TSA Member-Janie Gu

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Janie Gu, High Technology High School, New Jersey, Placed Second at the Naional High School Science Fair


Early in 2010, Janie Gu,  TSA member and senior at High Technology High School in Lincroft, New Jersey, attended the LandWarNet Conference and Exposition held in Tampa, Florida.  Ms. Gu was invited to present her research at the conference as a result of placing second overall in the National High School Science Fair sponsored by the AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) Educational Foundation.  She attributes much of her success to her involvement in TSA.   “I’ve done a variety of competitions, but the one that inspired me most was the first one I did for TSA’s Manufacturing Prototype competition. The challenge was to build a promotional product for TSA, and as part of the design I came up with, I had to construct electronic circuitry and do CNC programming. As a result, I learned a lot about physics and basic electrical engineering, and I used a lot of that knowledge in conducting the research I submitted for AFCEA and won with,” she explains.


The AFCEA Educational Foundation promotes excellence in education with scholarships, awards, grants and prizes, awarded annually to students studying the scientific and technical disciplines that support communications, intelligence and information systems.  AFCEA International, established in 1946, is a non-profit membership association serving the military, government, industry, and academia as an ethical forum for advancing professional knowledge and relationships in the fields of communications, IT, intelligence, and global security.


Ms. Gu was nominated to compete in the National Science Fair after being awarded first place and $2,000 in the regional competition sponsored by AFCEA Fort Monmouth, New Jersey Chapter.  She put together a paper and DVD of her research for her nationals submission, which was carefully reviewed by a select panel of judges. Her project was entitled "Detection and Differentiation Between Targets: Towards Improving the Precision of an Atomic Magnetometer." The purpose of her research was to reduce the magnetic noise experienced by an atomic magnetometer system and thus lower the sensitivity and improve the precision of the device. The project used a resistor-inductor series circuit to measure the magnetic permeabilities and magnetic loss factors of three commercially produced ferrite materials that were formed into a torroid coil core. The results found an improved shielding material with lower noise than ones currently in use, which would have many practical applications related to magnetometers or with numerous devices that use magnetic fields, such as those used in communications electronics, the military, medicine, and space exploration.


Ms. Gu is a member of her school's varsity tennis team, National Honor Society, math and physics leagues, and serves as the reporter for her TSA chapter.  Among her other hobbies are photography, writing, graphic design, singing, playing piano, and running. In her spare time, she has conducted various scientific studies and experiments that led her to receive top awards at regional, state, national, and international levels. These studies have encouraged her to mentor students at local middle schools to help them conduct research of their own, and she hopes to continue this work in the future. She also shares her skills as a tutor for calculus, a coach for tennis and a counselor for summer science camps. After High School graduation, Gu plans to attend college and study mathematics and physics. She hopes to one day become a scientist or engineer and help change the world through further research and developing pioneering technologies.


”Being a part of TSA has inspired me to take my interest in science beyond the classroom. In school, you conduct experiments and answer questions you already know the answer to. But things don’t work like that in the real world – competitions like TSA give you the chance to solve real-world challenges while learning and working at things that really interest you,” she says.