Prize Recipient

Micaela Casas

Micaela Casas


My name is Micaela Casas and I am from Houston, Texas. With respect to education, I am an 18 year-old senior at DeBakey High School for Health Professions. DeBakey HSHP has a strong mathematics and science program. Students are required to take a minimum of 5 years of both math and science courses. While taking Physics, I discovered that I had an aptitude for physics. My physics professor, Dr. E. Durban, encouraged me to consider a career in physics.

During my junior year in high school, I learned about a summer internship program called NASA SHARP. I was accepted into their residential program and was assigned two mentors, Dr. Alkesh Punjabi and Dr. Halima Ali. Under this program, I did research at the Center for Fusion Research and Training at Hampton University. I explored chaos theory and how it relates to magnetic field disturbances in a single-null divertor tokamak for controlled fusion. I also did a poster presentation at the American Physical Society: Division of Plasma Physics Annual Conference in Albuquerque, NM in October 2003 and had my abstract published in their bulletin. Not only have I learned a great deal about physics and conducting research, but also, all of this has reinforced my love of science and mathematics, especially physics.

I am currently taking AP Physics B and will attend Rice University beginning Fall 2004 where I plan to major in physics.