Westhampton Beach senior named Regeneron Scholar

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Jessica Curran is the second Westhampton Beach High School senior to be named a scholar in the prestigious Regeneron Science Talent Search. She is one of only 300 students from across the nation to earn the honor from the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition.

“I was very excited,” said Curran of learning of the honor. “It was very validating for all my research.”

To earn the honor, a $2,000 scholarship and a chance to become a finalist in the competition, Curran demonstrated her research skills, leadership, community involvement and commitment to academics through an application process. She submitted her research project, “Analyzing the Effectiveness of Dasysiphonia japonica as a Seaweed Liquid Fertilizer through Abelmoschus esculentus Growth and Pigment Concentration,” as part of the application.

Curran said she selected the research project because seaweed is invasive on Long Island and she wanted to find ways to utilize it as fertilizer. She is continuing her research on the topic at Brookhaven National Laboratory.

“It is thrilling to see Jessica’s hard work recognized by such a prestigious science competition,” said Superintendent Carolyn Probst. “Earning this recognition for Westhampton Beach for the second year in a row is a point of pride for the district and speaks volumes of the quality of work happening in the science research program.”

“Jessica has taken full advantage of all our district has to offer during her four years in Westhampton Beach,” said Principal Dr. Christopher Herr. “She has gone above and beyond. We are so proud and can’t wait to see what the future brings for this intelligent and dedicated young lady.”

Science research teacher Dianna Gobler added, “Jessica is so deserving of this honor. She has embraced every scientific opportunity offered to her [and] she works tirelessly to succeed in everything she does. I couldn't be prouder of her."

In addition to being named a Regeneron Scholar, Curran recently earned a perfect score on her AP Research exam, a feat that only 357 students in the world accomplished this year. She is also an AP Scholar with Distinction and a Commended Scholar in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program as a result of her outstanding score on the qualifying exam.

Curran is vice president of her school’s National Honor Society and a member of the environmental Cure Club, the robotics team and Quiz Bowl. Outside of school, she volunteers with the Westhampton junior ambulance and is a Girl Scout who earned her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting.

Curran has been accepted to Princeton University, but has not officially committed. She plans to study environmental engineering.

The Westhampton Beach School District extends its congratulations to Jessica Curran on this impressive accomplishment.

Date Added: 1/11/2024