New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

Prediction of Teen Suicides in the Navajo Nation

Team: 107

School: Newcomb High

Area of Science: Behavioral and Social Sciences


Interim: Problem Definition:
Across the United States, suicide is beginning to increase as each day, each month, and each year. The ethnic group most affected from the sudden deaths is Native Americans. Native Americans have the highest suicide rate over any other ethnic group. Although the Navajo Nation is not rated the highest number of teen suicides, it is still in jeopardy of becoming number one. The loss of potential successful workers, teachers, inventors, engineers, and scientists are upsetting. In the Navajo Nation, the number on a chart is not a statistic. They were family, daughters, sons, friends, grandchildren of the Dine, or Navajo people. The problem at hand is the number of teen suicides befalling in the Navajo Nation. To stop this mutiny, we must know the causes are and whom they affect and when so we will have a prediction of when that problem will arise again and whom it will target.

Problem Solution:
We will be comparing three different communities located in the Navajo Nation. Our appropriate preferences are Newcomb, Shiprock, and Thoreau. We propose to understand and solve the teenage suicide occurring in the Navajo Nation computationally by using a model parallel to the emerge phenomenon. The model depicts the pattern of numerous individuals from the interaction of individuals in groups. The subjects are categorized by age, gender, and reason of suicide. The model will observe the emergent effects of the aspects contributing to teen suicides.
Progress to Date:
From our departure from the kickoff conference, our group has reviewed the type of program we will use to model our findings. NetLogo will be used. We are familiarizing ourselves with NetLogo first before we begin our project; the functions and how to use it properly for when we start. Before making any massive decision, our group must consider our options and what each tool is used for. As amateurs to everything computational, no available person familiar with NetLogo is here at Newcomb High School. This dilemma adds up to more work and makes this challenge more challenging. Thus the outcome will be greater since we are new to computational science and models.

Expected Results:
After organizing the teenagers how have committed suicide by different categories and finding which reason was the highest possibly a reason that can be prevented and a cluster of suicides will happen again. Using the technology and resources provided to hopefully have a prediction of which way the number of teen suicides will go, if it will increase or decrease, if so, for what reason have these teen or future teens have committed suicide. Once this project is done there will be a prediction of reason and time to prevent a suicide from happening. Our expected result of our finalized prediction of teen suicides here on the Navajo Nation is to at least have a list of reason why some may commit suicide and that way it is easier to pinpoint the causes. Have our tribal leaders provide more programs to be available to teens so it can prevent some teens thinking of committing suicide.


Team Members:

  Oletha Gould
  Breanna Smiley
  Yvonne Lewis
  Desiree Lapahie

Sponsoring Teacher: Geizi Llanes

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