Nicholas is an active Boy Scout who also enjoys singing and playing soccer. He is involved with math club and serves on his school's student council. Nicholas's goal is "to use science to make a positive impact on people," which he hopes to achieve by becoming an executive at a technology company. Nicholas's uncle is his mentor because "he challenges me with advanced math and science."
After reading about several rollover accidents, Nicholas discovered that 15-passenger vans are at the highest risk and loopholes in federal regulations discouraged manufacturers from solving the problem. He wanted to find a practical way to reduce rollover risk.
Nicholas built a 1/11th scale model of a 15-passenger van fitted with five rows of removable seats to simulate different loading scenarios. He mounted the model on a tilt table to measure body roll and tilt. He tested the model with single and dual rear wheels, hypothesizing that the dual wheels would decrease rollover tendencies. The rear wheels did stabilize the model, decreasing body roll by 40%, lowering the center of gravity, and increasing the minimum sideways velocity needed to roll the van.