Science Festival

First, choose your class period

Then take a look at our presentations below

However, you'll need to return on Jan 21, 2020 to proceed with the registration process.

Restoring eyesight using the most advanced implant in the world at the size of a grain of rice

The presentation will explore how Nanotechnology allowed us to make the worlds smallest bioretinal implant that will restore eyesight of blind individuals. It will also explore the growing world of Nanotechnology and Microtechnology at Zyvex.


SpeakerRahul Saini

  • Director of Micro and Biosystems at Zyvex with a vision to cure disease with grain of rice size injectable implants. He is also head of mechanical design for Zyvex's nanotechnology initiative for atomically precise manufacturing.
  • Currently working on the smallest bioretinal implant in the world to restore eyesight for the blind. Besides inventing ridiculously miniature devices; most notably he has invented world's smallest electron scanning microcolumn to see at the nanometer scale.
  • Rahul's formal education includes degrees in Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering from IIT and University of Florida. He is a Florida football fan, a true gator at heart, and loves college football.
  • Rahul likes to teach and has taught Microsystem courses to graduate students at University of Texas at Arlington.
  • His current exploit involves teaching his son how to play guitar and soccer.

Micro & Nano Systems Engineer Zyvex Laboratories

A Career in Sports Medicine- From High School to the Pros

A career in Sports Medicine can be extremely rewarding and fulfilling. Many paths can be chosen depending on degree of interest.


SpeakerTarek Souryal

Orthopaedic surgeon/Sports Medicine specialist. Founder of Texas Sports Medicine Snider Plaza and Frisco.
Former Head Team Physician Dallas Mavericks (22 years).
Host of "Inside Sports Medicine" ESPN103.3 Dallas (18 seasons).

Orthopaedic Surgeon & Founder of Texas Sports Medicine Texas Sports Medicine

A Scientist at PepsiCo Research and Development

An overview of the various roles a scientist can play at PepsiCo Research and Development, with emphasis on snack food research.


SpeakerRyan Barnes

  • 20 years of R&D with PepsiCo (Frito-Lay)
  • BSc: Agronomic Engineering (major: Crop Production), University of Dschang, Cameroon
  • MSc: Grain Science and Industry (major: Baking Science), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • PhD: Grain Science and Industry (major: Cereal Chemistry), Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
  • Bilingual: English and French

Senior Scientist PepsiCo

Becoming a Professor in Molecular Biology

I will describe career paths one can take with a major in molecular biology, and what it is like to be a research professor in a medical school.


SpeakerRueyling Lin

• BS degree in Botany, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan • Master (MS) degree in Botany, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) degree in Biochemistry, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX • Postdoctoral training at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA • Professor in Department of Molecular Biology and Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine (CRSM) at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (UTSW), Dallas, TX

Professor, Molecular Biology Department UT Southwesterhn Medical Center

Biomedical Sciences - The science discoveries that drive the future of medicine.

A philosophical look at the modern approach to scientific thought and research discovery in biomedical sciences and career options in the life sciences.


SpeakerStuart Ravnik, Ph. D.

  • BS in Biology, and PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle
  • Post-doctoral Fellowship in Genetics from Columbia University in New York
  • Faculty member in Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Texas Tech University in Lubbock
  • Moved to Dallas in 2002 to become Assistant Dean in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at UT Southwestern. Became Associate Dean in 2014.
  • Was Associate Director of the STARS (Science Teacher Access to Resources at Southwestern) Program from 2006 to 2016.
  • Expert in genetics, reproductive biochemistry, research ethics and bioethics, and college and graduate admissions

Associate Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences UT Southwestern Medical Center

Building a Home takes Science & Math

James Davis, who has been building homes in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow for 10 years, will talk about the duties of a general contractor. Scott Prentice, architect from Covert and Associates, will discuss generating a rough sketch, then how plans are moved to CAD working drawings. Igor Teplitskiy, structural engineer from Nortex Foundation Designs, will show how he uses the architectural drawings to create the engineered plans. We will show examples of how foundations are made and bring some of the parts you will see in the pictures.


SpeakerJames Davis

Residential Home Builder Canterbury Homes

Digital Fabrication at the atomic scale

Digital information technology changed your world; digital fabrication at the atomic scale will change it again. I will explain how and why you should consider being an engineer.


SpeakerJohn Randall, Ph. D.

  • I am a card carrying Nano-Nerd with a PhD from the University of Houston, 33 years of Industrial experience making really small things, and 29 US patents
  • I have worked for MIT's Lincoln Laboratory (4 years), Texas Instruments (15 years with 2 years in Belgium), and Zyvex as CTO, VP, and Pres (15 years)
  • Zyvex Labs has a plot to rule the world with Atom by Atom Manufacturing and is working to heal the blind (Human Trials in 2017)
  • I am addicted to computer programming, robotics, and playing Alto Sax
  • I love my wife and kids

President Zyvex Labs

Discovery of a neuroprotective chemical

Dr. McKnight will describe efforts over the last 6-7 years towards the discovery of a chemical that is capable of protecting neurons from dying in animal models of a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and amyotrophicic lateral sclerosis. These efforts have involved chemists, biologists and biochemists working within the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center.


SpeakerSteven McKnight, PhD

  • Received his bachelors degree in biology from UT Austin and his PhD in molecular biology from the University of Virginia
  • For many years he worked at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Embryology on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore
  • He co-founded a biotechnology company in San Francisco with Drs. Robert Tjian and Dave Goeddel where he worked until 1995 when he returned to Texas to become Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science.

Professor & Chairman, Department of Biochemistry UT Southwestern Medical Center

Engineering Overview

General Discussion and Facts on Engineering; A Few Tips on Choosing a College; and What is Engineering School Like?


SpeakerLloyd Denman, P.E.

  • Highland Park High School, Class of 1983; National Merit Commendee, Varsity Football
  • Vanderbilt University, Class of 1987; Civil Engineering Degree, 2-year full academic scholarship; Fraternity member
  • Southern Methodist University, Class of 1991; Master of Business Administration
  • Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas and California

Assistant Director of Engineering City of Dallas

Engineers Make the World a Better Place

Engineering is a high-demand, high-paying career that needs people of diverse backgrounds to solve the world's most challenging problems.


SpeakerWanda Gass

  • Electrical Engineer with BS degree from Rice and MS degree from Duke
  • Semiconductor design of chips that are the brains of cell phones, entertainment systems and communication systems.
  • Worked at TI for 32 years and was elected as a Fellow, the highest level of Technical Staff
  • Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), an international professional organization, and responsible for organizing conferences and workshops.

President Design Connect Create

Exploring Chemistry Via Simulations and High-Performance Computing

Exploring chemical environments and interactions using simulations and high-performance computing has allowed unprecedented insight that aides in the development of new chemical theory, the design of new materials, and discovery of life-saving pharmaceuticals.


SpeakerRobert Kalescky, Ph.D.

  • My research career began with my master's work studying ligand stabilized nanoparticles in solvents using coarse-grained classical molecular dynamics. During this work, coarse-grained force fields to describe the systems, a new free energy method, and a general method for calculating the relationship between ligand surface coverage of nanoparticles and the nanoparticle's radius were developed.
  • Following, my doctoral research changed from describing large systems using classical mechanics to describing small systems with quantum mechanical methods and localized vibrational modes. During this work, the strengths of chemical bonds were explored ranging from the extremely strong nitrogen-nitrogen bond of [HNNH]2+ to the intricate hydrogen bonding interactions of the formic acid dimer. These works used several DFT functionals, various levels of MP and CC methods, and developed a general method for comparing the strength chemical bonds via the relative bond strength order.
  • During my post-doctoral research, the role of individual protein residues in protein allostery was explored. This work led to the development of the rigid residue scan method using rigid body molecular dynamics for probing the significance of a single residue on intra-protein dynamics and allosteric mechanisms.
  • While as the HPC Applications Scientist at Southern Methodist University I have worked on ML model development for ab initio molecular dynamics. In this work, the electron density of molecular systems is approximated via an ML model that has been trained to mimic DFT methods. An initial goal of this work is to produce a model that can act as a computationally fast replacement for DFT functionals. Additionally, I have evaluated DFT dispersion corrections on hydrogen isotopologue separation in metal-organic frameworks.

HPC Applications Scientist Southern Methodist University

Having It All: Using STEAM in Architecture

I always had a hard time choosing just one thing to do, which is why I decided architecture was a perfect fit for me! We'll discuss how I use all aspects of STEAM everyday in the practice of architecture.

HPHS Alumna


SpeakerAmanda Kalescky

  • 2002 graduate of HPHS
  • Bachelor of Science degrees from Texas Tech University in both Civil Engineering and Architecture
  • Master of Architecture degree from The University of Texas at Arlington
  • Over ten years experience in architecture with GFF Architects
  • Mom of two: Eleanor (4 years) and Andrew (8 months)

Senior Project Coordinator GFF Architects

Innovation Around You (From Problems Around You)

As a patent attorney and inventor, I'll present some problems related to some inventions and how a technical background helped address them.


SpeakerJohn Lindsay

  • Patent Attorney - preparation and prosecution of patent applications in software & electronics technologies
  • Intelligent Transportation System Developer - developer & patent holder of application that monitors and maps drivers harsh braking frequency
  • Connected Vehicle Developer - developer & patent holder of a directional vehicle to vehicle communication system
  • Chair of IEEE Dallas Sensor & IoT Chapter

Patent Attorney & Inventor

Neuroimaging and the Treatment of Stroke

This session will introduce students to the educational and training pathways and day to day practice of a medical doctor specializing in the treatment of stroke.


SpeakerLee Pride, M.D.

  • High School: McCallie School Chattanooga, TN 1981
  • B.S. Biology University of the South Sewanee, TN 1985
  • M.D. University of Alabama School of Medicine Birmingham, AL 1989
  • Training:Internship: Internal Medicine 1989-1990
  • University of North Carolina Residency: Neurology 1990-1993
  • University of Texas Southwestern Dallas Residency: Radiology 1993-1997
  • University of Texas Southwestern Dallas Fellowship: Neuroradiology 1997-1999
  • Faculty University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center 1999-Present

Neurointerventional Surgeon & Professor of Radiology/Neurosurgery UT Southwestern Medical Center

New Advances in Surgery using the da Vinci Robotic System

New advances in robotic technology have allowed surgeons to perform, and patients to undergo difficult procedures in a minimally invasive way. Students will have an opportunity for a hands on experience with the da Vinci Surgical Robot.


SpeakerRichard Salter, MD

  • Attended Abilene Christian University, graduated 1983
  • Attended Texas Tech University Medical School, graduated 1988
  • Internship and Residency at University of Kentucky, completed 1992
  • Specialized practice in Ob-Gyn in Dallas for 18 years, started Advanced Ob-Gyn Associaites in 2008
  • Main interest is in minimally invasive and advanced gynecologic surgery, utilizing the da Vinci surgical robotic system.

MD, Ob-Gyn Advanced Ob-Gyn Associates

The Science of Performance Nutrition - On the field, in the classroom!

Discover the nutritional science behind human performance, whether it's demonstrated in running faster on the court or scoring higher on the test.


SpeakerMeridan Zerner

  • BS in broadcast journalism from Syracuse University
  • MS Nutritional Science from Oklahoma University
  • 30 years in fitness, nutrition and wellness
  • Award winning dietitian for Cooper Clinic, Cooper Fitness Center, Cooper Corporate Solutions, etc. for >19 years
  • Writer, media spokesperson, instructor, lecturer and marathoner!

Sports Dietitian MS, RDN, CSSD, LD Cooper Clinic

What is Cyber Threat intelligence?

This presentation will discuss what Cyber Threat Intelligence is and how it fits into the world of information security. I will discuss nation-state threat actors, hackers, and the insider threat, in relation to the types of cyber attacks they cause. As well as a discussion about malware, exfiltration, data theft, etc., and where CTI falls in the security incident response process. Also, there will be a discussion on the Deep and Dark Web, how it is different than open-source, and how we use it for CTI.


SpeakerSarah Sabotka, MS

*Background in investigations and worked for an animal protection agency doing so, prior to returning to graduate school *Earned my Master's Degree in Cybersecurity with dual concentrations, in Cyber Intelligence and Computer Forensics *Prior to coming to Experian, I worked for a large financial institution - my entire Cybersecurity career has been within the private sector, but am also part of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Class of 2018. *Areas of interest include studies about nation-state threat actors, insider threats, and supply chain attacks

Cyber Threat Intelligence Team Lead Experian

You can Make a Difference In a Child's Life: Pediatric Emergency Medicine

If you are energetic and love to help children, Pediatric Emergency Medicine is a career that combines critical care and primary health care in a high paced, exciting environment. Come hear what emergency medicine for children is all about and how you can make a difference in a child's life.


SpeakerPam Okada, MD

  • Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
  • Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA
  • Residency: Pediatrics: Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA
  • Fellowship: Pediatric Emergency Medicine: University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX
  • Current Position: Professor of Pediatrics and Attending Physician in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Professor of Pediatrics, UT Southwestern University of Texas Southwestern Medical School; Children's Medical Center