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Anna Zheng ’18 Receives Top Award in Regional Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair

Anna Zheng ’18

Zheng Heads to State and National Competitions

For the second year in a row, Saint John’s Preparatory School is proud to announce Anna Zheng ’18 received the top award in the regional Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair. Her project is Screening Malignant Glioma using Electrical Differential Impedance Spectrometer and Artificial Neural Network.” She and another student earned the highest honor out of 200 competitors. For her work, she earned an all-expense-paid trip to represent Central Minnesota at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. The Minnesota State Science & Engineering Fair (MSSEF) is an annual competition in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. Anna will also attend the MSSEF fair in Minneapolis later this month.

Anna’s project could help doctors identify glioma (a type of brain tumor) in earlier than when they typically discovered. Anna says, “This research is important because the early detection of glioma will give more options for treatment, such as better surgical management and longer survival. Often, glioma is detected late due to nonspecific symptoms of the cancer in during the early stages. This technology may provide an easy and low-cost screening method at clinics.”

Anna is the daughter of Yi Zheng, Ph.D. and Weining Hu, MD. of Cold Spring. Anna’s brother, Eugene, is a 2010 graduate of Saint John’s Prep. “My parents are really supportive of my research work. For this specific project, my father actually introduced me to it as he is involved in lots of research. My mom is a physician and she provided me with a lot of in depth medical background about the human brain and brain tumors. As scientists themselves, they know the importance of research and they provide me with the time and resources to conduct the work.

Anna Zheng ’18 discusses her research with Physics Teacher Charles Miller

Saint John’s Prep Prepares Students for High Level Research

At Saint John’s Prep, Anna enjoys studying math and science. “SJP prepared me well in using analytical and critical thinking skills which enabled me to face technical challenges during the research process. I took almost all the science classes that SJP has to offer including all the general science courses and International Baccalaureate courses for physics, chemistry, and biology. I also took calculus I and calculus II, and all of these STEM classes. Additionally, all of my teachers are so passionate about their work that it was really influential for me to do this work and to expand my knowledge.”

She hopes to continue her research before heading to college. “I am going to continue this research in the summer to prepare a journal article on this work and complete the USA invention patent application which was filed last July for this work. I am not sure what college I will be attending yet, but I want to major in neuroscience and I definitely want to continue to do research.”

Besides science, Anna is a very involved student at Saint John’s Prep. She is a member of the tennis and track teams. She is also a member of Chinese Club, She’s the First Organization, and NHS. She also plays the violin in the school orchestra.

Anna has been a student at Saint John’s Prep since 6th grade. To learn more about our school and our academic program for students in grades 6-12, please visit