Viola Mocz, who in mid-April was named one of the most outstanding high school seniors in the country, has added another accolade to her distinguished academic career. Last week in Washington, D.C., the Mililani High student won first place in the physical science category in the 52nd National Junior Science & Humanities Symposium (NJSHS) for her research on the internal structure of elementary particles. For her winning entry, Viola formulated a semi-classical wave-particle model to describe the fundamental properties of leptons, quarks, and hadrons within the framework of mathematical knots.
Her achievement netted her a $12,000 scholarship.
In addition to the physical science category, the competition featured six other categories: environmental science, life sciences, medicine and health, mathematics and computer science, chemistry and engineering. The Symposium featured 230 high school students who were selected from various regional symposia.
Earlier in April, Viola was one of six Hawaii students named semi-finalists in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, a select group of the most outstanding high seniors in the country. Viola will graduate May 25 at the top of her Mililani High class of 625 seniors.
Viola has committed to Princeton University, where she plans to study particle physics this fall, according to Mililani Science Teacher Nel Venzon, who has been a vital part of Viola’s educational career.
The students’ trip to the NJSHS was supported in part by the Academy of Applied Science, and the U.S. Departments of the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Viola’s participation in NJSHS was also supported by the Hawaii Academy of Science, Mililani High School, and Science Learning Center.