Sophomore projects explore drug-detecting nail polish, HoloLens, and more

Packets for the Sophomore Project in Eric Twisselmann's room.

Thomas Bailleul, The Freelancer

Packets for the Sophomore Project in Eric Twisselmann’s room.

Ryan Smith, News Editor

For a few weeks now, sophomore English classes across campus have been working on La Serna’s required sophomore project. There are variations of this project in academies such as Sports Academy and Puente, but most students must create an essay and an accompanying presentation on a recent innovation. This year’s sophomores have been discovering just how much great potential there is in today’s technology.

Alexis Covarrubias, sophomore class council president, is reporting on a date rape drug-detecting nail polish. “It is able to detect date rape drugs if you dip your finger into a drink, within a matter of seconds,” she said.

Danny Kasri has chosen the Microsoft HoloLens as his research topic. The HoloLens is a pair of smart glasses that, through holographic technology, can combine the real and virtual worlds to immerse the wearer in games, communication with others, and many other functions. “When I saw the technology at the Windows 10 presentation, I just couldn’t stop thinking of the potential it had,” Kasri said. “Imagine being able to simulate a surgery for medical students without using a body. Imagine being able to walk on Mars in your own living room. Imagine being able to build and test a rocket before you construct it. [There are] so many different things and uses it could have if it delivers what it promises.”

Isaac Martinez is exploring solar energy for his project. “I want to have solar panels in my house when I grow up because it’s an efficient way to save money,” he said. On average, a family [spends] about eight cents a month for every kilowatt using solar energy. Using regular energy, they [spend] about thirty-six cents.”

“I’m doing my project on needle-free diabetes care patches,” Dolores Gutierrez said. “I picked needle-free diabetes patches because my grandfather, who passed away seven years ago, was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. It’s interesting to me because I remember the pain my grandpa had to go through with the needles to check his insulin and plan his diet for the day accordingly. It’s interesting because no longer are diabetics of type 1 or 2 diabetes having to do so. Now we have technology to use patches to wirelessly monitor the levels of insulin. This would have been great for my grandpa and I’m glad that people are no longer losing loved ones to diabetes or problems caused by diabetes. I always promised him that one day I would become a doctor to take care of him, and that he wouldn’t need to go through so much pain to stay healthy. Now there are people who have made that promise come true.”