Rachel Roday, Nathan Gamboa and Kolby Rappel

Talented Trio Vies in NYS Science & Engineering Fair

Rachel Roday, Nathan Gamboa and Kolby Rappel at the NYS Science & Engineering Fair.

April 28, 2017

A talented trio of Huntington High School students recently vied in the New York State Science and Engineering Fair, competing against hundreds of other leading young scholars from across the metropolitan area.

Senior Rachel Roday and sophomores Nathan Gamboa and Kolby Rappel collaborated on a highly regarded research project. “The Effect of Varied Contrast Backgrounds on the Spectral Discrimination and Camouflaging Abilities in S. officinalis” was entered in the behavioral science category.

While final scores and placement won’t be revealed for about a week, judges were very interested in the Huntington trio’s project. One judge revealed she gave the sensational group a perfect score and later returned with a colleague for a repeat of the presentation.

The project captured third place at the Long Island Science and Engineering Fair, which qualified the Huntington research team for the state competition, which was held at Plainview-Old Bethpage Middle School.

“Developing and presenting our project has been such an amazing learning experience and extremely rewarding,” Mr. Gamboa said. “It’s relieving to know that after all our hard work we are done for now; until next year.”

It is a nerve-racking experience to present a research project to knowledgeable judges, but that’s a requirement and one of the reasons the competition is so valuable to participants.

“After the high standards set at LISEF in March, I really didn’t know what to expect at NYSEF,” said Ms. Roday, who is interning with the high school’s science research program this year. “Although the venue was very different, the projects were even more complex and impressive at this fair. My partners and I were able to add statistical analysis to our project and learn from the presentation errors of our last competition. We used our prior experience in an advantageous way and are excited to receive our results. Even if we don’t win, it was a really fun day and I’m relieved to be finished for the year. I’m so proud of the efforts of Team Cuttlefish.”

Accompanied by high school science teacher Edward Florea, the trio was beautifully attired for the competition and on top of their respective games.

“I’ve had a lot of fun and learned so many new things this year with my partners,” Mr. Rappel said. “I can’t wait to hear back about the results. I’m so proud of what we’ve done and couldn't have asked for a better group. I’m looking forward to next year and continuing with the research program.”

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