autonomous fire-seeking and fire-extinguishing robot.

* Alex Cline, investigate possibility of an algae-based biofuel.

* Anthony Condo, arduino-based tilt-compensated magnetic sensor module for ROV navigation system.

* Anna Dang, investigate algae as a biofuel agent.

* David Dembroski, use an accelerometer to compare the punts of experienced punters and inexperienced punters.

* Shay Fraser, establish a baseline of macro invertebrates and water quality in the Rocky Fork Creek.

* Stephen George, develop a stereotactic robotic neurosurgery prototype.

* Christian Grimme, develop a virtually controlled robotic hand.

* Jacob Honick, preservation of traditional long boarding mechanics enhanced by means of an electric motor accompanied by a regenerative braking system.

* Zach Horn, experimental design of a low-cost and practical acoustic telemetry system.

* Husnain Iftikhar, develop an autonomous target search-and-destroy system through infrared sensory.

* Kyle Johnson, assistance of the visually impaired using infrared display and camera.

* Hilary Kleppel, investigate the effects of dracaena cinnabari on the production of stem cells in dugesia tigrina.

* Robyn Marowitz, comparison of running and biking to rowing using a three-axis accelerometer.

* Emily Merickel, develop and test an enclosed autonomous oxygen-regenerating environment.

* Drew Mitchell, angular displacement system for utilization is assisting technology.

* Charles Monagan, develop a sonar-based collision avoidance system for a quad-copter.

* Nelson Okeke, create a self-driving vehicle based on satellite control and ultrasonic sensors.

* Josh Oldaker, develop an infrared target-tracking robotic swarm system.

* Hayden Pfeifer, a study testing the effects of calcium carbonate in preventing the growth of lactobacillus acidophilus in the mouth.

* Talia Rozenbojm, study on the relationship between microbes and other stressors in the development of diseases.

* Jordan Sprunger, an application of swarm intelligence and global positioning systems in an autonomous robotic system.

* Laura Stegner, develop a biodegradable plastic from soy protein isolate for use in three-dimensional printing.

* Matthew Zianni, investigate the effects of glutaraldehyde on the growth and nodulation of sinorhizobium meliloti.

The Science Academy Special Aspects students displayed their posters and many demonstrated their capstone projects.

Each Academy student writes a technical paper and abstract of their work.

The papers are usually between 30 to 50 pages long, and include detailed reviews of pertinent science literature and statistical analyses of collected data, as well as methods, discussion of results and appropriate conclusions.

Gahanna's Science Academy includes two specialty areas or tracks: a medical/heath track and a robotics/engineering track.

Students take the normal core courses of physical science, biology, chemistry and physics. They also take four more science courses geared specifically to their field of interest.

During their junior year, robotics students take space technology and underwater robotics, while health/medical students take microbiology and anatomy and physiology.

During their senior year, students in both tracks are encouraged to take honors bionics and complete a capstone project in special aspects.