Weekly Cycle Schedule
Monday, June 17 - Cycle 2 LAST DAY OF CLASSES
The effect of the decrease in the growth of thicker axon structures in the prefrontal cortex on violence among males: A Meta-analysis
Class of 2018
In 2016 alone, there were over a million violent crimes committed in the United States of America according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime has been on a decline since the 1990, however from 2015 to 2016 there has been a spike of 3.4% of violent crimes committed. Violence is clearly a prevalent issue in America. According to the Center for Disease Control violence is classified as a public health issue. Violence effects almost all aspects of human life; how people act, how people communicate and how people view one another.
Raehannah’s research is on how to better understand violence and its causes. She mainly focused on the biological side of violence, although the environment plays a key role. The core of Raehannah’s research is on the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain known to have a key role in behavioral control. Her research looks into the role of the decrease in axon growth in the prefrontal cortex, and its effect on violence. Her study is a meta-analysis study and all data comes from previously published literature. Raehannah’s study includes 100 pieces of literature from reputable medical journals, that she read and analyzed herself. She has found a connection between violence and decrease in growth of axon structures in the prefrontal cortex.
Raehannah is an honor student at Carmel High School. During her time in the science research program Raehannah has entered the Regeneron Science Talent Search, Siemens Westinghouse, Tri-County Science Fair, Westchester Science & Engineering Fair, Eastern Junior Science and Humanities Symposium and Upstate Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. She has placed 4th at Westchester Science & Engineering Fair and 2nd place at Eastern Junior Science and Humanities Symposium. When Raehannah is not working on her research she is either gardening, reading, or traveling.
Effect of PI3K Inhibition on Breast Cancer Cells
Class of 2018
Cell death is a process that the body follows to maintain a certain number and organization of cell in tissues and organs. When cell death is compromised, controlling the numbers of cells becomes difficult for the body and can result in the formation of tumors. Cancer has become the second leading cause of death in the US. As cancers develop, cell death is inhibited and current therapies for cancer involve trying to reactivate cell death. One strategy to do this is to inhibit the PI3K-AKT pathway, which is involved in cellular functions such as cell growth, proliferation, and cell survival, and is mutated across a wide range of cancers.
Rahul examined how breast cancer cells would respond under the influence of several drugs that block the PI3K-AKT pathway. Working alongside a graduate student and a lab director at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Rahul reports that the inhibition of the activity of two kinases that act in the same pathway, PI3K and AKT, leads to the induction of entosis in tumor cell populations. Entosis is a form of cell death where cells are killed by their neighboring cells and within a cell population this is a competitive behavior.
Rahul will be graduating with an Advanced Regents Diploma. He is actively involved in the FBLA organization, National Honors Society, and a captain on the varsity tennis team. He will be attending Boston College in the fall to continue his education and wants to become a doctor.
The Effect of an Unknown Distance on Rating of Perceived Exertion
Class of 2018
Many people don’t realize that race performance is affected by physical fitness as well as mental strength, among other factors. Coaches usually train athletes physically without addressing the psychological aspect of training. Further research on the psychological aspect of training could better assist athletes to attain their personal bests. Finding a new method of training could improve coaching techniques leading to better race performances.
From her previous research, The Effect of an Unknown Distance on Race Performance, Angela found that there is no difference in race performance whether runners know or don’t know the race distance. After learning this result, Angela then wanted to determine, even though race performance didn’t change, whether the perceived difficulty of a race would change when the distance was unknown. She asked participants to either run a time trial without the distance revealed or a time trial with the distance revealed. The mean rating of perceived exertion values of the unknown trial were then compared to the mean rating of perceived exertion values of the known trial. It was found that not knowing the distance does not affect rating of perceived exertion.
Angela is a senior who is currently taking classes in AP Government and Politics, AP Calculus A/B and B/C, and AP Psychology. Outside of school, she enjoys running and is part of the Carmel Cross Country and Track teams. At home, she spends time playing with her dogs and occasionally drawing and painting. Angela will be running for Boston University in the f
The Relationship between Runners’ Height to Stride Length Ratios and Impact Force
Class of 2018
Running injury is one of the most serious problems in the world of runners, as it can sideline them for a substantial period of time. Overuse injuries are those that result from repetitive strain or impact on muscles, tendons, ligaments, or bone. One factor that contributes to the common overuse injury is over-striding, which is landing past the midline of the body while running. Over-striding increases the amount of loading placed on the body with each stride, increasing the risk of overuse injuries such as stress fractures.
The purpose of Vinny’s study was to determine whether runners’ height to stride length ratios affected impact force during running. He had participants run 30 meters in a hallway where stride lengths were enforced by placing tape in 1-meter and 1.5-meter increments. Halfway through the runway, a force plate recorded the impact force. Participants ran across the runway twice, and a radar gun was used to control for speed. Information was analyzed using a two tailed t test and a scatter plot with a linear correlation regression test. Vinny’s results showed that stride length alone had a significant effect on impact force, while the height to stride length ratio did not affect the force of impact. Vinny also conducted a second study, investigating the effect of the 2D4D digit ratio on injury severity and frequency. He found that for males, the right hand digit ratio was significantly and positively correlated to injury frequency.
Vinny is Captain of Carmel’s track and cross country teams. He was injured with tibial stress fractures for over a year, which inspired him to research techniques for preventing injuries. He is in all honors/AP classes and has been an honors student throughout high school. He is President of the Interact Club, providing community service whenever possible. Vinny will be attending Northeastern University in the fall, where he hopes to study sports medicine to help others overcome injuries.
A Comparison of Food Environment Factors on the State and Regional Levels
Class of 2018
Obesity is one of the largest health problems facing the United States. It is a deadly disease, increasing one’s risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. With the percentage of obese persons tripling since the 1980s, the government and other groups have been working tirelessly to counter the epidemic. Part of what makes obesity so difficult to combat is the complexity of its causes. The rate of obesity in the United States varies at the regional, state, and even county levels. The current causes for this variance are unknown, but current research suggests that the surrounding environment may affect one’s chances of being obese.
In Karissa’s study, the influence of certain food environment characteristics on rate of obesity in both New York State and the Northeast region was observed. One’s food environment includes the prevalence of eateries in one’s location, one’s accessibility of food, and one’s food security (among other factors), which influences one’s food choices and diet quality. Using data from the USDA’s Food Atlas, the number of fast food and full service restaurants in each county was tested for correlation with the rate of obesity. Current data suggest that these variables do not have a strong influence on obesity neither in New York State nor in the Northeast region and, therefore, should not be the primary focus of future obesity prevention efforts. These results could be different for the rest of the United States, but further investigation is needed. Future research will focus on the influence of fitness facilities, farmer’s markets, and convenience stores on obesity.
Karissa received the Cornell University Food Science Award for her obesity research at this year’s WESEF competition. In September, she completed a continuation of her study, The Effect of Mounting Height on a Photovoltaic Device. She currently plans to major in nutrition, with hopes of one day going to medical school and becoming a general physician. While in college, she would like to continue her research in public health.
Survey of the Habitable Zones of known Stars and the Frequency of Exoplanets in Different Types of Stars
Class of 2018
In 1995, the first exoplanet orbiting around a sun like star was found. This new planet, named 51 Pegasi, resulted in a competitive, new field of astrophysics charged with searching for new Earthlike worlds. Recently, the Kepler Telescope was launched into space and returned enough data to confirm 2,330 planets from 4,496 candidate planets. The amount of funding required for such endeavors is enormous—the Kepler mission alone reached an astounding $600 million. The next telescopic mission, the James Webb telescope, has reached an astounding $8.7 billion price tag, and is not yet in space. With such expenses, it is necessary to optimize the search for these planets by bolstering the process with statistical analysis.
In Andrew’s study, information on a variety of stars were analyzed specifically for habitable zone size and rocky planet quantity. This study determined which type of star typically has the largest habitable zone and which type of star produces the greatest number of rocky planets from its proto-planetary disk. Using select exoplanetary systems, Andrew analyzed the habitable zone size in relation to its host star and the frequency of planets in each system to determine an optimal stellar type for planet formation. His findings showed that highest probability of finding earthlike planets are around K stars, due to the size of their habitable zones, and M stars, because they typically host a higher number of planets. His findings are cataloged and may be used to aid in the search for Earthlike planets. This examination maximizes the planet search efficiency and is a critical step in the search for exoplanets, and specifically rocky planets like Earth.
Andrew is a senior who is set to attend Villanova University in the fall and become a physics major. Andrew also plans to enroll in the ROTC programs available at Villanova. Outside of academics, Andrew enjoys playing soccer and working on cars, as well as playing music and volunteering in the community.
How Do Different Types of Fertilizers Affect Soil Salinity and Microbial Biomass In the Rhizosphere of Red Beefsteak Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Plants?
Class of 2018
Soil pollution occurs when the presence of toxic chemicals, pollutants or contaminants in the soil is in high enough concentrations to be of risk to plants, wildlife, and humans. Arable land is turning to desert and becoming non-arable at increasing rates, due largely in part to climate change, and agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, lessening the hope that we can feed our booming population. Within 40 years, there will be over 2 billion more people, requiring food production to increase by 40%. Today, people use fertilizers very loosely and the only solution is to understand their effects in order to create new regulations.
Andriy conducted a field experiment to investigate how different types of fertilizers (Sythetic, Organic, and Biological) affect the soils properties, specifically salinity and microbial biomass levels. The experiment lasted 15 weeks over the summer of 2017. In total there were 10 plots for the 100 plants; 1 accounted as the control, and the other 9 different experimental groups. There were three plots for type of fertilizer. Each plot accounted for either 1/2x, 1x, or 2x the recommended amount of fertilizer applied. The hypothesis stating that all the fertilizers would alter the soils properties was supported. These changes include: a decrease in microbial biomass, an increase in salinity levels, an increase in NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) levels, and a slight decrease in pH.
Andriy is an honor student and enjoys reading articles relating to environmental/wildlife science. During his free time, he enjoys painting and hanging out with friends. Andriy is so passionate towards environmental science that he will be attending SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry in the fall of 2018.
Linguistic Analysis of Sentence Variety in College Application Essays
Class of 2018
Fluency and syntactic maturity in essays include a variety of sentence types with a higher frequency of subordinate clauses. Since subordinate clauses are only found in complex and compound-complex sentence structures, one would assume that well written essays would be primarily composed of complex and compound-complex sentences. The book “100 Successful College Application Essays” by The Harvard Independent, contains compositions that were deemed effective application essays by Harvard, a prestigious Ivy League College. Since the essays were deemed successful, one would hypothesize that there would be more dependent clauses within these essays. However, these essays were found to be primarily composed of the simple sentence structure.
The study was expanded upon through the voluntary submission of essay compositions from high school seniors and by distinguishing sentence fragments from the simple sentence structure. The findings from the human participant study largely mirrored the ratio from the published study possibly because of the high academic rigor of the participants who chose to submit essays. Even though there was a heavy reliance on the simple sentence structure, there was still a presence of the other sentence structures which augmented the coherence of the composition. This finding suggests that the priority of the essay should be the fluency of the composition and the comprehension of the reader.
Akiah is the Treasurer of Science Club, Vice President of Service in the National Honor Society, Co-President of the Students Assisting Students Program and a member of the Track Team, Business Honor Society, Tri-M Honor Society and Mentor Program. She was named an AP Scholar with Honor for her academic achievements. And for her efforts in community service, Akiah was honored to receive the Youth for the Dream Award recognized by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and she was selected as a National Semi-Finalist for the 2018 N.H.S. Scholarship Program. Akiah also published a novelette entitled “Fragments,” which is available on Amazon in both the print and e-book formats. She looks forward to a relaxing summer before heading over to Dartmouth College where she plans on studying psychology, marketing and microeconomics.
Assessment of Current Health and Function Conditions for Several Freshwater Wetlands in the Mianus River Watershed
Effect of Foot Strike on Injury Location in Runners
Class of 2018
Isabela has dedicated her time to completing two projects over the course of three years in the Carmel Science Research Program. In her first project, she worked with the Mianus River Gorge, a local preserve in Bedford, New York. Isabela assessed the health and function conditions of 39 wetlands in the Mianus River, which provides drinking water for 130,000 people in local communities. She identified the wetlands most in need of restoration and preservation as well as their relative value for the structure of the river’s watershed. In 2017, she earned the Teatown Young Naturalist Award at WESEF. In 2018, she placed 2nd in Environmental Science and won the Stockholm Junior Water Prize. Recently in April, she was chosen to be a speaker at the prestigious 2018 Northeast Natural History Conference.
For Isabela’s second project, she investigated the effects of foot strike on injury location in runners. Her research suggests that the metatarsal strike is the best strike for avoiding injury while running. Together with other literature, findings suggest minimalistic footwear which mimics barefoot running is the best way to achieve the metatarsal strike. Isabela was inspired to pursue this research after reading ‘Born to Run’ by Christopher McDougall and recommends the book for those interested in learning more. Her interest in running also stems from her experience on the school’s track and cross country teams.
Academically, Isabela has been a high honor roll, AP student. She is a member of the National Honors Society, the Foreign Language Honors Society for French and Spanish, and was Co-Captain of the FIRST Robotics Team, where she became a Dean’s List semi-finalist. Isabela received the AP+PLTW Student Achievement in Engineering and is an AP Scholar with Honors. She volunteers at the Somers Youth Track Camp as a Junior Coach in the summers. After graduating, she will be attending Columbia
The Distribution of Fishers, Coyotes, Bobcats and Foxes in Westchester County
Class of 2017
Fishers are members of the weasel family and are about 3 feet long and 8-12 pounds. They are very adept at tree climbing due to their long claws. Fishers spend most of their time roaming hardwood ridges and conifer lowlands. The Fishers are native to North America. In the 18th Century, the demand for Fisher pelts increased. In the early 20th Century, The Fisher was extirpated from several parts of U.S population and retreated to parts of Mid-Canada. In the 1920s, conservation and protection measures were put in place but the population was still too low. Today, the populations are slowly coming back in parts of the Northwest and Northeast of the United States.
Jared currently has an internship at the Mianus River Gorge in Bedford and at Teatown in Ossining. The research is currently being guided by his mentor, Dr. Chris Nagy. The objective of the study is to see if the Fisher is currently present in Westchester County. 67 cameras are set up in several different parks, reserves and gorges throughout Westchester County. Beaver meat is used to attract the Fishers and photos are taken when the camera detects movement. Other animals such as Coyotes, Foxes and Deer are also collected. After the first period of the experiment which took place in the late winter of 2015, 6 out of 67 camera sites (9% of all sites) found Fishers. The cameras were sent out for another round of testing in February of 2016 and were collected in April of the same year. Preliminary results show that no fishers were found throughout the entire 2nd testing period. This could possibly be due to the unusual warm 2016 winter or varying camera locations. Jared and his mentor hope to incorporate coyotes and bobcats into the study.
Jared is an honors student at Carmel High School. Aside from Science Research, Jared is a member of the Concert Choir, Robotics Club and National Honors Society. He hopes to graduate high school with honors and attend a prestigious college. He hopes to become an environmental engineer or an environmental scientist and contribute to help change the world for the better.
Criminal Personality: The Difference Between Criminals and the Lawful
Class of 2017
Crime is a huge problem in the United States. In fact, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are currently 7 million Americans in correctional population, where the United States spends over $40 billion annually. The logical way to keep criminals from hurting innocent people is to identify them before they commit crimes. A theory created by Eysenck in 1997 states that knowledge of criminal personality can help those predisposed to crime, and therefore prevent it.
In order to determine the personality characteristics associated with crime, Emily distributed a personality survey to individuals on probation. She found that criminals scored significantly higher than the control group on psychopathy and narcissism traits, and significantly lower than the control on the agreeableness trait. In the future, she would like to research if inmates in prison would exhibit statistically different scores than individuals on probation.
When she is not doing science research (which is hardly ever), Emily is either painting or working. Emily hopes to continue science research throughout college (hopefully Vassar) and turn her knowledge into a career.
The Effect of Music Tempo on the Heart Rate of Equine
Class of 2016
Music is commonly found in the environment of the domestic horse. Music is known to affect the human cardiovascular system as well as mental state. Heart and respiratory rates often correlate with the music’s tempo. The effect that music has on horses has not been examined in detail. It is important to develop an understanding of how equine are affected by music so that music can be used in a way that minimizes stress and works to prevent accidents due to stress responses.
Tempo was isolated in this study to assess the effect that the speed of music had on domestic equine. The heart rate of the equine was used to measure the effect of music’s tempo to examine whether heart rate changes correlated with tempo of the music. Tempo was isolated as an independent variable by manipulating only the tempo of Beethoven’s 6th Symphony while keeping volume and pitch constant. A two-tailed, paired student’s t-test was used to analyze the data. A significant increase was found when subjects were exposed to 120bpm tempo (original recording tempo) and also during the period of no music following the 240bpm tempo.
Eliza is involved in many activities outside of school including 4H, Venture Crew, Girl Scouts, and horseback riding. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, playing various instruments and creating artwork. She has a passion for the environment and will be studying Environmental and Sustainability Sciences at Cornell University in the fall. She placed 3rd at Eastern Section Junior Science and Humanities Sub-Regional Symposium (January 30, 2016).