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Photo of junior Grace Sun
  • Academics
  • Service Learning
  • Student Recognition

This is the title of junior Grace Sun’s New York Times STEM Writing Contest entry; on May 12, she learned she was named a runner-up by the NYT. 

No small feat, given that only 16 of the 3,564 submissions were selected! 

Grace’s article is about a unique intersection of music and heart health specifically arrhythmia.

She shares, “I have always been interested in the conjunction between arts and sciences, especially music and the workings of the brain and heart. There are a lot of undiscovered similarities between these two seemingly unrelated topics. Music therapy for arrhythmia is one of these intersections. I came upon an article in King's College London that featured a researcher, Elaine Chew, and her research in electrocardiograms to map heartbeats and match them with music. With those heartbeats, she was able to create compositions on the basis of patients' arrhythmic heartbeats to diagnose their condition. My article was based on her research and also explores the possibilities of how music may help create new remedies for helping people with arrhythmia as a treatment, not just as a diagnosis tool. I was also inspired by my own community service initiative, Melodies for Remedies, in writing this. Since our music and benefits go to patients, seniors, and memory-care facility residents, we focused a lot on donating and working towards the brain and Alzheimer-related aspects of music therapy. However, arrhythmia was never really mentioned at all in articles in relation to music, even on the Internet. I wanted to shine some light on that part of science as well.”

You can see the full list of NYT winners, runners-up and honorable mentions here and read her article here.

Meanwhile, in April, Grace also qualified for the US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO), and took their three-part national exams over two days at University of San Diego. As a qualifier, she was in the top four percent of the 16,000 students who took the qualifying exam. She will receive her results from the American Chemical Society in late May.

Congratulations, Grace!

  • Melodies for Remedies
  • STEM writing