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HSE science students heading to ISEF

March 8, 2023

Smithtown East ThINK Discovery Science Research Program is heading to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF)!

From engineering rewriteable and encryptable paper to using nitrogen-fixing bacteria to improve the growth of cherry tomato plants, the students in the Smithtown East ThiNK Discovery Program presented their research at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair. Competing against all Long Island schools, each student placed with outstanding results.

Holy Mary Zaher, whose worked involved investigating the molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease, won First Place in the Neuroscience Behavioral Category earning her the distinction of heading to the International Science Fair (ISEF) to be held in May in Dallas, Texas. Ms. Zaher was also recognized as a Regeneron Scholar for her work in the Science Talent Search (STS) in January.

Jennifer Zhong, also an East senior, was awarded 2nd Place in the Animal Science Category for her work investigating hypoxia using a zebrafish animal model. Jolene Cao, a sophomore, engineered a rewritable paper using a PDMS polymer.

The team of juniors Jessica Penna and Sanjivani Singh, as well as sophomore Anagh Gupta received Honorable Mentions for their work on rhizobacteria and a computer simulation of pedestrian traffic flow respectively.

According to Ms. Zeitlin, the science research coordinator, “Wow, wow, wow. Once again I am proud of the incredible work each student presented after months of dedicated work. The heart of each experiment is the ThINKing. I always say to them – now that you have the data – why should I care? From sustainable farming practices to efficient building evacuations, the students probed topics that matter. Heading to Dallas is the cherry (tomato) on top!”

Science students smile for picture