Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

RISE Student wins First Place in Space Science at Northeastern Science and Engineering Fair

Sara Anjum, a current enrollee in IMSA’s inaugural Research, Inquiry Skills & Experimentation (RISE) course,  recently won first place in the Space Science category at the Northeastern Ohio Science and Engineering Fair (NEOSEF) held in Cleveland, Ohio. She also received first place in a special awards category by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), as well as an invitation to present her results at the upcoming AIAA Propulsion and Energy Forum in June. 


Anjum, a junior from Ohio, developed her research project through RISE, and partnered with Dr. Laura Trouille, a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) and Astronomer at the Adler Planetarium. She looked for trends in galaxy properties over cosmic time using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, studying more than a million galaxies.

According to CIERA’s website, “Sara found that distant galaxies had smaller stellar bulge masses for a given central supermassive black hole mass. This suggests that earlier in the Universe, black holes found a way to grow relatively quickly, while the stellar bulge surrounding them lagged behind. This is an active area of research in astronomy.”

Sara is one of sixteen members of RISE’s first class of students who were recognized with awards, prizes, and/or invites to further present their independent research. RISE is now accepting applicants for its second class of passionate math and science students from grades 9-12.