Scientific Research Program provides students with a real-world research experience – The Warwick Valley Dispatch

Warwick Valley High School’s Scientific Research Program is a three-year program that gives students the invaluable opportunity to participate in the scientific research community by engaging in authentic research of their own design. This unique experience is recognized by the New York State Board of Regents and the University of Albany as part of the University in the High School program.

Led by teacher and advisor Kristin Touw, students begin the scientific research program in their second year and their projects continue throughout their junior and senior years. The program is open to all students of Warwick High School who are interested in the scientific process and conduct their own research.

“The program is very self-managed,” said Touw, who is also an assistant at SUNY Albany. “Students choose their topics with a little guidance from me, and their first year begins with a ton of research on general articles and what are called ‘peer-reviewed’ articles. These are high-level academic articles that have been published in widely accepted professional scientific and medical journals.

By the spring of their second year, students should already establish contact with a professional in their field for mentoring. Mentors can be at a long distance, but Touw finds that the further the mentor is, the more difficult it is to design practical research. In addition to expert advice from a mentor, their resources and space are also of great benefit to students of scientific research.

After the second year, the project continues during the summer between the second and the first year. This is followed by another full year as a junior, a second summer between the junior year and the senior year, and finally the research, presentation and eventual publication of the senior year.

In addition to advanced research skills, students participating in the Scientific Research program develop life skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, communication, time management, and public speaking. This year, three seniors – Cara Peddle, Aislinn Mohyla and Payton Bethmann – are coming to the end of their successful research projects.

Health implications of BPA

Cara Peddle’s passion for environmental studies – particularly environmental and climate justice – led her to her subject, the environmental impacts and health implications of BPA, a chemical used in the creation of plastics and resins. .

“I wanted to look at the levels of BPA – which can be controlled by government standards – and the impacts these levels have on people in low-income communities or on women,” Cara said. “So, I studied the impacts of BPA on the female reproductive system. “

Cara specifically focused on polycystic ovary syndrome, a female reproductive disease. She worked with two NYU doctors – Dr Frederick Naphthalene and Dr Alan Auslin. She is currently working on the publication of her article in a scientific journal.

Place the oriental oysters in a cold room

Aislinn Mohyla contacted a family friend, a shell biologist, who put her in touch with a biologist at Rutgers University. Her project examines the effects of freezing oriental oysters during the winter months to provide them with a stable growing environment.

“When grown on oyster farms, like in Delaware Bay where my research took place, oysters are exposed to strong temperature fluctuations and freezing,” she said. “The stable environment of the chiller has been shown to prevent this from happening. “

Aislinn traveled to Cape May, NJ four times between December 2019 and October 2020 to collect her samples. She worked with Dr. David Bushek of Rutgers University and Mr. Mitchell Tarnowski, a seashell biologist who works for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Aislinn plans to study at the University of South Florida in the fall.

Nutrition education

Payton Bethmann chose to carry out his project on nutrition education. Payton, who has been a vegan for five years and a vegetarian since the age of four, worked to determine the effects of educating high school students on good nutrition. She focused on explaining that what you eat can have an impact on issues that can affect people during their teenage years – acne, mood, concentration, and even depression and anxiety.

“I’m also making the hypothesis that if you educate teens about the long term health benefits of eating more whole, plant-based foods (lower incidence of heart disease, some cancers, etc.), they will be more willing to eat healthier. Said Payton.

Payton worked with two mentors, Dr. Daniel Lapidus, who is in emergency medicine, and Dr. Rebecca Jaspan, a registered dietitian.

Photo provided

Seniors on this year’s WVHS science research project, pictured in pre-quarantine (from left) are: Payton Bethmann, Cara Peddle and Aislinn Mohyla.

Source link

About Donald P. Hooten

Check Also

Computational Social Science Research Lab Launched in Singapore

Singapore, 27 April 2022 – Singapore Management University (SMU) and the Agency for Science, Technology …