Science Competitions 2021
Many in person competitions were cancelled this year because of COVID restrictions. However, two well-known STEM competitions continued but were held on Zoom. According to Mr. Elkins, Science Research Advisor, “At the freshman level, since this is their first exposure to science competitions it actually may have been a good way for them to get accustomed to the process without the pressure of having to present live. But overall, in-person competitions offer much more to students that have done independent research.” The Long Island Youth Summit accepted electronic submissions but their final round of competition was held live over Zoom. The Summit encourages the exploration of important current socio-medical, environmental and socio-economic issues. Students research an area of interest, submit a project either in the form of an essay, art/photography, or video/film project. This year’s winners were 9th grader Serina Khaminov who won First Place in her category for Best Art Project in the Category of Teen Mental Health, Self-Esteem, and Well Being. Serina’s project focused on Depression and its impacts on mental health. She “thought that it was important to talk about and for more people to be able to share what they are going through.” Shoshana Horn, 11th grader, won First Place in her category of Best Project in the Category of Economic Development, Jobs, and Housing for her research paper on COVID-19 and Economic Impact.
In addition, the SAAWA Science Contest is held by the South Asian American Women's Alliance “to encourage, promote leadership and innovation among students in STEM fields to help build tomorrow's workforce among the community.” It was held virtually this year by participants submitting presentations electronically but then presenting and answering questions from a panel of judges on a live Zoom session. Chloe Ganjian, 10th grader, won Third Place in Behavioral Science for her research on “Investigating Auditory and Visual Memory and Sequencing- Exploring Strengthening Therapeutics for Alzheimer's Patients.” Shoshana Horn, 11th grader, was awarded Honorable Mention in the STEM Physics category for her research on Dark Energy. Ms. Meredith McCarthy, Advanced Science Research Advisor felt that “it is not realistic for a student to experience a competition virtually to prepare the student for future real world experiences” but as a judge, she did “enjoy a slide show presentation rather than a poster display. If the slide show is done properly, it is easier to visualize the project and how it was completed and analyzed.” Whether they are held via Zoom or in person, competitions are important for students to present their creative and innovative ideas and research.