Science Festival

First, choose your class period

Then take a look at our presentations below

Note, however, that enrollment ended on Nov 07, 2017.

Art of Non-Conformity

Travel the world using software design to solve business problems in new and creative ways!


SpeakerKatherine Nelson Galke

Education * BA: Finance, TCU * BA: Economics, TCU * Honorary Masters Degree: Entrepreneurship, Chicago Booth

Skills and Capabilities * Marketing * Sales/Business Development * Community/Culture * Technology/Engineering/Project Management * Software Development *Technology Transformation * Communication/Team Building * Operational Improvement/Automation * Accounting/Finance * Enterprise Program Management

Credentials * Facilitator & Implementation Expert in * Agile Project Mamnagement * Agile Software Development * Lean Startup Methodology * Certified ScrumMAster * PMP Certification * ACM Certification * Certified Yoga Instructor (RYT500) * Facilitator & Implementation Expert for Program Management * Certified in Somatic Therapy * Certified as Yoga Therapist * TESOL Teaching Certification

Ms. Nelson Galke's wealth of business experience in the last 18 years has taken her around the world, working in 50 countries, to date.

Strategic Transformation Principal Thoughtworks

How to Retire at 22

Instead of following a traditional path of becoming a doctor or lawyer, learn Christian's formula for building technology-based lifestyle businesses.


SpeakerChristian Genco

Christian went to college for free at SMU to study computer science and started making cool stuff instead of getting a job after graduating in 2013. His coding projects turned into a small software company that generated enough income for him to functionally retire, so he currently spends time traveling, rock climbing, making stuff, and teaching people (check out his 2011 TEDx talk, "You Should Learn to Program", on his website:

CEO Genco Cocoa Corp.

It's Not Too Early to Begin Your Career in Programming

Come hear this HPHS grad talk about how he began programming as a freshman at HP and never stopped. Hear how he has turned this interest into a career that has allowed him to work on various tech projects across multiple industries since his blue and gold days!


SpeakerBlake Copeland

  • HPHS Alumnus; Class of 2012
  • Producer and Programming Lead at GAD Studios in Dallas
  • Started programming as a freshman at HPHS
  • Involved with startups; worked on various tech projects across multiple industries

Medical Nutrition Therapy and Analysis of Nutrition Current Trends

Explore the process of earning dietetic credentials and succeeding as a Registered Dietitian. Learn how Registered Dietitians work as part of the hospital interdisciplinary team and how nutrition effects the management of chronic diseases. Discuss common diets and food trends in 2017 focusing on benefits and possible side effects.


SpeakerAlicia Nicoud, RD, LD, CNSC

  • HPHS Class of 2008
  • Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Texas at Austin
  • Worked in hospitals for past 4+ years in critical care setting
  • Diagnose Malnutrition and those at risk of Malnutrition, order alternative means of nutrition
  • Complete disease specific diet educations to manage disease states
  • Enjoy recipe development and testing in free time

Registered Dietitian Medical City North Hills

Pediatric Orthopaedics

Pediatric Orthopaedics


SpeakerKarl Rathjen, M.D.

  • Assistant Chief of Staff, President Foundation at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
  • Honor graduate of The University of Texas at Austin
  • Received his medical degree, completed his general surgery internship and his orthopaedic surgery residency at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.
  • Completed his fellowship in pediatric orthopaedic surgery at Children's Hospital San Diego.
  • Professor in the department of orthopaedic surgery at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 
  • Member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; the American Medical Association; the Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America; the Texas Orthopaedic Association; and the Scoliosis Research Society.

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children

Reflections on a Technical Engineering/Science Career at Texas Instruments: How & Why I Got Here

In the course of this presentation, it is my hope that I will convey to you the importance that the STEM fields have to the individual as well as to our society in maintaining our degree of excellence. Coming from a physicist who has been fortunate with a diverse career, I hope that some of the details of my specific ‘life-line’ will serve as an example that will motivate you in your pursuits.


SpeakerRick Oden, Ph. D.

  • Ph.D. Physics - Arizona State University (1993); B.S. Physics - Montana State University (1987).
  • Working at Texas Instruments, Inc. - Digital Light Processing (DLP) Products Division for 16 years.
  • Former Staff Scientist and Alexander Hollaender Research Fellow at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN.
  • Research Fellow working Scanning Tunneling and Atomic Force Microscopy at The Universitat Berne, Berne, Switzerland.
  • Enjoy the outdoors and coaching kids sports (baseball, softball, track & field).
  • Nationally ranked USATF masters triple & long jumper.

TI Fellow Texas Instruments

Full Presentations

Cardiac Electrophysiology: Where Engineering and Medicine Intersect to Provide Care for Patients with Heart Rhythm Abnormalities

I will discuss the medical devices (pacemaker, defibrillators, catheters, etc) that we use to care for patients with abnormal heart rhythms and how we perform procedures with these medical devices.


SpeakerManish Assar, MD

  • BS in Biomedical Engineering Science from Univ of Texas in Austin. Became interested in this because of artificial heart development in the mid 1980s
  • Medical school at Univ of California, San Francisco where I first learned of the field of cardiac electrophysiology (EP), specialty of heart rhythm abnormalities
  • Did internship and residency in internal medicine at UT Southwestern/ Parkland hospital which provided rigorous training and consolidated plans to pursue cardiology
  • Completed fellowship in Cardiology at Duke University Medical Center, and Cardiac EP fellowships at Duke and Univ of Western Ontario in Canada
  • Have been practicing as an interventional cardiac electrophysiologist at Baylor Univ Med Ctr where I am involved in patient care and research and the program director for the cardiac EP fellowship. heavily involved in teaching medical students, residents and fellows.

Baylor Scott and White Health

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

Flight Deck Physics and Courtroom Chemistry

Real world ways a non-science major has been required to master math and science from the carrier flight deck to the federal courtroom.


SpeakerEric Roberson

  • Baylor University - B.A. 1986; J.D. 1995
  • United States Navy 1986-1992
    • Bombardier/Navigator on A-6E Intruder carrier borne attack aircraft
    • 148 carrier landing (54 at night) aboard the USS Independence (CV- 62), USS Constellation (CV-64), and USS Nimitz (CVN-68)
    • Veteran of Operation Desert Shield
  • Trial Lawyer - 1995-Current
    • $30 Million dollars in jury verdicts in science based pharmaceutical injury cases

Former Naval Flight Officer/Federal Trade Prosecutor US Navy/Federal Trade Commission

Inducing strokes and exciting brain tumor cells: investigations to study how brain cells communicate

Summary of a new development in stroke modeling to study brain recovery as well as the use of channel rhodopsin to excite tumor cells in order to identify molecules released.


SpeakerJennifer Long

*Highland Park High School graduate, class of 2006 *Rhodes College graduate, class of 2010 *8th year teaching high school science *UT Southwestern STARS participant *Conducted neuroscience research in summers of 2015, 2016

science teacher Highland Park Independent School District

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

Nurses Who Care for New Babies and Moms

Learn about the career of a post-partem/baby nurse.


SpeakerKris Roberson, R.N.

Science in Snacks

Did you ever wonder: "Who makes the food and beverages I buy ?", "What is a food scientist ?", "Is there a career path for me in the food industry ?". Come to this presentation to listen, interact and learn.


SpeakerJonathan Licker, PhD

  • Earned a PhD from Cornell University in Food Science & Flavor Chemistry.
  • Serves on Cornell University advisory council since 2003. Provides guidance for the food science department’s students, faculty, programs, and curriculum.
  • Works for PepsiCo in Research & Development in Plano, Texas, developing snacks for Frito-Lay and other global brands such as Lays, Doritos, Cheetos and Sunchips..

Global R&D, Senior Manager for Flavors & Seasonings PepsiCo

The Longest Swim: A Citizen-Science Expedition Across the Pacific

Next summer one man will embark on a six month journey across the Pacific Ocean, swimming over 5500 miles to raise awareness about the importance of our oceans. Alongside him, the crew will assist on research projects with partners at over a dozen institutions worldwide.


SpeakerJacquelin Hipes, M.S.

  • B.S. in Biological Sciences, with an emphasis in marine biology, from LSU (Magna Cum Laude)
    • Four years of undergraduate experience working in an oceanography research lab
    • Participated in a National Science Foundation Research Experience for Undergraduates summer program at Texas A&M Galveston
  • M.S. in Biological Oceanography from USF
    • Thesis work on the population dynamics of a deep-sea shark and the species associations of sharks in the Gulf of Mexico
  • As the Science Program Coordinator for The Longest Swim, I work with researchers from over a dozen universities and institutions to organize research at sea and to share key scientific ideas and results with the public

Science Program Coordinator for The Longest Swim ProGEA

The Mind of a Champion

The principles of sport psychology can help an athlete perform his best when it matters most. These same principles also help business professionals, students and parents. Confidence is confidence whether you are shooting a free throw, standing over a 3 foot putt, closing a sale or interviewing for college. At the Mind of a Champion, we coach individuals and teams to recognize their thinking, refocus and create routines or habits of the mind. As a business owner, I work with athletes and corporate executives to train the Mind of a Champion and maximize performance.


SpeakerJulie Bell, PhD

  • Sport Psychology
  • PhD in Sport Psychology from The University of Virginia.
  • Keynote Speaking
  • Executive Coaching
  • Entrepreneur
  • Small Business Owner

Founder and President The Mind of a Champion

Veterinary Medicine

Dr. Vandermeer will be covering the basics of Veterinary Medicine (i.e. requirements for licensing, day-to-day operations in a veterinary practice, surgical procedures, etc.)


SpeakerJohn Vandermeer, D.V.M.

  • Native of Highland Park and graduated from Highland Park High School in 1983
  • Undergraduate education in Biomedical Science at Texas A & M University
  • Veterinary degree from Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine
  • After graduation in 1990, returned to Dallas and joined Highland Park Animal Hospital
  • Professional interests include orthopedic surgery and endoscopy

Veterinarian Highland Park Animal Hospital