Westhampton Beach student scientists advance in research competition

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Three impressive Westhampton Beach High School Advanced Science Research students have advanced to the semifinals of the Junior Sciences and Humanities Symposium. They are set to present their work at the semifinals on Feb. 12 at York College in Queens.

Students Meghan Kelly, Grace Orr and Kate Pomroy worked individually on their research for over a year as part of their coursework in AP Research STEM. For the semifinals, they will be required to give a 12-minute talk on their findings.

“Meghan, Kate and Grace worked very hard on their research projects and this recognition is very much deserved,” said Dianna Gobler, science research teacher. “I’m incredibly proud of them for making it this far in the prestigious competition and can’t wait to see how they do in the finals.”

Principal Dr. Chris Herr added, “These three young ladies have gone above and beyond in their research. The work ethic required, coupled with their passion for science, is unbelievable. We are very proud of their accomplishment and look forward to all the successes that will come their way.”

For her project, Kelly explored “The Efficacy of Chemically Synthesized Silver Nanoparticles on Enterobacter aerogenes Compared with Common Antibiotics Ampicillin and Kanamycin.” She said she selected the project because she has always been interested in microbiology.

Orr researched how “Calcium Hydroxide Enhances the Adaptive Ability of Coral Species E. Ancora, D. Actinodiscus, and M. capriocornis, Exposed to Decreased pH and Elevated Temperatures in an Ocean Simulated Environment.” She said she became interested in coral after visiting Belize on a school science trip.

Pomroy studied “The Effect of L-Leucine on the Regeneration Rate of Hydra Viridissima.” She said she chose the project after reading an article on the regeneration of fly wings.

The three seniors are stellar students and participate in a variety of after-school activities. They are all members of the National, Math, Science and Language honor societies and have received AP Scholar designations. Kelly and Pomroy were also recognized as Commended Students in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program as a result of their outstanding scores on the qualifying exam. Kelly additionally is one of only 357 students in the world to earn a perfect score on her AP Research exam, and Orr has been named a finalist in the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair.

When not working on her research, Kelly is running track and participating in pep band, Spanish Club and Interact. She plans to study biochemistry at Duke University in the fall.

Orr is president of the Cure Club and will be attending Florida Institute of Technology in the fall to study marine biology.

Pomroy, who plans to attend college to study mechanical engineering, is president of her school’s book club, vice president of GSA, president of Seascapes Literary Magazine and a member of Mathletes, Quiz Bowl and Art Club. She is also involved in her school’s theater program.

The Westhampton Beach School District extends its congratulations to these three student scientists.

Date Added: 2/7/2024