Last year, Keiana Cavé won 2nd prize in the International Science and Engineering Fair. Now, MIT and NASA have rewarded her by naming a minor planet after the Lusher Senior. Information on the asteroid can be found on NASA’s website
Keiana’s project was one that could pay large dividends for her home state. As she describes it, “I developed a method that allows the EPA to develop certain aldehydes or toxins that form as photo-products during oil spills. And that was based off of the BP oil spill.” And now that she’s developed a technique for identifying these “invisible toxins,” Keiana has shifted her focus to a method of cleaning these toxins (and the petroleum that causes them) from bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico. Keiana, an engineering student at Lusher and computer programmer/web designer on her own time, has taken full advantage of the high school’s Tulane College Credit program to spend part of her school days at the neighboring university for the past 2 years, taking classes and gaining valuable research time in their laboratories. With smarts and ambition like this, we get the feeling this won’t be the last planet Keiana conquers. And Lusher couldn’t be prouder of her.
Also, be sure to watch the interview of Keiana, Mr. Morrow, Mr. White, and Mr. Pape in the WDSU story above.