Roslyn science students lauded at board of ed meeting

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Fourth graders at the Roslyn Board of Education meeting last week. (Photo by John Nugent)

By John Nugent

“I am in awe of them,” exclaimed Roslyn Board of Education President Meryl Waxman Ben-Levy in noting that of the 300 semi-finalists in the national Regeneron Science Talent Search competition, five are from Roslyn High School.

The January board meeting last Thursday focused on the science program and featured Roslyn students from all grades.

The five high school scholars gave brief presentations on their projects to a standing room audience in the Roslyn High School board room.

Adrian Ke spoke of her research on graph embellishment. Brandon Lee followed with a summary of his work involving the study of cancer cells.

“Perceptions of Academic Dishonesty” was presented by Mayeesa Ramaan. Lindsay Rust outlined the “Effect of Sport Gender, Participant Gender and Perceived Salaries of Coaches.”

Finally, Justin Schiavo, the only Roslyn student named as one of 40 Regeneron finalists, reported on his work, “The Effect of an Aerosite Nozzle on the Hybrid Rocket Engine.”

Schiavo said he hopes his research will lead to making space travel more available to the general public.

“It was very difficult to get people to support the project,” he said.

However, he added that, “it is an amazing experience to be one of five people in my school to get this recognition.”

“For 16 years, our kids never cease to amaze me,” said board Vice President Clifford Saffron.

Following the high school student presentations, Harbor Hill School science teacher Terry Tahang introduced her fourth- and fifth-grade students.

Several fifth-grade students spoke about their project on making solar ovens to help the environment and the study of blackouts.

An “investigation to find the warmest place on the playground” was the assignment for the fourth grade.

Not to be left out, a number of first-, second- and third-graders were heard from as well. Due to the late hour of the meeting, their observations about “hands-on experience” with science were shown on video.

At the conclusion of the student presentations, Ben-Levy commented that these live demonstrations help the board make important decisions regarding the allocation of district resources toward specific programs.

The board presented Allyson Wesley, who coordinates Roslyn High School’s research program, with a Teacher of Merit Award.

Also, the student representative to the board, Josh Bloom, announced that over the next few months the students will be preparing for the annual “clash of the classes” competition.

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