Science Reaches New Heights with 1st Science Symposium
Oyster Bay High School took science education to the next level by piloting a science research program that culminated in the District’s first annual Science Research Symposium on May 23.
Students, staff and community members filled the Oyster Bay High School Library where displays of student research were set up throughout the room. After touring the displays and having an opportunity to ask students questions about their research, the crowd took their seats to hear keynote speaker Mr. Tobiloba Oni of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories and Stony Brook University, who delivered a presentation on “Developing Antibodies against Pancreatic Cancer.” Mr. Oni, who worked with an Oyster Bay High School graduate at Stony Brook, said he was delighted to be part of the evening. He gave a well-received presentation that was met with many thought-provoking questions from the audience.
Two student presentations followed. With professionalism and poise, Jessica Layne, a junior, discussed her data analysis on genetically engineered food, and freshmen Miriam Coor and Anna Silver presented their findings on how light pollution affects the growth of mealworms.
Fifteen other students, who worked on science research projects independently or in pairs, presented their research projects during two breakout sessions on topics ranging from whether tardigrades survive better in moss or lichen to how caffeine affects the respiration of zebrafish. Additionally, one student used two species of algae to determine if the invasive nature of the Asian Shore Crab can be mitigated through the preferential selection of a native algae species and a pair of students investigated how pollutants found in the Long Island Sound affect the locomotion and reproduction of brine shrimp.
“We’re really proud of the work students have done in developing unique scientific questions and studying them through the scientific research process,” said Ms. Colleen Annicelli, who co-teaches the program with Mr. Stephen Acquaro.
“Through the science research program, students used their creativity to conduct meaningful science research and learned how to present their results effectively,” Mr. Acquaro added.
According to Janna Ostroff, K-12 Supervisor for Science and Technology for Instruction, the District will continue to elevate the rigor of its science curricula by adding an Advanced Placement Science Research course for juniors and seniors who have participated in an Advanced Placement Seminar course as well as those who have participated in the pilot science research course.
“Our goal is to cultivate a program that enables students to develop higher-level skills in research and experimentation, while providing opportunities to work with distinguished faculty and scientists, and participate in science competitions,” Ms. Ostroff said. “We are very pleased with the results during our first year and hope to make even more strides in the future.”
Science research student Valentina Cerda explains her research on pollutants and aquatic plants to keynote speaker Mr. Tobiloba Oni.
Junior Jessica Layne presents her data analysis on genetically engineered food.
Freshmen Miriam Coor, left, and Anna Silver present their research on how light pollution affects the growth of mealworms.
The audience listens to the keynote speaker and student presenters.
Students presented their research during breakout sessions. Freshman Brianna Baugh shared her findings on pseudomonas flourescens and its effect on water.
Freshman Connor Wick presents his findings on environmental DNA fish tracking.
Junior Thomas Coor presents a quantitative analysis of double-reed harmonics.