HTHS Student Researchers Present Findings to American Chemical Society

(Secaucus, NJ––February 1, 2020) Three High Tech High School students presented the results of year-long original research projects to members of the American Chemical Society at the 24th Annual Research Poster Session held at St. Joseph’s College in New York, announced Dr. Joseph Giammarella, Principal at High Tech High School.

The student researchers––Reem Abughannam and Fernanda Velasco, of Guttenberg, and Janet Shenouda, of Jersey City––are all juniors at High Tech High School. The students counted for three of the seventy-one participants representing seven different local high schools. All told, sixty-one posters were presented at the annual event.

Janet Shenouda presented her project “Studies on the Antibacterial Properties of Taraxacum (Dandelion) Crude and Alcohol Extracts.” Reem Abughannam, who was recognized with an Honorable Mention for her work, presented “Graviola’s Antibacterial Properties Against Prone Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria.” Fernanda Velasco, also an Honorable Mention recipient, presented “Deriving Ovarian Cancer Cells Clones from Primary Patient Materials.” Ms. Velasco was also a participant in Project SEED, the American Chemical Society’s student-researcher summer program. Through Project SEED, Ms. Velasco conducted research at Stevens Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Dr. Marcin Iwanicki.

All of the presenters were awarded research grants from the Young Science Achievers Program (YSAP), a program designed to build the capacities of female students of color to pursue authentic research in the science classroom and beyond. The YSAP research grants allowed students to purchase supplies needed for their research efforts. The work of coordinating student researchers with Project SEED and YSAP was facilitated by HTHS instructors Dr. Dmitri Lavlinski and Dr. Nina Lavlinskaia, who offered hearty congratulations to all participants for their accomplishments.

Additionally, the aforementioned juniors were joined by HTHS sophomores Caitlyn Ramdat, Matthew Neissen, Katherine Ren, and Layaly Saleh who perused the poster session and were given a glimpse into possible research topics they might one day pursue. All students on this trip also attended a lecture by Dr. Daniele Musumeci from CUNY–York College on the topic “Poorly Water-Soluble Drugs and Strategies to Improve Their Solubility.” Upon return from the event, the attending students will give presentations to their peers regarding their experiences at the annual poster session.

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