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OBHS Hosts 4th Annual Science Symposium

Oyster Bay High School presented its 4th annual Science Research Symposium, celebrating the achievements of the District’s most passionate young scientists. The virtual event highlighted the work of students in the Advanced Placement Science Research program under science research teacher Ms. Stephen Acquaro, and featured a student and professional keynote speaker.

The event opened with coordinator and moderator Dr. Janna Ostroff, K-12 Science and Instructional Technology Supervisor, who applauded the work of the students and thanked Mr. Acquaro as well as English language arts teacher Dr. Deirdre Faughey and science teaching assistant Ms. Maria Malzone for their support of the program.

After providing a brief biography, she introduced keynote speaker Mr. Matthew Ostroff, MSN, APN, Vascular Coordinator and Lead Clinician at St. Joseph’s University Medical Center in New Jersey. Mr. Ostroff presented his innovative work on vascular access and the impact it has had on health care, particularly during the pandemic. He also advised student researchers to take advantage of all networking opportunities to keep learning and growing as scientists and to not be discouraged by challenges in their research.

Student keynote speaker Brianna Baugh related to that advice as she discussed her research on denitrifying bacteria and the many challenges she faced before reaching success. After much trial and error, Brianna was ultimately awarded “Best Use of International Systems Units” at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF) for her work in attempting to create a scientific standard for nitrate pollution and quantifying the concentration of bacteria required to treat contaminated groundwater. Brianna plans to continue her research in college next year.

After her presentation, students shared their research projects in staff-mediated breakout rooms. Some notable topics included “The Effect of Therapy Dogs on Feelings of Loneliness” by Kevin Biggiani, “Coral Bleaching Reversion” by Willian Iannetta, “How Socioeconomic Status Affects Father Absence” by Patrick Ingebrigsten, “The Effect of Environmental pH on Liposomal Uptake” by Molly Kelly, “Influencing the Inner Monologue” by Muscan Kumar, “Body Image and the Visually Impaired” by Bianca McEvoy, “Equity in Real Estate” by Stefanie Sadocha, and “Marine Microplastic Bioremediation” by Nathaniel Yee.

According to Mr. Acquaro, one of the big tasks of the AP Science Research Program is to introduce projects that are novel with the goal of “expanding the sphere of human knowledge.” Through the science research program,  students develop higher-level skills in research and experimentation, while providing opportunities to work with distinguished faculty and scientists, and participate in science competitions. The District continually evaluates and enhances the rigor of its science curricula to meet the needs of students.  The District currently offers Advanced Placement Research for juniors and seniors, and Honors Research for grades 9-12. Students also compete and have earned honors in local science competitions, such as the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair (LISEF).

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Student keynote speaker Brianna Baugh virtually shares her research on denitrifying bacteria during Oyster Bay High School’s 4th annual Science Research Symposium.