ASR: The Past, The Present & The Future

By Raquel Kanner

The Science Research room has recently been buzzing with a multitude of good news. Just this year, the program has already been recognized by a variety of prestigious competitions, such as Regeneron, the American Academy of Neurology, the Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposia Program (JSHS), The Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF), and the Google Science Fair – all of which are extremely impressive honors for the program. When looking at the recognition given to our science research students from competitions and the bar they raise for future years, one competition – now in the past – JSHS – was no exception.

On February 9, many of the science research seniors competed in JSHS at John Jay High School. JSHS describes their national competition as one that “promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement.” The seniors who attended this competition were split up into two groups — powerpoint presentations and poster presenters. The poster presenters were surrounded by other talented high school researchers in a crowded cafeteria, and while others were waiting to present, some students spoke about their work to multiple judges. On the other hand, the select amount of powerpoint presenters were placed in respective rooms by their field of research. When presenting to both numerous judges and fellow students, nerves were a constant presence as Elyse Kanner (powerpoint presenter) describes, “I was in a room surrounded by people who have also worked as hard as I have to reach this point. However, it was also nice to know that I’ve had the great support of my teachers and my classmates, and their support is what helped me get through my presentation and realize that I have the capability to do well.” All who attended competed throughout the day, and by the end of the day, awards, certificates, and medals were bestowed upon students who impressed the judges and displayed incredible depth of knowledge towards their research. Thirteen of the twenty-five seniors who attended earned recognition and seven of the thirteen are advancing to the state-level competition in Albany later this March. The poster presenters recognized at JSHS were Hailey Jacobs, Pietro Perez, Amina Chace, Tyler Weinstein, and Jenna Pfeffer. At the end of this month, Joshua Freedman, Renner Kwittken, Ethan Jacobs, Jonah Schwam, Emma Lucchino, Isabelle Ilan, Elyse Kanner, and Alan Chang will travel to Albany to compete in the state-wide competition.

Albany is something to look forward to for these seniors, but before Albany approaches,  The Westchester Science & Engineering Fair (WESEF), is right around the corner. On March 16 (this Saturday), all seniors will present posters at Sleepy Hollow High School. This is an all-day competition, and students who win awards at this event will qualify for ISEF, the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Phoenix, Arizona in May.

And… if you have yet to hear the incredible news, Brent Perlman has placed seventh is the incredibly prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search competition. Perlman, who designed a process to induce photosynthesis in human stem cells, has won $70,000. Congratulations to Brent and the ASR community for an outstanding accomplishment!

The science research program has been extremely successful this year, and the students continue to impress our school, local schools, and the surrounding communities. With many competitions and even Symposium coming up later this year, there is a lot to look forward to!