Petersburg High School senior, Krissa Davis, competed in the State Science Symposium in Fairbanks for her project entitled “Testing Organic Labeling Laws by the Presence of GMO's in Corn,” and took fifth place. For this fifth place finish, Davis qualified to attend the National Science Symposium in Dayton, Ohio. This project essentially tested organic, all-natural and unlabeled food items to see if they would find the GM marker for presence or absence determinations. For the Fairbanks Symposium, Davis independently submitted a research paper and then had to present it at the competition to a panel of judges and the general public. Davis conducted this research with the assistance of Eva Kowalski who took the project to the Regional Science Fair in Juneau and was awarded the Surgeon General's Public Health Award for excellence as well as the Rainbow Foods Public Health Award.
“I didn't get to compete at the National level,” Davis said. “It was an honor to be able to attend as a non-competitor.”
Davis did take her poster with her to the symposium and enjoyed getting to know other students from all over the country.
“We had a really great trip,” Davis stated. “It was held by an Air Force Base so there was a lot of military influence and there were 232 kids from across the nation and with all the different presentations going on we were always able to learn something new.”
Davis explained that she had an opportunity to learn how other students across the country were learning and how they were conducting their research.
“They were doing all these crazy things,” Davis said. “They were making mechanical arms and finding cures for cancer. There were all these incredibly smart kids doing all types of different things.”
Davis also said that it would be unfair to compare Petersburg and its methods to the things she saw there.
“It was amazing that I even got to attend,” Davis said. “All of these kids are going to go to Harvard and Yale and they come from big schools with so many opportunities.”
According to Davis, as she spoke with some of the other students she realized that she has had the opportunity to take two AP classes as they are taking seven.
“This has taught me that I have to strive for higher and better,” Davis stated. “I may be fine here, but I need to be better to be successful somewhere else. I know I am not on the level that I could be and this experience has let me know that I can go much farther than I had anticipated.”
Davis plans to go to college at Fort Lewis in Durango, Colo. and major in biology.
“I now know what my choices are and I will have more resources,” Davis stated. “After college, I may not live in Petersburg, but I will always make Alaska home.”