Students Advance in LI Science and Engineering Fair

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Hours of research and dedication have paid off for Hampton Bays High School seniors Sydney Caldwell and Meghan Long, whose respective research projects were among 130 to advance to the second round of the annual Long Island Science and Engineering Fair competition. 

To earn the spot, the seniors competed against 400 students from schools across Long Island on Feb. 6 at the Crest Hollow Country Club. They will next present their findings to judges on March 2 in the hopes of receiving an invitation to the International Science and Engineering Fair, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in May.

“We couldn’t be more excited for Sydney and Meghan,” said science research teacher Dr. Stephanie Forsberg. “They are proudly representing the East End of Long Island, an area that has not historically been represented in round two of this competition.” 

For her project, “The Apoptotic Effect of Novel Curcumin Derivative on Pancreatic Cancer Cells,” Caldwell evaluated the ability of chemically modified curcumin to inhibit pancreatic cell growth by inducing apoptosis through potential protein mechanisms. Through her research, she determined that with further investigation, CMC can possibly be used in pancreatic cancer treatments to strengthen the effects of drugs currently used. 

Long’s work, “Daily Self-Weighing to Combat Obesity Among Adolescents,” explored the effects of daily self-weighing on 38 high school students. Using experimental and control groups, she found that daily self-weighing caused a significant decrease in weight among adolescents.