OHS Science Research Students Give Back

by ARIEL HARSINAY
On January 26th, Oceanside Middle School held its 14th annual Science Research Fair. There were 43 individual and partner research projects, with titles such as “The Effect of Temperature on Fuel Cell Voltage”, “The Effect of Font Type on Reading Comprehension”, and “The Use of Spices to Control E-coli Bacteria”. Judges of these projects included teachers and administrators throughout Oceanside; however high school science research students were also given the opportunity to volunteer to be a judge. I, and the other research students who helped judge the fair, was given scoring sheets and judged the student’s projects on criteria such as their abstracts, visual layout of their boards, use of the scientific method, and ability to answer questions. After participating in the same research fair when we were in 8th grade, it was great to have the opportunity to come full circle and now help judge the current middle school students. The middle school is where we began our research, and now many of us have gone on to participate in summer research internships at places like Molloy College, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Columbia University. Being able to help judge the Middle School Research Fair gave us an opportunity to remember where we began our journey as research students and to try to give a little back to the place where we got our start.

While the results of the fair will not be revealed until the Middle School Research Symposium on May 8th, eighteen of the projects will go on to represent Oceanside at the New York Science and Engineering Fair, the Long Island Science Congress, and the Long Island Science and Engineering fair. In the past few years, over 100 projects from Oceanside Middle School have gone on to win awards at these competitions. OMS has also had five New York State science finalists and three National Semi-Finalists in the Broadcom Masters Science Fair in recent years. Just last year, student Margarita Bogdanova-Shapkina finished in second place in the New York State competition. It is clear to see that these students are beginning their paths in research at a young age, and the science research program at Oceanside undoubtedly provides students interested in science with the ability to pursue their interests early on.

Mr. Gerber, the science research teacher and coordinator at OMS said that, “The students spent months doing pre-research and constructing controlled experiments in a variety of science disciplines. Microbiology, plant science, social and behavioral science, and several other branches of science were represented. Of course, the fair could not have happened without judges. Each year judges include teachers from the middle school and high school science departments. This year we had seven judges from the high school science research program Class of 2017 including Alex Saglamer, Abdullah Amir, Kristian Nilsen, Ariel Harsinay, Jen Lin, Samantha Cohen, and Joanna George.”

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