Daven Yadav, an 8th grader at K12 International Academy (iCademy), was one of 30 finalists from across the nation in the Broadcom MASTERS Science Fair. Affiliated science fairs around the country nominate the top 10% of 6th, 7th and 8th grade participants to enter the prestigious competition. Daven’s project, Bruxism: Using Myoelectric Signals to Treat a Health Problem, was chosen out of 80,000 projects around the nation to compete in last weekend’s fair in Washington, DC.
Daven and his research partner, Ananya Ganesh, began their project last September when they needed an idea for their school science fair.
“We decided to focus on a serious health problem that affects a lot of people,” Daven said.
They chose bruxism, the involuntary grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw that effects around a billion people worldwide.
“It’s extremely common,” Daven said. “15% of the world population has bruxism.”
What’s more, Daven has a personal connection to the issue.
“My sister has bruxism, so she grinds her teeth at night,” Daven said. “She’s gone through numerous retainers, which has been very expensive for my family.”
Wanting to find a solution, Daven and Ananya began researching and designing a device. They found that when one’s jaw muscle tires from overexertion, the electric signal generated by that movement would decrease. They tested that hypothesis and were able to show a correlation between measurable electric signals from the jaw muscle and muscle fatigue.
Daven explains his project to science fair attendees
Their project has gained much acclaim, as Daven and his partner won their school science fair, their regional science fair, and the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair for 8th grade.
“I feel honored,” Daven said. “We have made a lot of progress in this area and it has been a great learning experience!”
In his first year at iCademy, Daven appreciates the flexibility that online school provides him, allowing for time to work on these projects while still participating in extracurricular activities, including another passion, tennis.
“It’s very flexible, especially with all of the science I’m doing and all the tennis I’m playing,” Daven said. “It’s flexible enough where I am able to get my assignments done on time with not a lot of stress.”