BASIS Peoria - Arizona Regional High School Science Bowl

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Coach Merissa Remus has been teaching chemistry, biology, and neuroscience for the past thirteen years. She earned a B.S. from Waynesburg University with a dual major in chemistry and biology and a Ph.D. in the biological sciences from Carnegie Mellon University. She was trained as a laboratory scientist at Carnegie Mellon, where she designed and conducted biomedical research. For her research endeavors aimed at understanding how dopaminergic pathways contribute to reward-seeking behaviors, she was awarded fellowships from both the NIH and the NSF. During her graduate studies, she assisted in the teaching of undergraduate courses, participated in science outreach events for Pittsburgh area high school students, and directed the research projects of undergraduates in the laboratory.  Coach Remus relocated to Phoenix, AZ to teach rigorous science curriculum to middle and high school students at BASIS Peoria. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, hiking in the desert, and spending quality time with her family and great dane.

Coach Abha Pandey is a delivery project executive at IBM, with a degree in computer science and engineering. She is very passionate about science and technology education in grade school. Abha has volunteered as a coach for the elementary Science Olympiad and middle school Science Bowl for the last six years.  Through the Microsoft TEALs program, she has also served as a volunteer co-teacher for AP computer science.

Russell Georgi is in the ninth grade. His hobbies include reading, programming, playing the piano, doing karate, and learning physics. He is involved in his school's Science Bowl and Tri-M. Russell's favorite subjects are physics, math, computer science, and Latin. In his free time, he enjoys reading physics textbooks and programming video games. He plans to go into theoretical physics as a career.

Adhitya Chandra is a freshman at BASIS Peoria. His favorite subjects are physics, astronomy, math, and organic chemistry. He is currently involved in the Science Bowl, USAAAO (Astronomy Olympiad), National Junior Honor Society, and math competitions like the AMC. This is his second time going to nationals; the first time being only last year. Adhitya’s hobbies include playing tennis, solving Rubik’s cubes, and reading astronomy articles. Finally, Adhitya wants to pursue a career in theoretical astrophysics.

Akhil Rokkam is a sophomore at BASIS Peoria. In his free time, he likes to play his saxophone, play chess, talk with his friends, and read books, especially biology books and science fiction. He is involved in his school’s Science Bowl, Academic Decathlon, National Junior Honor Society, UNICEF, biology and math clubs. Akhil’s favorite subjects are biology, chemistry, math, and economics. In college, he hopes to double major in biochemistry/neuroscience and healthcare management. Akhil is interested in biomedical research and would like to pursue a career in medicine in the future.

Yash Lal is a junior. His interests and hobbies include playing chess, reading Clayden, and learning about cool organic chemistry reactions like the extremely noted Favorskii rearrangement. At school, he is involved in Science Bowl, Chemistry Olympiad, math club, Public Forum Debate, National Honor Society, and Tri-M. In his free time, he enjoys reading about topics like the Auger Effect or Renner Teller Effect, with a special focus on cool chemistry techniques like ICE tables. His favorite subjects are chemistry, math, physics, and biology. He wants to pursue biomedical research for his career.