More than 550 high school students from across the nation entered the competition, which is designed to spur students' interest in the field of public health, specifically epidemiology. Epidemiology explores patterns of disease, illness and injury within populations with the goal of developing methods for prevention, control and treatment to improve health.
All YES competitors develop a research question and hypothesis about a health issue that concerns a group or groups of people, then conduct research to analyze the subject and suggest potential ways to improve the problem based on their analysis. The projects have tackled a wide-range of issues, including obesity, influenza, body image, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, malaria, sexually transmitted disease and depression.
Thomas's project is entitled "An Analysis of Causes and Effects of Video Game Addiction."