Maric, who is originally from Serbia and learned to speak English in recent years, said she knew she had to present her work clearly and concisely.
"I was really nervous," said Maric, who has been interested in physics since she was a child. "But this was a great opportunity for me. It was time for me to get out of the lab and tell people what I'm doing. I feel much more confident now."
Amuneke's research project deals with finding ways to make batteries as efficient as possible. Maric has been investigating the nano-devices in cells that convert food to energy, which is then used to make the human body function.
De, who is from India where he attended the University of Calcutta and the Indian Institute of Technology, also was inspired by his high school science teacher.
But Gooch's path to physics was not quite as direct. She originally wanted to be a professional ballet dancer and performed in the Austin and Houston areas before an injury forced her to quit.
"I went back to school, enrolling at the University of Houston. After seeing a demonstration in my introductory physics class of the Meissner effect, I became interested in superconductors," Gooch said. (The Meissner effect is the expulsion of a magnetic field from a superconductor during its transition to the superconducting state.)
|Contact: Laura Tolley|
University of Houston