Byram Hills to Send Six Students To State Science Competition

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Award winners at the science symposium include (left to right) Karan Goyal, Greg Fishberger, Emma Goodman, Jonathan Bricker, Brett Roston and Chris DiCapua. Megan Ahern was not present. Photo Credit: Byram Hills School District

ARMONK, N.Y. – Six Byram Hills High School students will be headed to Albany next month to compete in the annual New York State Junior Science Humanities Symposium.

Emma Goodman, Brett Roston, Megan Ahern, Chris DiCapua, Greg Fishberger and Karan Goyal were among the 13 Byram Hills students to win awards at the annual Westchester-Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium held earlier this month at John Jay High School in Katonah.

Four of those six will now compete at the state-level speaker competition, while the other two will take part in the poster competition. Students chosen for the speaker competition will have a chance to represent New York in May at the national competition in Ohio.

All six students participate in Byram Hills’ Dr. Robert Paylica Authentic Science Research Program, which allows them to work on independent projects while learning how to conduct and present research.

David Keith, who directs the program, said the regional competition offers students the chance to present their research in fields ranging from genetics to microbiology, as well as field questions posed by professional researchers.

“The experience is extraordinarily positive,” he said.

Keith noted that the seniors who competed do a great job of helping their classmates practice and prepare.

“There is now tremendous support for the six students going on to the state competition,” he said.

The students advancing to the state for their PowerPoint presentations of research are:

  • Emma Goodman, who won first place in Behavior for a project on teenaged girls' perceptions of luxury branding vs. empirical quality in women's sheepskin boots.
  • Brett Roston, who won first place in Medicine and Health for investigating the regulatory pathways of a key protein responsible for Alzheimer's disease.
  • Megan Ahern, who won second place in Behavior, for the effect of syntax on verbal first-responder reaction time.
  • Chris DiCapua, second place in Physical Science, for engineering (and receiving a patent for) an improved electronic ventilator for cardio-pulmonary resuscitation.
  • Greg Fishberger, fourth place in Genetics, for discovering a novel method of turning genes on and off incrementally.
  • Karan Goyal, fourth place in Microbiology, for tests on novel cellular factors that might be able to block HIV infection.

The other 7 Byram Hills students who were recognized for their poster presentations of research were:

  • Jonathan Bricker, second place poster presenter overall across all categories.
  • Becky Barnett, first place in category.
  • Rose Arditi, first place in category.
  • Sabrina Khan, second place in category.
  • Syd Wolchok, third place in category.
  • Natalie Pudalov, third place in category.
  • Jon Bohrer, third place in category.
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