Inspiring Innovation in Student Research      

Meet Mason Sufnarski

Mason Sufnarski was born in Albany, NY and moved with his family to Matthews, NC just three weeks later.  He is currently 17 years old, a senior in high school,  and living in Waxhaw, NC in Union County. He spends most of his downtime outdoors, recently traveling to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico with the Boy Scouts. He also enjoys spending time with his two dogs and playing recreational basketball with his friends.  When Mason is indoors he likes to keep up to date with current events, especially relevant stories about the environment, technology, and space exploration.

Meet Lisa Zhang

Lisa Zhang is a senior at Providence High School in Charlotte, NC.  At 17 years of age, she loves art, drawing (pencil) and painting (watercolors and acrylics) during her free time. She is also on the staff of her school’s literary arts magazine, previously as the art editor last year and taking on the role of design editor during her senior year.

Meet Nicholas Boyer

Nicholas Boyer was born in Australia and also lived in England and Florida before settling in NC about 9 years ago. With living in all of those places, he fondly notes that he has gotten to see a lot of interesting things, including historical sites such as castles in England. He loves living in the mountains where he enjoys camping, hiking, and exploring nature. Nicholas also enjoys playing soccer. He is a recent graduate of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) and is living in Horseshoe, NC. At NCSSM he founded a geology club which he was able to run virtually during the COVID-19 shutdown. The club discussed various topics ranging from rocks & minerals, looking at different crystals and how the atoms are arranged and calculating density.

Meet Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar

Prabuddha Ghosh Dastidar was born in India and moved to California at a couple of months old.  His family remained in Irvine, CA for a few years before finally settling in Waxhaw, outside of Charlotte, during his pre-school years.  They remained in Charlotte where Prabuddha grew up and eventually attended Metrolina Scholars Academy.  

Prabuddha has a passion for soccer, which he has been playing since 10 years old- inspired by watching the world cup with his grandfather.  Recently he picked up road and trail biking, calling it a “quarantine hobby”.  He jokes that this new hobby led to a lot of weight loss, as it increased his quarantine activity significantly.   He also describes himself as very extroverted. Outside of soccer and biking Prabuddha loves to spend time with his friends.

Meet Reva Kumar

Reva Kumar is a rising sophomore at North Mecklenburg high school in Huntersville, NC. She likes to be in clubs both in and outside of school and has been playing piano since age 6.  As she thinks of her six year old self, she remembers that at first was forced into piano lessons, but has developed a passion for it throughout the years and enjoys it tremendously now. Her out of school clubs & activities include sports (tennis) and debate club and she was a member of her middle school honor society. 

Meet Krisalyn Higerd

Krisalyn Higerd is a fifteen-year-old rising junior and the oldest in a family of eight children who lives in Camp LeJeune, North Carolina, where her father has been stationed as a marine for the past four years.  Over the years, she has lived in Virginia, California, and North Carolina.  An early reader, beginning at age two, Krisalyn has earned her education as a homeschool student taught by her mother and remains so today.  In addition to her interest in science, she reads a lot, attends church and bible studies regularly, volunteers in her church nursery, and loves to swim.