On Saturday, February 4, students in the Yorktown High School Science Research Program participated in the 11th annual Westchester-Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, (WR-JSHS) held at John Jay High School in Cross River, New York. Over 200 students and teachers are participating this year in both this sub-regional qualifying event and upstate. Categories for the competition include behavior, genetics, physical science, biology, medicine and biochemistry.
The symposium is not just a competition, but a sharing of information, a showcase of ideas and research from which all participants learn and benefit. Speakers and Competitive Poster Presenters must have original data to present. Students in these categories must have completed an original piece of research including data collection, analysis and conclusion. Teachers, mentors, judges, student participants, all have important roles to play. At the regional and national level, the JSHS provides high school students an opportunity to present authentic research before their peers and professionals in the field.
Each spring in Albany, NY, young scientists representing high schools from Westchester County to Western New York State present the results of original scientific research before 500 fellow students, teachers, mentors and judges. Their work is the culmination of a three-year Science Research in the High School program that unites students, teachers, and mentors in a dynamic research program.
Since 1985, the program has been hosted at the University at Albany with funding from the U.S. Departments of Army, Navy and Air Force through a grant administered by the Academy of Applied Science in Concord, New Hampshire. Of the hundreds of students who present their papers at these regional forums, only 30 are chosen statewide to present at the Upstate NY JSHS in Albany. One finalist is chosen from each of five scientific disciplines and from these five, two top finalists are selected to present their research; the other three finalists also win trips as observers at the National JSHS. Scholarships are awarded to first, second and third place winners.
Yorktown High School seniors in the science research program presented their research and several were recognized with awards:
Miwa Wenzel, (The Distribution and Co-occurrence of E. bislineata and Introduced B. stricta in Freshwater Streambeds: Evidence of Competition for Space?), and Kathleen Mavrommatis, (Examining Visual Perception in Rett Syndrome Patients Using Eye-Gaze Technology), won the top awards and will move to the state level to present their research via PowerPoint, with a chance for each to move to the national level.
The following students were awarded second place in their respective categories:
• Luke Nolan, (Using Trends in Sunspots to Predict Solar Flares),
• Julia Kelly, (Effect and Source of Extracellular Reactive Oxygen Species on Hypoxic Pulmonary Vasoconstriction),
• Nisha Rath, (Characterization of Mitochondria in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells), and
• Juliana Vigorito, (Localization of Glutathione Peroxidase 4 in Striatal Dopaminergic Neurons: A Novel Neural Antioxidant).
Laura Anderson, (Effect of Group Therapy on Communication in Aphasia), Priya Mohindra, (Novel Strategies for the PET Imaging of Colorectal Cancer Using the A33 Antibody) and Alexei Nauman, (Influenza and Paraspeckles: Identifying a Novel Interaction with the Purpose of Developing More Efficient Anti-viral Drugs Element Reporter Array), won honorable mention awards.
In the Poster competition (for local prizes), four juniors in the YHS Science Research program presented their research and two, Taylor Smith, (shark research performed at the Scripps Institute at Univ. of California – San Diego) and Julie Rothberg, (cancer detection research performed at Sloan Kettering), placed in their categories. For more information, please visit http://www.albany.edu/jshs/wesroc.shtm.
All parents and community members are invited to observe or volunteer to support students in the Yorktown High School Science Research Program at their annual Practice Night prior to the most important upcoming competition, the Westchester Engineering and Science Fair (WESEF), on Thursday, March 1 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the high school. Please contact teacher Mr. Michael Blueglass at email@example.com for more information.