Class Announcements

Google Science Fair Regional Finalist: Katie Handler

posted Aug 17, 2016, 7:46 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Aug 17, 2016, 7:47 AM ]

Congratulations to rising senior Katie Handler! Katie has become a Regional Finalist at the 2016 Google Science Fair. Details about her project 'Succession Variations in Kenyan Scavenger Communities and the Importance of Wildebeest Carcasses' can be found here: https://goo.gl/QbxDPg

2016 Mock Science Fair

posted Feb 5, 2016, 6:27 AM by Deborah Day

Science Research students preparing for this year's CT STEM Fair at the Amity Mock Science Fair


Congratulations Helen Liu!

posted Feb 5, 2016, 6:25 AM by Deborah Day

We are delighted to announce that Helen Liu, a 4th year student in the Amity Science Research Program, has advanced to the Finalist round of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search (STS)! In addition to her bioengineering project ‘Developing a Novel Progranulin-derived Biologic for Gaucher Disease’ (NYU), she has conducted research involving Autism Spectrum Disorder (SCSU); cases of SQSTM1wild type Paget’s Disease of Bone (PDB) (UConn); soot emissions of diesel surrogate fuels (Yale); and CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knockdown of FAS death receptor in functional T cells (JAX). She has received many creative scholarly accolades including: Finalist, 2015 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award; Finalist, 2015 Young Naturalist Award (American Museum of Natural History); CT Music Educators Association All-State Orchestra; and 3rd Place, American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music, to name a few. Helen has also made significant contributions to the Amity community with her leadership presence in a number of clubs, activities, and worthy causes including (but not limited to): Co-President of the Science Olympiad Club ; President of Amity Science National Honor Society; Yearbook Editor in Chief; Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science (TEAMS) Captain; Adventures of the Mind Student Advisory Council; Link Crew Leader; Peer Tutor; Leo Club President; Tennis and Track athlete. Helen was also amongst the rare, exceptional students accepted into the 2015 Jackson Genomics Laboratory (JAX) 10 week summer student program! 

Those who know her will agree that Helen is one of the most charismatic, energetic, and inspirational young leaders of her time! We wish her all the best as she competes in Washington DC, amongst other finalists in this prestigious competition!

About the Intel STS:

The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Annually, students entering the Intel STS compete for more than $1.6 million in awards. Only 40 students are announced as finalists each year and invited to Washington, D.C. in March to participate in final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for three top awards of $150,000 each.
Alumni of STS hold more than 100 of the world's most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and National Medal of Science. 

Some facts about the 2016 Intel STS finalists:

--Finalists hail from 18 states. 10 of the finalists are from California, followed by New York with 8, and Maryland with 3.
--All 40 finalists speak or study another language, and 39 of them lead at least one school association or club.
--More than half of the finalists play an instrument. 17 finalists are varsity athletes, while 11 edit and write for their school newspapers.
--52 percent of finalists are male and 48 percent are female. 
--Top categories represented among finalist projects are: Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, Mathematics, Cellular and Molecular Biology.
--11 finalists also won 1st-4th place Grand Awards at Intel ISEF 2015.
--2 finalists currently have patents, 1 has applied for a patent, and three are working on applications for patents.
--Six or more finalists have perfect SAT scores.

Feature Friday - Alex Friedman

posted Jan 11, 2016, 5:02 PM by Deborah Day   [ updated Jan 11, 2016, 5:04 PM ]

Hi, my name is Alexander Friedman! I am currently a junior, and this is my third year in the Science Research Program!

Prior to entering the science research program, I knew I wanted to try out research as a potential career path. I started off freshman year doing an experiment on moldy bread. I gathered many participants (2 loafs)  that all ended up being thrown out. It was a pretty interesting project, and brought up some good discussion when I went to SCISEF. This was my first science fair and it helped me understand the magnitude of the projects that were there.

In sophomore year, I found a mentor through a Pulmonary Christmas party, Dr. Charles DelaCruz. We began working on a project that had to do with the effect of chitinase on the digestion of peptidoglycan. The only problem with this project was that everything was positive except the results. I would tell the judges all of this great information on how my project should work, and then my results were negative. Throughout sophomore year I went to SCISEF and Norwalk, both of which were enjoyable experiences.

This year I am continuing last year's project, but in a different way. Instead of only measuring the digestion, we are measuring the effects in general. We already have some very interesting results and I am very excited to get back into the lab to do a follow up experiment. Also, this year we have had many additional people come and help me perform these experiments such as Lokesh and Chad Marion. It has been a great experience working through problems, and deciding next steps with such a good team. I hope to go to CT stem fair and Norwalk again this year, but hopefully with some positive results.

The Science Research Program has been a lot of fun and I am glad that I am taking it. It was very interesting to see what it is really like to do research, and it allowed me to open my career choices to potentially becoming a researcher. Overall, I hope to have more positive data, great science fairs, and am even better senior year.



Feature Friday - Barak Davidi

posted Dec 17, 2015, 10:13 AM by Deborah Day

Hi. 

My name is Barak Davidi.

I am a senior at Amity Regional High School.

This is my fourth year of Amity Science Research Program.

I am a member of the National Science Honors Society.

I have volunteered at Yale New Haven Hospital.

I am working with Haseeb (Genghis) Khan at Schmitz Lab at Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies researching isopods, decomposition, and plants.

(Enjoy the attached image)

Feature Friday - Jacob Gross

posted Dec 10, 2015, 4:58 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Dec 10, 2015, 5:04 AM ]

Hello. My name is Jacob Gross, and this is my second year in the Amity Science Research Program. Last year, I researched the effect of social media usage on susceptibility to online identity theft, and found that those who spent more time online were less likely to fall for such a scam. This year, I'm working with Dr. Gerard Sanacora to conduct a research analysis looking for a correlation between a patient's baseline severity of depression and their degree of response to an antidepressant called ketamine.

In my free time, I run cross-country, indoor/outdoor track, and play violin. I'm interested in neurospsychopharmacology (just rolls right off the tongue) as well as organic chemistry.

Feature Friday - Anna Ryack

posted Nov 30, 2015, 6:59 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Nov 30, 2015, 7:07 AM ]

Hi everyone! My name is Anna Ryack, and I’m a senior in science research this year! Sadly, this is only my third year in science research ): Even still, my experience so far has been amazing! My first year in SRP, I developed a project to investigate the relationship between time of day, and a person’s perception of the passage of time. However, as most first year projects tend to go, I only had 11 participants! Thus the results of my study were a little…inconclusive. 

In my second year, I followed a similar path of research, and looked into short-term time perception accuracy in morning-people vs evening people. My research found that in the morning, morning people had more accurate estimations of time, while at night, evening people had more accurate estimations. Overall however, neither group had a better overall accuracy. I took this project to both SCSEF (where I won 4th place in my category!), as well as JSHS (Which was a wonderful event to experience)!

This year I’m really excited to be working in a lab at SCSU under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Nizhnikov to investigate the relationship between impulsivity and prenatal alcohol exposure in rats! It sounds a bit odd, but essentially what we’re looking at the hereditary aspect of impulsivity in alcoholism. It’s very exciting to actually be able to work in the lab with the rats!

Although Science research does take up a lot of my life, believe it or not, I actually do other things too! In school I’m a part of many clubs such as Amity Improv, Tabletop Gaming club (everyone should give d&d a try, it’s amazingly fun), Anime club (stop by and say high to the president some time. It’s me. I am the president.), Girls against Eating Disorders, anddd the list goes on!

However the thing I’m most passionate about (aside from science of course), is definitely my music! I play guitar and sing, and in my free time I love trying to teach myself new songs, work on improving my playing styles, and my favorite thing to do is try writing my own songs! When I’m less busy with school, I preform small gigs at places like coffee shops or the Space, and this past Summer I even recorded my own EP!

 If you think about it, science research and preforming aren’t even too different! Science has a process, just like song writing does. And presenting in front of class or at science fairs is actually pretty similar to preforming on stage! (I mayyyy have written a couple science songs that help blur the line a little too).

 Science research and music have really helped me realize that following the things I’m passionate about is possible, and it’s amazing how far you can get when you put forth all your effort into something! Science research has been one of the best parts of my high school journey, and I’m very happy to spend the rest of my senior year in SPR!

Feature Friday - Eitan Minsky-Fenick

posted Nov 13, 2015, 5:21 PM by Deborah Day   [ updated Nov 13, 2015, 5:25 PM ]

David Hasselhoff, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, all aliases for me, Eitan Minsky-Fenick. I am constantly asked how I became the man I am today. The answer is the Amity Science Research Program. I recall sitting at my kitchen table eating some mashed potatoes when my brother came home. He had been informed about the Science Research Program from school. He described the program and explained how it worked. It truly fascinated me that I could explore anything in the realm of STEM. Although he rejected the program and said it would be an obstacle in the way of his goal, I decided the class would be my goal. Ever since that day I trained so that when the time arrived I would make the cut.

Every day I went to Khan Academy, practicing writing applications. The first thirty days were gruesome, my keyboard was soaked with sweat, my heart racing as I waited for Sal’s response. This continued until June 30th of 2013, the day that I had been waiting for so long. I went to the Amity website and filled out the application form. After I filled out the application I felt very confident, and twelve days later I received the email that changed my life. It was time for the boy named Eitan Minsky Fenick to become the man Eitan Minsky Fenick. The best part of the email was that they spelled my name wrong, Etan, but I think that it was meant to be my nickname.

This is where Yusuf got lazy and stopped writing, so now I have to actually write the rest of my feature Friday. I got into SRP and researched the effect of acidity of a certain part of a battery on the voltage it produces, as I needed to power my base on Mars (I am also known as Matt Damon). This year I am researching loss aversion so as to learn about appropriate strategies for teaching fiscal awareness. It turns out, someone with as much money and as many aliases as I have needs to know how to handle money properly and how to be less loss averse and more rational.

When I have my fiscal issues sorted, I will move to RWDC where I will design drones to take over the world, incidentally known to most as the Great Honeycrisp in the Sky. I wish you all a happy life under my dictatorship and movie propaganda, but I have to stop writing as I must get to the ‘chopper’ now.

Feature Friday - Jasmine Moon

posted Nov 3, 2015, 8:10 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Nov 3, 2015, 8:16 AM ]

Hi, my name is Jasmine Moon! I am currently a junior, and this is my third year in the Science Research Program!

Even before I entered the high school, I had a habit of listening to music while doing my homework or studying for a test. I was curious as to whether listening to music actually helps or hurts my performance when I work. Therefore, in my freshman year, I conducted a simple experiment: The Effect of Music Genre on Numeric Memorization. I was able to gather a great total of 11 participants. A significant number of my participants (5 people) memorized best while listening to rock music, and only 1 participant memorized best while listening to pop music. Therefore, I concluded that listening to rock music while doing homework/studying was optimal and listening to pop music while working actually had a negative effect. With this project, I went to SCISEF, which was my first science fair since I entered SRP. This science fair showed me what a science fair was like and how to present my gathered information.

In sophomore year, my mentor, Dr. Damion Grasso, and I came up with a project entitled, “The Effect of Social Media on Loneliness.” My hypothesis was, “If participants use social media for a longer time, then they will have higher scores of loneliness.” I had to gather participants in order to prove/disprove this hypothesis. In total, I was able to gather an amazing number of 45 participants!! However, since my project required statistical analysis, 45 participants proved to be insufficient, and it was concluded that more data would be needed to truly prove/disprove the hypothesis. With this project, I went to SCISEF and I was also selected to attend JSHS! JSHS was truly a phenomenal experience!

This year, my mentor, Dr. William Graf, and I are proposing a project about ankyloglossia. There are barely any long-term, controlled trials done on this topic, so it’ll be very interesting to do this project!

I try to continue learning more science outside of SRP. I am a part of Yale Pathways to Science, where many lectures, demonstrations, and classes are offered! In addition, thanks to Ms. Day’s recommendation, I was accepted to an internship program at Yale ITS last summer. It was an AMAZING experience that I will never forget!

The Science Research Program has really been the highlight of my high school career thus far. I love that the SRP allows us to pick and conduct a project in a field we are interested in! I am so thankful to be a part of the Science Research Program!


Feature Friday - Double S

posted Oct 24, 2015, 8:22 AM by Deborah Day   [ updated Oct 24, 2015, 8:24 AM ]

Schloha( a combination of shalom and hola...even though I'm a spanish dropout...that's awkward) to all my minions and followers: the peasants, the cows, horses, chickens, and most importantly my kindred spirits THE KINDERGARTENERS. 
While I am commonly known as Sarah S ( yes I kill it in the alliteration game...don't get too jealous) some of my street names include Lian, DOUBLE S( just like how Krispy Kreme calls itself KK and Dunkin Donuts calls itself DD ... I could basically start my own donut shop and call it spicy snodonuts SS) , SURAH, that girl who didn't go to preschool( don't mock me), polarpanda99( my animal crossing username), and that girl who is lactose intolerant but keeps on getting ice cream.
So now that you know my name, it's about time that you know my story( try to imagine this entire student of the week feature to a rap song...not that I can really rap). I spent the early days of my childhood sheltered from the other children, as I was a secret weapon which had to be protected. I was kind of the half Asian repunzel. I would watch mystery television shows and envision my future role as QUEEN( of all of the animals, children who play animal crossing, the lactose intolerant people, and the ice cream lovers). Despite the fact that I was basically lactose intolerant, when I was in eighth grade I found a new magical dairy product, a beautiful new flavor of ice cream. The flavor was the scientific method, and the woman serving the ice cream was none other than the great Debby day.
This ice cream has added so much into my life since I first became addicted (it is almost like crack...kidding @julia, almost as addicting as drop dead diva or bobs burgers or animal crossings). Through science research I have been able to develop skills which have helped my rule the world of animal crossings, and be skilled at fighting the terrible little army that comes everytime I eat ice cream. My freshman year, I basically saved American children from obesity by investigating the powers of subliminal messaging on food selection. Sophomore year though, I realized that the American education system needed me. In an extremely innovative fashion, I fixed the problem in dwindling class participation by incorporating an adorable robot into classrooms. My junior year, however, I decided that the people of the world needed my drop dead diva reasoning and began saving lives. I teamed up with this strange girl who formerly spent her days counting the number of friends people have, and together we are developing a novel bench top pump for left ventricular assist devices which can combine the efficiency of the turbo dynamic pump with the movement of the pulsatile pump. 
When I am not saving the people of the world, I enjoy eating ice cream, feeding my pet turtle, helping children, passing money to Julia in shady plastic bags ( I promise we are not dealers it is all legit), being the sassiest animal crossings player ever, and observing videos of pandas online. After I retire from world saving, I would like to open a real life bobs burgers that is also a day care and petting zoo. 
Thank you so much for the student of the week opportunity! 
Remember SECURE A SAFE STASH WITH SASSY SURAH 
#spanishdropoutsunite #misidentifiedracesunite
--Another Fantastic Feature Friday by @Julia

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