Meet John Jay's Science Research Seniors
The Art of Science Research
Is it possible to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease through analyzing a person’s use of language, mused Shayna. Was there a way to manufacture a cellulose material from a waste product rather than cutting down trees, Chloe wondered. Ciara was curious: Could there be a correlation between people who have epilepsy and suffer from prolonged seizures and those with epilepsy who pass away suddenly with no known cause?
While John Jay’s Science Research program is built around problem solving and analysis skills, at the heart of every project is wonder.
The art of Science Research is how students’ individual interests shape their experience.
John Jay is Committed to Science Research Program
"Science research provides a unique opportunity for students to follow their passions," said Dr. Lisa Papernik, who teaches Science Research classes with Krista Munger. "Students often begin with just a glimmer of an idea, and with the support of classmates, teachers and outside mentors, as well as their own creativity and initiative, they can develop their ideas into award-winning research projects. In the process, students build confidence and skills, as they communicate and share their results with professionals in the scientific community."
The art and science of choosing a topic
Many students choose topics they have a personal connection to, while others let their interests take the lead.
Varsity football player and wrestler Cameron Wierl knew that many teens use sports drinks, protein powders and other supplements to improve their athletic performance. He wondered how informed they were about the supplements. This grew into his Science Research project “Testing Knowledge of Creatine Supplements in Adolescent Young Adult Athletes.”
Alice Cai is a changemaker. When she learned that endometriosis impacts an estimated 10% of females of reproductive age, she knew she’d found her Science Research topic. It became Effects of Senolytic Agents on Endometrial Stromal Cell Decidualization. “I wanted to conduct research and combat this lack of awareness,” said Alice.
Finding a mentor is one of the milestone moments in Science Research
Emma Klares found her mentor, Kaitlin Hart, Ph.D., and her SciRe topic, Biochemical Validation of an Antagonist-Only Activin A Mutein, through a summer internship at Regeneron. “I was able to attend in-house presentations from other scientists and gain exposure to other areas of research,” she said.
Ciara McGroary worked with one of the leading epilepsy centers in the United States through her mentor Juliana Laze, M.D., Senior Research Scientist at Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, NYU Langone Health. Her project: The Role of Status Epilepticus Seizures in Sudden and Unexpected Death in Epilepsy.
“My mentors, out of their own generosity, sent me the materials I needed,” said Chloe Jaffe. Her project: Extracting Enriched Cellulose Nano/Microfibrils from Pelleted Municipal solid Waste for the Synthesis of a Novel Paper Prototype. "Science is a connecting community.”
Learning about yourself is an end goal of SciRe
Daniel Gomes’s project, Current and Future Distribution of the Invasive Common Buckthorn Plant in North America: Comparison of Random Forest and MaxLike Models, solidified his direction to study robotics and computer science in college.
Jocelyn Blachar’s Science Research project, Food Behavior in Food Allergic Teens, affirmed her plan to pursue a career as a food scientist.
Samantha Donnelly learned that she is at her best when she is busy—a circumstance that Science Research easily delivered! Her project: Relationship Between Attachment and Social Referencing in Dog Owner Dyads.
“Science Research really inspired me,” said Julia Oliver. Her topic: How Bleeding, Placental Type, and Specific Abnormalities Affect Patients Undergoing Fetoscopic Laser Surgery for Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome. “Diving into the world of medicine helped me see myself in that field.”
Shayna Kar said that she found interacting with people who have Alzheimer’s Disease to be a profound experience. Her project: The Use of Natural Language Processing in the Detection of Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer's Disease. “I would love to continue this research in the future.”