Rye High’s Annual Science Symposium Showcases Passion For Discovery

When Rye High School students from the three-year Science Research program held their annual poster session and speaker program, the posters displayed the early results of research in “digital primitives”, the role of serotonin in the brain, algae as biofuel, and how stress may be making your dog fat.

Published June 26, 2015 5:00 AM
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science-thWhen Rye High School students from the three-year Science Research program held their annual poster session and speaker program, the posters displayed the early results of research in “digital primitives”, the role of serotonin in the brain, algae as biofuel, and how stress may be making your dog fat.

By Sarah Varney

Science-ResearchWhen Rye High School students from the three-year Science Research program held their annual poster session and speaker program, the posters displayed the early results of research in “digital primitives”, the role of serotonin in the brain, algae as biofuel, and how stress may be making your dog fat.

The speaker portion included presentations by Judson Ellis, Jack Smith, Alexander Reifsnyder, and Alexandros Koutsogeorgas. Subjects ranged from tomato yields and global drone routing to talking robots and how to increase the efficiency of small-scale nuclear fusion reactions. (There was no uranium involved.)

The program includes approximately 50 students, who begin in their sophomore year to explore a field of science that interests them. Over the next two years, a chosen field is narrowed until a single question emerges. Then research and experimentation begins, aimed at answering that question.

For sophomore Victor Gomez, the question came down to researching the possibility of stopping bone cancer in children and adolescents long enough to begin targeted treatment. “I got interested because my grandfather had cancer. This cancer [osteosarcoma] is really awful because it affects kids and the survival rate isn’t that good,” said Gomez. His inquiries focused on research showing that calcified or hardened bone slows the growth of osteosarcoma. 

Personal experience also motivated junior Isabelle Hentschel, who tore both of her Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACL) playing soccer. She underwent surgery and last year began looking at the question of how illegal play in soccer may increase potential ACL tears. She used various surveys to gather data on a possible correlation. 

Several students said they plan to pursue careers in the sciences including nursing, oncology research, and the development of alternative energy sources. 

Oh, and the reason your dog is pudgy? He may overeat when he feels stress — just like the rest of us mortals. For more information you might ask sophomore Olivia Giroux who presented an abstract entitled “Canine Behavior: Obesity Induced by Stress”. 

 

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