Sixteen-Year-Old Searches for Environmentally-Friendly Biological Option For Making Solar Panels
Sixteen-year-old homeschooled student, Yudi Pardo of Wesley Hills, N.Y, searches for an environmentally-friendly biological option for making solar panels through a special program at Rockland Community College.
Sixteen-Year-Old at Rockland Community College Searches for Environmentally-Friendly Biological Option For Making Solar Panels
Suffern, NY - A homeschooled student enrolled at the State University of New York at Rockland Community College (RCC) is conducting graduate school level work to alter a common blue-green algae in order to make biologically derived solar panels.
Yudi Pardo of Wesley Hills is enrolled under a special program at RCC that allows home schooled and high school students to take college courses before they have finished their high school graduation requirements.
Pardo believes that if his work is successful, it will provide an alternative to the chemical solar cells currently used and therefore improve the environment. "I have long been fascinated by photosynthesis, the process that plants and some bacteria use to convert solar energy into chemical energy to 'feed' themselves. I hope to harness this extremely efficient process to produce an environmentally-friendly, biologically based solar panel. My study of the molecular genetics of cyanobacteria, a photosynthetic type of bacteria, is the first of many steps toward this goal."
This past summer, at the age of 16, Pardo began his scientific research project under Dr. Kristopher Baker, Instructor of Science. Baker said, "This Ph.D. level project was largely Yudi's idea. He came to me with questions and a basic plan and I got him started. He is approaching a complex problem from a multi-disciplinary standpoint, combining the theoretical and practical aspects of plant and aquatic biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, with elements of mathematics and probability also incorporated into his work."
To date, Pardo has set up a "lab," ordered the reagents necessary to make this research possible, successfully maintained his cultures for three months, and has extracted DNA from the cyanobacteria. The immediate next steps involve molecular genetic manipulations of the cyanobacterial genome and the construction of a mutagenic plasmid, which he hopes will cause the photosynthetic machinery of the cyanobacteria to be assembled in a novel location. If successful, this will get him one step closer to his photovoltaic cells.
Pardo's experiment is the 2-credit independent course, Molecular Genetics Cyanobacteria. He is also currently taking Calculus I Honors and Intermediate Spanish.
For more information about the science project, contact Dr. Kristopher Baker, Instructor of Science, at 845-574-4143, email@example.com. For more information about high school students taking courses at RCC, contact Admissions at 845-574-4224 or visit: www.sunyrockland.edu
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Rockland Community College, a unit of the State University of New York, is located 25 miles northwest of NYC. The majority of its students transfer to four-year colleges, and many find immediate employment upon earning their associate's degree or certificate. The College also offers others, from preschoolers to senior citizens, the opportunity to simply learn something new. Quality education...at a price you can afford.