allowed their best and brightest young scientists to strut their stuff on Wednesday at their first-ever Science Research Symposium.
Assistant to the Superintendent, Dr. Thomas Fasano, said that the Science Research Symposium was started to highlight to the public the difficult and important work of the science students of the Massapequas.
“This is a proud moment for the High School,” he said. “For the first time, we focus on the achievements of our seniors who worked for the better part of two-to-three years on science research projects that they’ve submitted to some of the most rigorous competitions at the local, state, and national level, including the Intel Science Competition.”
But Fasano said that it wasn’t only the seniors who were getting to show off their brainpower this evening.
“We invited the project science students from Berner Middle School and the Level 1 and 2 research students as well,” he said. “Our goal is to inspire and motivate them to continue their hard work and be the next level of Intel science researchers at Massapequa High School.”
After an initial presentation in the Baldwin Auditorium, the Research Symposium moved to the school’s There, each young scientist had their experiment set up, and were ready to take questions on their results from the public.
Lauren Nicole Reisig is a senior who plans to go on to Harvard University after graduation to study law. Her experiment, which has been submitted to Intel, deals with a breed of worm known as C.Elegans.
“It focuses on two proteins, EXL-1 and DBL-1, and their effects on the worm when they’re under heat stress,” she said. “I found that, then they were missing those proteins, they survived better. I also gauged the types of stress they experienced when they died.”
Nickolas Boroda is also a senior who will be attending Hostra University in the fall to study Biomedical Engineering. His experiment involving hurricane signatures won him an award from the American Meteorological Society for outstanding atmospheric research.
“I studied how hurricanes over the past 150 years have impacted the ecosystem on Fire Island,” he said. “Specifically, the holly trees, and I used the tree rings of these holly trees to find long-term growth trends and how the hurricanes affect them.”
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Sarah Rudnick, a sophomore, plans on going into Environmental Engineering when she graduates. Since she lives on the water, she decided to base her experiment on issues surrounding it.
“I decided to focus on coral reef destruction by sea urchins, who feed on the algae that’s found on coral,” she said. “I found that the sea urchins preyed on the coral less of there was an alternate food source, so if you place more algae in another area, you can save a whole coral ecosystem.”
Gabriella Curtis, also a sophomore, plans on getting into a science research field when she graduates. Her experiment measured the effects of a specific chemical element when introduced to vegetation.
“I put Bisphenol A into the the water used for plants to hydrate them,” she said. “Bisphenol is a chemical that’s in plastic, and it leeches into the water...there was an experiment where Bisphenol killed a number of mice and I wanted to see the effect it would have on plants. In my studies, all the plants died within 24 days, except peas, which grew.”
Senior Joseph Nina will be attending SUNY Oneonta on a full scholarship to study Biology in the fall. His experiment involved bacterial flora on musical instruments and possible ways to achieve simple decontamination.
“Most students play for about an hour every day, and then throw the instrument in a dark, damp, nearly airtight case, which just breeds bacteria,” he said. “The best way to combat this is to regulate instrument sterilization systems in high schools, similar to how chemistry labs do, using ultraviolet light containers.”