Middlesex’s Jason Chen wins RCC Writing Competition

Jason Chen

Middlesex High School student Jason Chen won the Spring 2017 Student Research Paper Awards competition.

For Rappahannock Community College’s fifth Student Research Paper Award contest, the top submission revealed the relationship between global warming and real estate prices in Middlesex County.

Jason Chen, who hails from Deltaville won for his project entitled “Assessment of Sea Level Rise in Middlesex County and Its Influence on Future Storm Surges and Waterfront Property.” Chen was inspired to write this paper by his dual interest in finances and environmental sciences, stating that both were a passion of his.

The paper was part of his senior project at Middlesex High School, in which his teacher helped him merge these interests into one topic. The goal was to see how the rising sea levels would affect storm surges in the future.

Chen observed that waterfront houses are more expensive currently, but may not represent a good investment when considering the predicted sea level rise will be approximately one meter.

Chen used publically available data to write this paper.

“For the property value data, I used the 2016 Middlesex geographic information system and then for my title data I used the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration water data,” says Chen.

Chen, who is taking his Dual Enrollment course credits earned at RCC, through Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, to the University of Virginia upon his graduation, says that he worked on this project because he knows it will affect those who live near his home.

“As you start to get older you are going to start thinking about buying a house,” says Chen. “When I go to buy a house, I want to see if it’s worth it. I don’t want to have a mortgage on the house next to the water and wait for it to be destroyed by a tidal surge. I would still have to pay off the whole thing.”

Thirty-five entries were submitted for consideration and were judged based on the quality of the writing and presentation, as well as how well they used sources from the RCC Library and elsewhere.

Carl Wayne Hayden, also Chesapeake Bay Governor School student, of Warsaw, placed second in the competition for “New Materials for Capacitors,” written for Bethany Smith’s marine science class.

The competition was judged by RCC’s dean of college advancement, Sarah Pope; the RCC Vice-President of Finance & Administrative Services, Bill Doyle; and Dan Ream, RCC’s Library Coordinator. — April Wobken