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Carmen Arielle Palileo

1390

Bold Points

11x

Nominee

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Bio

I am an inquisitive and ambitious high school senior exploring future careers and self-development with a focus on STEM. I am currently apart of my school's FRC robotics team and ACT Prep Club, where I practice team collaboration, flexibility, and time management abilities. This semester I am taking AP Research, AP English Literature, Spanish 4, American Roots Music, and Linear Algebra. I would love to study mechanical engineering after high school.

Education

Science Hill High School

High School
2018 - 2022

Miscellaneous

  • Desired degree level:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Computer Engineering
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics and Computer Science
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Mechanical or Industrial Engineering

    • Dream career goals:

      Senior Engineer

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        Elevate The Future — Finance Team Member and Lead Instructor
        2020 – Present
      • Volunteering

        St. Mary's School Robotics Team — Mentor
        2018 – 2019

      Future Interests

      Volunteering

      Philanthropy

      Entrepreneurship

      Dynamic Edge Women in STEM Scholarship
      Winner
      After sunset, the open ocean steals its colors from the sun. It burns magenta, orange, and brilliant gold before extinguishing in infinite darkness, matching the depths below. Only then do plankton, fishes, squids, eels, jellyfish, and a plethora of other animals commute en masse to feed at the surface; when the sun rises, they return from whence they came. The ocean twilight zone is a vast, dimly-lit region of the ocean where diversity abounds. Long-jawed anglerfish, 50-meter-long siphonophores, and the like catch krill, copepods, or bioluminescent bristlemouth fish. Many gelatinous decomposers feed on the detritus that falls from the waters above; these organisms are highly elusive, relatively unknown, and easily disturbed. Mesobot, a hybrid underwater vehicle, can dive up to one thousand meters below sea level to observe marine life where it is too deep to send human divers and too costly to send submarines. It has white-to-red LED lights, a stereo pair of cameras, and another for high-resolution images. Using epipolar geometry and image processing software, Mesobot autonomously tracks fragile microorganisms on their daily migrations, following from a respectful distance. Most propeller designs agitate the surrounding water, preventing scientists from observing in situ behavior. With this in mind, engineers fitted Mesobot with large, low-powered thrusters that generate minimal hydrodynamic disturbance. The result is a 250 kilogram, 1.5 meters tall, slow-moving vehicle that can hold its depth to the centimeter, enabling it to observe zooplankton closer than ever before. As a Tennessean, my childhood interest in marine biology may seem out of place; however, I find this fascinating: for thousands of years, people have sailed the seven seas, dived beneath its waves, or launched submarines where a select few can fathom, but only recently have we been able to create research platforms to explore it at this level of depth and detail. Mesobot is a novel, investigative tool. The behaviors, lifecycles, and life histories of twilight zone species are up to speculation. Their ecological niches in local food webs are shrouded in mystery. Scientists know that these organisms transfer nutrients to the ocean floor, but they lack data to describe the twilight zone’s role in the global carbon cycle. Information never leaks on its own, and from an empirical perspective, it is impractical to leave such questions up in the air. More than eighty percent of the world’s oceans remain unmapped and unobserved. With a looming climate crisis burdened by limited knowledge, there is a critical need to understand how society’s increasing demand for marine resources impacts seventy-one percent of the planet. The most-traded food commodity in the world is seafood. Livestock and aquaculture depend on fishmeal, and millions subsist on modest incomes from fisheries. Even so, illegal overfishing operations in the open ocean compromise food security and the well-being of workers at sea. Krill fishing, for example, could provoke the collapse of the Antarctic ecosystem, already weakened by rising global temperatures. When I go to college, I want to study mechanical engineering with a focus on robotics. I want to realize robust platforms to collect data, so marine biologists may better understand twilight zone species and methods to protect them from overexploitation. The twilight zone and the deep sea are Earth’s final frontier, and one of the best ways for me to explore it is to build a vehicle to push the boundaries of what is possible.