Reflecting on Regeneron

by Mia Dittrich

By November 14th, all seniors in the Authentic Science Research program had submitted their final papers to Regeneron after three years of research. The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the most reputable science competition for high school students in the country, granting over 3.1 million dollars in awards.

The seniors worked unbelievably hard to get to the point of submission, and the nerves and excitement in room 114 had been building up as the submission date neared. Alan Chang described, “During the summer, we began drafting our Regeneron papers and outlining essay ideas. Beginning from the very first day of school, all of us met extensively with teachers to revise and edit our writing. Many of us also engaged in peer revisions, which were just as helpful. Overall, the whole science research community had a collective effort in helping everyone with their Regeneron submissions.” Indeed, it is the combination of help from various teachers and students in the science research program that makes it a supportive community, especially during stressful times.

The seniors had been preparing for their submissions since they were sophomores, and they have put in countless hours of hard work, dedicating themselves entirely to their respective topics. On November 6th, they were excused from all of their other classes for “Lock-In,” an annual event in the science research program in which all of the seniors are “locked in” to the science research room so that they can edit and finalize their papers. Emma Lucchino explained that “everyone was working on their paper alone, but the environment was also collaborative when [students] would read parts of each other’s papers and help each other with formatting.” Emma explained, “I thought it was really helpful because there were some parts of my paper like formatting and my references that I kept putting off but was able to finish on Lock-In. By the end of the day, I had finalized my paper and application and was mostly ready to submit.”  Lock-In certainly gave the seniors the extra time that they needed to complete and edit their papers. As procrastination can often get the best of the science research students, this was definitely a great way to keep them motivated and on-task.

The seniors are incredibly relieved to have submitted their papers: Izzy Ilan speaks for most when she says that “after putting so much work into [her] project and after experiencing both the setbacks and successes that accompanied [her] research, [she feels] an overall sense of pride and accomplishment.” Indeed, the completion of three years of research culminating in a final paper is an impressive feat, and the seniors should be proud of what they have accomplished.

It is this pride and accomplishment in their work that the seniors show in their signature submission videos. Every year, each senior makes a creative clip showcasing the fateful moment that they submit their papers to Regeneron, and this year is no different. Junior Sam Aberman, who is editing the compilation of the submission videos this year, says that “the videos are a creative way that the seniors can celebrate their achievement of submitting to the Regeneron Science Talent Search. During the science research symposium in June, we show a compilation of the videos to the community. The editing process takes some time but it’s is mostly dependent on the seniors who can choose how much effort they would like to put into their submission video!” Most seniors put a lot of thought into their videos, and all of the science research students are looking forward to watching their clips at the Symposium in June.

All in all, Byram students make up 27 of about 1,800 applicants nationwide, with topics ranging from human photosynthesis to the use of nanoparticles to treat cancer. Although their research has been completed, their work is far from complete. In addition to Regeneron, the seniors will be submitting their work to various additional competitions. These include Google Science Fair, Acorda, JSHS, and WESEF, all of which are extremely prestigious.

The seniors are definitely excited to share their findings at these competitions, and the whole school is rooting for their success!