Joshua said that his Intel project was a tribute to his brother. He conducted a “stroop test” with three groups –– typically developed children, children with Asperger syndrome and children with autism. In the test, photographs of faces are flashed across a computer screen. Words like angry, sad and happy are written over the faces. Sometimes the words match the faces, sometimes they don’t. Study participants are asked to focus on the faces and identify the emotions that are expressed. They type their answers into a computer on preprogrammed buttons.
Surprisingly, Pollock found, study participants with Asperger syndrome were fastest to identify emotions. Further study is needed to determine precisely why.
Pollock is a member of Kennedy’s science club and competed in Science Olympiads last year, in the protein-modeling category. He is active in Kennedy’s One World club, which works to promote understanding of people with special needs. And he is a member of Model Congress.
Pollock was accepted early decision to Cornell University.
Sara Rosenzweig, 17,
For her project, Rosenzweig analyzed the time that it takes for community hospital patients who have suffered heart attacks to receive electrocardiograms, or EKGs, once they enter an emergency room. EKGs check for irregularities in a heart’s electrical activity, allowing doctors to assess the type and severity of a heart attack that a patient might be suffering.
Community hospitals are smaller, local hospitals, often with fewer resources than larger institutions. Clinical guidelines call for an EKG within 10 minutes of a heart-attack patient entering an emergency room. By studying the records of 166 community hospital patients, Rosenzweig found that only 57.2 percent of heart-attack patients at community hospitals received EKGs within 10 minutes. “We need to improve a lot more,” she said.