2018-19 Senior Research

Click videos to hear about each research topic

Click on the text link to connect to each group's Research Blog 

 Reis and Paul

Effect of Varying Metal Types and Currents on the Hardness of Water


The Flint Water Crisis is a terrible event that is harmfully impacting the entire city. When the government fails to be accountable and provide the resources to fix this problem (high levels of lead in the water), the people must find a way to fix it themselves. Although we are not citizens of Flint, our research focuses on the effectiveness of removing potentially dangerous magnesium and calcium particles from water. If our research shows that our method greatly reduces levels of these minerals, we could extrapolate it to lead or other harmful particles in water.

 Kate and Dee

The Effect of Cat Litter, Salt, Rice, and Sand on the Torque of a Tire on Ice


This research aimed to find the effect four different materials (cat litter, salt, rice, and sand) had on the torque of a tire stuck in ice. This will be most helpful to the common citizen living in a colder climate. Knowing what to use to free your car from snow and ice is essential if you're living in a colder climate and frequently get stuck.

Madi and Amber

The Effect of Temperature and Daylight Exposure on the Decomposition of Ammonia Into Nitrite


Today, freshwater sources, such as lakes and rivers, are becoming more polluted mainly because of agriculture and its overuse of artificial fertilizers. By using factors, daylight and time, this research aims to simulate different times of year. Through simulation, the goal is to estimate the time of year fertilizer substances, like ammonia, breakdown through the nitrogen cycle the slowest and create the most pollution. With this knowledge, those who work in the agricultural industry will be able to limit fertilizer use during that season to maximize pollution reduction..

 Brianne and Ava

The Effects of Penicillin and Bromelain on Staphylococcus Epidermis


Our research topic this year is comparing chemical and natural antibiotics to kill potentially harmful bacteria. We chose this topic because antibiotic resistance is becoming a huge problem in the medical field, and doctors are trying to find new ways to fight evolving bacteria.

Arnes and Nathan

The Ideal Siping Pattern


The purpose of our experiment is to determine which pattern of tire siping is most beneficial for automobiles driving on icy or slippery roads. Currently, the majority of manufactured vehicles do not come equipped with siped tires and are in complete reliance of tire treads to provide traction. The lack of benefits to traction that current siping methods require are generally not enough to compensate for the time-consuming process of making incisions into all four tires of a vehicle. By finding an optimal siping pattern for winter road conditions, the cost of purchasing a new set of tires with winter treads could be offset by only having to pay for the cost of siping.

Knicko and Madeleine

The Effect of Varying Sub-Base Materials on the Expansion and Contraction of Asphalt Pavement


We will be looking at the effect of varying sub-base materials on the expansion and contraction of asphalt pavement. In our experiment, we will be testing three different sub-base materials: sand, gravel, and marble rock. We will create a small scale pavement road surface with three layers: a base, the sub-base to be tested, and an asphalt patch surface. There will be room for expansion above the patch surface. After setting the layers, they will be exposed to multiple freeze and thaw cycles, and the material expansion will be measured. By conducting this research, we hope to determine what sub-base material will be best suited in asphalt pavement applications in regions where freeze and thaw cycles are common, thus reducing the prevalence of potholes.

Trudy and Skyler

The Effect of Various Dissolved Oxygen Levels on the Growth of Escherichia coli


The purpose of this experiment was to find the effect that various levels of dissolved oxygen has on the population and growth of Escherichia coli.   Algae bloom decomposition can create low levels of oxygen or even dead zones in the Great Lakes, and especially in Lake St. Clair.  While E. coli is the most common single bacteria tested to find the health and safety of the water, false testings due to fluctuating oxygen levels could allow dangerous levels of other harmful bacteria to be ignored and cause illness or even death to humans, pets, and wildlife.

Lauren and Liz

Effect of Storm Water Runoff on the Quality of Water


We are doing a field study on stormwater runoff by collecting water in the storm drains that drain directly to the lake and testing the pH, temperature, nitrates, and phosphates.  The stormwater runoff in most of the drains in St. Clair Shores drains directly to Lake St. Clair, so if the stormwater runoff has high nitrates, a high pH, or high levels of phosphate, the lake's pH can increase, the nitrate levels can increase, and the phosphate levels can increase in the lake, which can cause problems such as harmful algal blooms and dead aquatic life.

Brian and Duane

The Use of Non-Newtonian Fluids as Liquid Body Armor 


Our research is looking to make a "Liquid Body Armor" out of a Non-Newtonian Fluid composition of diatomaceous earth and polyethylene glycol solution. This solution will be applied to samples of denim and will be subjected to both blunt and sharp impact forces to determine the overall protective quality of both the treated and untreated denim samples. Our research could benefit the community as a new form of protective armor. It could yield the potential to protect people in law enforcement, branches of the Military, and people who participate in potentially dangerous sports such as football. The "liquid armor" could also be a more flexible and durable alternative to the regular protective vests and padding typically worn on men and women in law enforcement and in the NFL.

Aubrey and Alina

Effect of Different Concentrations of Tturpentine Oil and Duration of UV-B Light Exposure on the Breakdown of 5W-30 Oil


The US has the 10th largest oil reserve in the world. The amount of oil spills is rising due to the increasing rate of transportation of crude oil by boat. Crude oil is highly toxic and contains chemicals that are carcinogenic. These chemicals negatively affect marine life and have caused many of these animals to die. What is the most effective way to clean up the oil?   Our mission is to determine if 5W-30 can be easily cleaned with simple UV-B light exposure and turpentine oil.

 Caleb and Ryan

Effect of Varying Metals on the Electrolysis of Sea Water


Every year, on average, two dozen large ships sink each year. These ships can be carrying hazardous materials or valuable cargo. Rather than letting these ships pollute our oceans, we set out to develop a method of recovering these ships. The method we proposed is using electrolysis to produce hydrogen and oxygen underwater to provide a buoyant lifting force to raise the ship. Our research focuses on determining which metal type (aluminum, copper, or steel) will yield the highest rate of gas production in an electrolytic cell.

 Joe and Chaz 

Reducing Drag on Tractor Trailers 



The problem of the experiment is to determine the ideal angle of attachment of trailer tails to the rear of tractor trailers.


Based upon existing research, the trailer tail angle to reduce the force of wind resistance the greatest will be fifteen degrees, followed by thirty degrees, and finally zero degrees.

Click here to read about Joe and Chaz's research 

 RaeLynn and Mackenzie

Heat Transfer of Oven Mitts: What Materials Transfer the Least Heat


The goal of this research project is to determine which combination of two materials will produce an oven mitt most effective at slowing heat conduction through the oven mitt. The materials used to make the oven mitt include silicone, cotton, and Kevlar. Our hypothesis is that the combination of silicone and Kevlar will conduct the least heat, creating an oven mitt with the lowest temperature after a time period


 Joe and Andrew 

How Hull Design Affects the  Efficiency of a Boat



We are interested in finding a way to improve on modern boat designs. This will be done by testing multiple boat designs that vary in size and shape. After testing these designs we will compile all the key aspects of successful boats, and we will be able to construct a final most efficient boat.


Ships with a thin hull will be more efficient than ships with a large thick hull. A catamaran is one of the quickest designs due to its small hull surface area. A ship resembling a catamaran will be the most efficient when compared to the other ships we design. A thin hull will have the least drag from the water.

Click here to read about Andrew and Joe's research

 Scott and Timmy

Sound Dampening in a Workplace



To determine the best density of foam and layout of cubicles in a office space to minimize the sound within the individual cubicle.


If multiple arrangements of cubicles and density of the sound dampeners, then the honeycomb design paired with the the high density sound dampener will result in the most quiet work environment.

Click here to read about Scott and Timmy's research

Katelyn and Brendan

The Effect of Different Types of Hair Bleach and Heat on Hair Tensility


For our research, we plan on spending a few days prepping the hair before treating it and measuring the results. After the treatment and, to collect the data, we have to build a force system in order to test the overall strength of the hair. We have contacted Brendan's mom, Karen Lubiarz, since she was a professional hair stylist for many years and has experience in bleaching and treating hair.

Click here to read about Brendan and Katelyn's research


Link to Senior Research Abstract Archives

Every year, students at the MMSTC are required to do a research project.  Senior Research is the culmination of  all the skills acquired over the previous three years applied to a lengthy, in-depth study of the students' choice.  Click here to look at Senior Research abstracts for every class since 1996, arranged by graduation year.

Research Resources 

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