The Pel Mel

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Pelham Science Research Team Members Recognized at WESEF

Science Research students celebrate their success after the WESEF competition.

Science Research students celebrate their success after the WESEF competition.

Photo Courtesy of Pelham Patch

Photo Courtesy of Pelham Patch

Science Research students celebrate their success after the WESEF competition.

At this year’s annual Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF) on March 17, at Sleepy Hollow High School, science research students showcased their expertise via exceptional projects. Students presented their individual or team poster presentations, which were judged by local experts from different fields of science. More than 600 students from Westchester and Putnam high schools competed, with sophomore Peter Wei and senior Kiera Mallinson advancing to the next round of competition. Kiera’s project, Multiscale Statistical Analysis of Lung Cancer Tissue Using Backscattering of Polarized Light, presented under the Engineering Category, won her an invitation to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), beginning on May 13 in Pittsburgh, PA.

“WESEF was a great experience that challenged me to learn a much broader scope of my research in addition to the very technical details,” Kiera said.

Peter Wei will be advancing to the International GENIUS Olympiad on June 11. Wei also received first place in the Cellular/Molecular Biology category. Peter’s project, Regulation of BAX Level and Activation by SNAP23, discovered more about how the protein SNAP23 regulates cell death through the pro-death protein BAX. This understanding suggests a new way to treat obesity by targeting the SNAP23 cell death pathway in excess fat cells, causing obese patients to lose fat in a much quicker way.

“As a sophomore, I look at the competition as more of a time where I can present something I am passionate about rather than a competition against others,” Peter said.

While Kiera and Peter moved on, they were not the only Pelicans to receive awards: seniors Hannah Mackay (Neuroscience), Emily Xue (Medicine and Health), and Sam Imperato (Physics and Astronomy) all received 2nd place for research in their categories.

Juniors Francesca DiCristofano (Cellular and Molecular Biology) and Caitlin Wong (Behavioral), and seniors Sam Tsang (Cellular and Molecular Biology), Jillian Harrison (Behavioral), and Priya Varanasi (Environmental Science) all received 3rd place.

Finally, junior Alyssa Wong, senior Aidan Sisk, and sophomores Bernadette Russo and Morgan McLean brought home 4th place.

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Pelham Science Research Team Members Recognized at WESEF