2020 Carmel Science Research Symposium
2020 Carmel Science Research Symposium
Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Carmel Science Research Symposium!
A Comparison of Written Policy Language via Content Analysis of School Districts with Varying Socioeconomic Status
In the United States currently, there are around 3.2 million students in public schools enrolled in gifted and talented programs. Since the federal government provides no federal funding towards gifted education programs, states and local education policies are the only ones that can control them. As a result, gifted programs are not equally distributed across school districts. The primary goal of this research is to determine is the relationship between identification policies for gifted education and the socioeconomic status of school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley. The hypothesis for this research is that schools with higher socioeconomic status will have a more comprehensive identification policy for gifted students. The results showed that out of the 18 school districts, Bedford, Briarcliff, Chappaqua, Garrison, and Hendrick-Hudson are the only schools labeled as upper class.. The other school districts are considered middle class. From the keywords list, the only word used in the policies was acceleration. From the list of 18 schools, Carmel, Hendrick Hudson, Mahopac, North Salem, and Peekskill were the only school districts that had Gifted Education policies. From that list of five Mahopac, North Salem and Hendrick-Hudson were the only schools to go in-depth on their policies. They identified how they proceed with curriculum, new ideas, and follow-through. The hypothesis was proven neither correct nor incorrect because the data did not show any common themes. However, this research is necessary to compare how different school districts meet the need of gifted students and how successful they are in this process.
Lie Detection and the Untrained Eye
Deception is a prevalent aspect of everyday life. It is important to be aware of its effects on society. People admit to using deceit in 14% of emails, 27% of face-to-face interactions and 37% of phone calls (Hancock, 2007). It has also been found that trained law enforcement officers are just as likely as the average person to fail at detecting a lie (Ekman and O’Sullivan, 1991). Deception is evident in both verbal and nonverbal behaviors. Many studies have compared the accuracy in detecting deception using nonverbal and verbal behaviors, with other variables being job experience and gender. However, few studies have compared an age variable specifically using students under the age of eighteen. The purpose of this study is to compare the accuracy rates of students and teachers when exposed to verbal and nonverbal deception cues. Students ages thirteen to eighteen and teachers with varying ages were recruited from a suburban high school. The participants were asked to sign a human informed consent form then complete a survey based on a series of six videos. They were asked to establish which videos contained lies and which contained the truth. Results found that teachers did not have greater accuracy in lie detection. The most common behavior recognized was verbal behavior. For future research, a wider variety of participants could be used, and a gender variable can be investigated. An implication of the study could be the small sample size as it may not be representative of the whole population.
Mentor: Dr. Leanne ten Brinke, Denver University
Evaluating the Effectiveness of PM2.5 National Ambient Air Quality Standards: Quantitative Analysis of PM2.5 Concentrations across the United States from 2001-2014
In recent years, the relationship between levels of particulate matter (PM) and human health has been uncovered. Particulate matter is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a mixture of solid and liquid particles, including carbon monoxide (CO) and sulfur dioxide (SO2). One classification of particulate matter, particulate matter less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5), has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. PM2.5’s microscopic size allows it to bypass the filtering hairs nose and penetrate the alveoli, entering the circulatory system and causing damage associated with these conditions. To diminish these potential health risks of PM2.5, the EPA enforces National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) designed to keep PM2.5 concentrations at a healthy level. These regulations for PM2.5 were first established in 1997 and subsequently revised in 2006 and 2012 in accordance with updated research. While the purpose of these standards is to lower annual PM2.5 concentrations, little large-scale research has been done to evaluate the success of these regulations. Thus, this study aims to statistically analyze differences in annual PM2.5 concentrations for the years 2001-2014. Annual PM2.5 levels for U.S counties were collected from the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network and ANOVA and descriptive statistics were utilized. ANOVA testing yielded a statistically significant p-value of <0.001 and a line graph illustrated an annual PM2.5 decrease of .24 µg/m3. This suggests that current standards are highly effective and suggests that further regulations for the protection of human health would prove successful.
Analysis of the Color Polymorphism in Yellow Spotted Salamander Eggs
Polymorphisms are vital in allowing organisms to adapt and survive in varying environments allowing the survival of the species. Ambystoma maculatum, the yellow-spotted salamander, exhibits a unique polymorphism in its egg masses, which are two morphs that have a white membrane and a clear membrane. Amphibian egg jelly layers control the interactions between the embryo inside the egg with the outside environment and are more apt to respond to ecological stressors than other egg membrane components. It was hypothesized that in vernal pools with slightly acidic pH, there would be more egg masses with cloudy membranes because the crystals of proteins in the membrane result in a firmer consistency making them more resistant to the environment. Data was collected in the field, and the student researcher visited multiple vernal pools, took water pH, water temp, air temp, and took pictures of the vegetation around the vernal pools to expand other possibilities for the polymorphism. It was found that there is a strong negative correlation between pH and the amount of cloudy membrane egg masses in vernal pools. This research was an exploration for the causation of polymorphism in yellow-spotted eggs and because the research of this topic has been overlooked.
Mentor - Lauren Martin, Fahnestock State Park
Drug Repurposing Across Specific Therapeutic Areas
Drug repurposing is the method of making new drugs by using previously existing drugs to address new targets. Repurposed drugs are faster and cheaper to make than newly formed drugs. However, despite efficiency, a lack of funding and interest from the pharmaceutical industry has played a part in preventing drug repurposing from becoming more commonly used. Furthermore, the success of drug repurposing is often random. Determining patterns can contribute to an increased success rate of drug repurposing. The purpose of this study is to determine if there is a relationship between the original therapeutic area and the new therapeutic area of repurposed drugs. The specific therapeutic areas of autoimmune, cardiovascular, CNS, infectious disease, metabolic/endocrinology, and oncology were analyzed. The null hypothesis is that there is no relationship between the original therapeutic area of a drug and whether the drug is repurposed outside of its original therapeutic area. Drugs from the Repurposed Drug Database were reviewed. A chi square independence tests and binomial tests were performed. The results suggest that a relationship exists between the type of original therapeutic area and whether the drug will be repurposed to be in the same therapeutic area or a different one. In conclusion, the resulting therapeutic area of repurposed drugs seems to be dependent on the original therapeutic area of the drug. Specifically, it seems that oncology drugs are more likely to be repurposed into the same therapeutic area. Cardiovascular drugs seem to be more commonly repurposed outside of its original therapeutic area.
Perceived Self-Efficacy and Perfectionism Type in Public School Teachers
This study investigated the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and perfectionism type to observe if perceived self-efficacy could predict perfectionism dimension in public school teachers. Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s ability to successfully complete a task in a situation. Therefore, having high self-efficacy reflects a higher confidence and ability to succeed in a specific environment. Perfectionism has been identified as a multidimensional construct, divided into three components: self-oriented, other-oriented, and socially-prescribed perfectionism. These two concepts (perceived self-efficacy and perfectionism type) have been explored separately, but there have been very few studies that explored the relationship between perceived self-efficacy and perfectionism type together, especially in public school teachers. Through email and social media, public school teachers were recruited to participate in the study. Participants completed an online survey that consisted of the demographic questionnaire, the General Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. Results from the study indicated a strong, negative correlation and a large effect size between high perceived self-efficacy and other-oriented perfectionism.
The Effect of Chronic Media Multitasking on Academic Performance
Media Multitasking, or using two or more streams of media simultaneously, has become an increasingly popular phenomenon with the rising prevalence of technology usage in daily life. This study examines to what extent perennial media multitasking affects the academic performance of high school students, as well as assessing other factors that may work to intensify or minimize the effects. Twenty-seven high school students were given a survey consisting of questions determining their academic standing, frequency of media multitasking, as well as a variety of factor that have been found to effect academic performance including metacognition and working memory. Results indicated that overall, those who were considered “heavy media multitaskers” saw a significant decrease in academic performance. Furthermore, students who exhibited a higher degree of metacognition also tended to be less frequent media multitaskers, therefore exhibiting high academic performance. Lastly, a moderate correlation was found between a higher working memory score and better academic performance. Despite these variables, greater media multitasking and most likely general media usage accounted for the majority of student’s academic standing.
The Psychosocial Effects of Food Allergies on Adolescents
Food allergies have been shown to negatively affect the mental health of children. However, there is very limited research on the psychosocial effects food allergies can have within the high school setting. Participants completed one of two surveys; one survey was directed towards adolescents with food allergies, and the other survey was directed towards adolescents without food allergies. It was hypothesized that adolescents with food allergies do not feel safe in high school, adolescents with food allergies do not feel comfortable in high school, high school workers are somewhat knowledgeable on food allergies, and high school students without allergies are somewhat knowledgeable on allergies. An ANOVA test as well as correlations were used to determine whether or not the hypotheses were accepted. The hypotheses that food allergies negatively affect adolescents’ feelings of safety and comfortability were rejected. The hypotheses that high school workers and adolescents without food allergies are only somewhat knowledgeable on the topic of food allergies were accepted. Overall, adolescents with allergies did not feel at risk during the school day, but a lack of communication and education was identified. The implication of the research is that more awareness can be raised regarding food allergies through classes implemented in communities. Doing so would ensure that all students with allergies are as comfortable as possible.
A Study of Urban Coyote (Canis latrans) Habitation on Long Island and its Implications
This study explored the habitat size requirements of urban coyotes (Canis latrans) and possible habitation sites. Previous data regarding land cover use, maximum habit size, and urban coyote sites were used. A moving window test was performed in the computer program ArcGIS using the National Land Cover Database’s information for forest and grassland as that was what coyotes were found to use most. A moving window test was performed to see how much forest and grassland was in a 14km2 area. This measurement was used as it was found to be the farthest a coyote traveled to obtain the necessary materials in their home range. A heat map was then created of forest and grassland measured, focusing on the Long Island Sound region. The more forest and grassland in an area, the more likely it is to be habituated by coyotes. Then, all sites (8) where coyotes were found were measured for forest and grassland and classified based on coyote breeding. The average was taken of all sites used, all breeding sites, and all non-breeding sites. The averages were then compared to the heat map locations. In conclusion, both hypotheses were supported: coyotes can live in a wide spectrum of conditions and patch sizes and sites where coyotes were directly observed scored higher on the model. The information from this study provides potential sites coyotes may inhabit in the future and allows people to be more aware of where coyotes inhabit to ensure the safety of the community, the pets of the residents, and the coyotes. This study also allows scientists to know where coyotes are most likely to be seen and guides researchers to places where camera traps will be most effective in spotting coyotes.
Does the addition of sulfates in New York City, influence the amount of sunlight and radiation coming to and back from space?
The rise of temperature is a phenomenon called global warming. Human industrialization and population have been growing at an exponential rate. With industrialization comes more CO2 output in our atmosphere leading to the increase of temperature. Scientists have found that sulfate, a polyatomic anion, can help absorb CO2 and counter-react the rise of CO2. The climate model Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTM), can provide insight to ways to stop this rapidly growing problem of climate change. New York City is the most populated city in all the United States. Using the model RRTM, you’re able to see what the addition of sulfate in the atmosphere has an effect on when in watt per meter2. From the model you’re able to see that with the addition of aerosols the city lost 22.4 watts per meter squared more than the city without aerosols injected. The project provides insight about global warming and the effects it has on skin. It also provides evidence to show how aerosols injection will better the world and keep the Earth on a safe track without the risk of extinction for all. The hypothesis is supported to show that aerosol injection does affect the rate of solar radiation and sunlight with a positive influence.
The Effect of Climate Change Driven Temperature and Precipitation Changes on Lyme Disease Cases in New York State
Climate change is predicted to alter various aspects of human society, specifically, public health. One way that climate change can alter human health is by affecting the spread of various diseases, such as Lyme disease, the most commonly reported vector-borne illness in the United States. This study examines the correlation between Lyme disease cases and climate change driven temperature and precipitation changes by creating equations that, based on observed data, can predict future case numbers under various weather conditions. To determine the number of cases in the future, projected temperature and precipitation data was recorded for the years 2050 and 2099, under various climate change scenarios from the Climate Smart Farming simulations. These values were then inputted into equations to predict the number of Lyme disease cases in the future years. Generally, Lyme disease case predictions increased regardless of the climate scenario or year. This study was also only limited to New York State, in order to provide specific and accurate results to its citizens. Accordingly, these results can aid in preparing citizens for changes that may impact their health, and provide potential for warning systems and other public health improvements to occur.
The Effect of Running at Different Race Paces and with Pop Music on the Stride Length of High School Runners
Around the world, an average of 60 million people run every day. Most of these people run with the incorrect running form because they are not educated in running mechanics. Most injuries worldwide are caused by running with an incorrect stride length. This study expressed the importance of running with the correct stride length and how it changes when running at different paces. 12 participants were told to run four trials, three at different paces and one while listening to music, to see if their stride length varied from the average stride length of all male runners (188cm) and all female runners (147cm). The results showed that stride length changed according to the pace that the participant was running at. When running 100-meter pace and 5,000-meter pace, the participants showed an increase in stride length and most of the participants ran according to the beat the music had during the music trial. Two out of the three hypotheses were accepted and the other was rejected. It was hypothesized that participants will increase stride length when running 100-meter pace and that they will run to the beat of the music; both hypotheses were accepted. The hypothesis that the participant’s stride length will decrease during running 5,000-meter pace was rejected. Overall, this study contributes to the importance of stride length, helps runners avoid injury, and helps runners fix their stride length according to their body proportions.
The Correlation between Lactose Intolerance and Coronary Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, and Obesity
The correlation between consumption of dairy products and susceptibility to the development of coronary heart disease, breast cancer, and/or obesity within large populations has yet to be determined. This study examines how the percentage of cases of lactose intolerance per chosen country correlates to the percentage of deaths from coronary heart disease, the percentage of deaths from breast cancer, and the percentage of the population diagnosed with obesity per country. It was concluded that the higher a country’s rate of lactose intolerance, the lower the dairy consumption of said country would be due to the unpleasant effects of lactose intolerance when dairy is consumed. Online databases holding the statistics of the rates of each disease per country were used to determine a line of best fit, equation, R2 value, and correlation coefficient on Microsoft excel. Results indicated that there is a weak indirect correlation between percentage of lactose intolerance cases per country and percentage of cases of deaths from coronary heart disease, percentage of deaths from breast cancer, and the percentage of the population diagnosed with obesity per country. It was concluded from this that in countries where there is more lactose intolerance, and therefore less dairy consumption, the percentage of deaths from coronary heart disease, the percentage of deaths from breast cancer, and the percentage of the population diagnosed with obesity per country are smaller. Although there are other variables that may be responsible for the trends found, it is definite that there are weak indirect correlations between the percentage of cases of lactose intolerance per chosen country, the percentage of deaths from coronary heart disease, the percentage of deaths from breast cancer, and the percentage of the population diagnosed with obesity per country.
Proximity to a Hazardous Waste Landfill and the Occurrence of Preterm Births in the Lower Hudson Valley Region
Hazardous waste landfills have been an increasing concern to not only the environment, but also human health. When leachate, a hazardous substance, diffuses through the protective covering surrounding the landfill, it can consequently contaminate surrounding groundwater, soil, and air. Through these routes, dangerous toxins can enter the bodies of unsuspecting residents and bring about adverse health effects. Additionally, pregnant women are particularly susceptible to the adverse health effects. Previous studies have focused on how a mother’s distance to a landfill can cause different congenital diseases in the newborn. However, how proximity to a landfill can increase the occurrences of preterm births in a certain area has limited research. Being the leading cause of death in infants, premature births are a major public health issue throughout the United States and has been linked to environmental causes. In this study, preterm birth data was collected from areas surrounding three landfills in the lower Hudson Valley region that have been identified as hazardous by the EPA: the Warwick, Hertel and Ramapo. After the data was statistically analyzed, proximity to a landfill site was determined to have an overall insignificant impact on the occurrences of preterm births.
Optimal methods of harvesting in microalgae biofuel production
Algae biofuels have been viewed by researchers as a viable alternative to harmful non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels. However, in order to compete against these non-renewable energy sources, the cost of algae biofuel production will need to be significantly lowered. One way to do so is by determining the most cost-effective method to harvest the algae during production. In this study, data was collected from 15 of 85 potential peer-reviewed journal articles. From these articles, a meta-analysis was conducted to determine the most efficient harvest method. The results supported the hypothesis that the most cost-efficient and effective harvesting method is flocculation, specifically magnetic nanoparticle separation. The implications of this research can help make algae biofuel production less costly and allow it to be able compete against fossil-fuels, which may lead to a decreased reliance on non-renewable energy sources and an increased positive impact on climate change.