JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Provine High School Junior Kelvin Gardner has always liked math.
But this summer, he was thrown into a whole new world of science.
“Well I always wanted to be a mechanical engineer. But now, it kind of gets me to liking chemical engineering also,” Gardner said, referring to the work he did over the summer.
Kelvin spent his time grinding in the labs at Millsaps College.
He worked with the college students on cancer research.
He described it as simply taking different chemicals, and observing how they react to DNA from a cancer patient.
“You’re trying to see which one clings to the DNA, how the DNA reacts with it, and see if the DNA can basically get better.”In the end, I found out that a hydro-cycle nitrogen compound actually does shrink a cancer cell,” Gardner said.
His chemistry teacher, Omega Hart, is the reason he landed the opportunity with Millsaps.
“You see students that have potential to do certain things. And sometimes you just need to be put in an environment where it causes you to elevate your thought process,” Hart said.
Gardner was the only high school student to present at this summer’s Mississippi IDeA Conference. It’s where college students from all over the state present their findings in neuroscience, infectious diseases and more.
“I was like ‘Oh I got to step my standards up’ because college students, you kind of got to meet their standards. You can’t just come in a slack off,” Gardner said.
To add to his busy summer, he also juggled football practice.
“His entire week off from sports, he spent it over at Millsaps with Dr. Wolf all day. So I knew then that he was very interested,” his mother, Christian Williams said.
The student-athlete says it’s his mother who helps him stay focused on his goal to becoming an engineer, “She always told me, ‘You’re going to be a college athlete. You can’t be a dumb college athlete’.”
Garnder already has a list of colleges he wants to apply for, including Grambling, North Carolina, and LSU.