Rachel Rost takes 3rd place at Nationals Junior Science and Humanities Symposium

By Shannon Johnson

Rachel Rost, a junior at Baker High School, traveled to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the National Junior Science and Humanties Symposium after placing first at the Regional Science Fair last month in Butte, Montana.

Rachel hit the road with her project, titled “Effect of Iron Treatments on the Bacteria Mycobacterium smegmatis and Escherichia coli and the Role of Escherichia coli FhuA Iron Uptake Receptor on Phage Infections”. Her research project has a practical application in the medical community and could improve patient outcome.

“It was good. It was kind of scary,” admitted Rachel when asked about her trip. “I had to fly down there all by myself.”

Rachel was awarded 3rd place as well as a $4,000 scholarship. “I honestly didn’t really expect it,” she explained as she recalled some of the other excellent research projects, she was able to see while in New Mexico. On May 12th she will head off again for a week with her research project to Phoenix, Arizona for the International Science and Engineering Fair, or ISEF.

Rachel described the experience as humbling. “While I was there, I had a lot of fun. The experience made me get out of my comfort zone,” she said. “There were people with PhDs that were there that you could just go and talk to.”

Rachel, daughter of Roy and Melissa Rost, still has one year of high school left after this one. She plans on continuing researching phages more next year. Next, she would like to take a look at the mechanism of phages and how they work as opposed to the application and how they can be used.