NORFOLK — Superintendent Paul Zinni is pleased to announce that a former King Philip Regional High School senior was recently published in a scientific journal.
Class of 2019 graduate Justin Willson, of Wrentham, began an experiment in the spring of 2018 to test the efficacy of engineered materials on reducing zebra mussel attachment to pipes. His research was published in the Journal of Emerging Investigators on June 3. To read his work, click here.
Zebra mussels are an invasive aquatic species that have invaded many bodies of fresh water in the United States. The mussels damage the natural environments they invade, and are also known for causing millions of dollars in damages from attaching to industrial pipes and structures, often causing blockages, corrosion and equipment failures.
Willson conducted an experiment to examine the ability of zebra mussels attaching to nontoxic materials, Sharklet and Netminder, and also used PVC pipe and lake rock as control materials in his experiments.
He obtained permission to collect zebra mussels for his research from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation, and was given advice about collecting those mussels from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
“Justin was extremely dedicated to this project, and spent a great deal of time and effort researching, gaining the proper permissions, seeking advice from professionals, organizing his experiment and analyzing the results,” said Ann Lambert, head of the King Philip High School science department. “It’s a pleasure to see his research published and is a testament to his hard work.”
Lambert served as an adviser to Willson throughout his research.
Willson’s research served as his final long-term project to earn a Graduation Distinction in STEM from King Philip Regional High School. He was one of seven graduating students to earn the STEM Graduation Distinction this year.