The Molloy College science fair in Rockville Centre has been posing a stiff challenge to Huntington High School science research program students for many years. The most recent competition continued this long tradition.
Huntington High School’s science research program and research club have attracted dozens of students on every grade level who work individually or collaboratively on high-level academic pursuits.
Huntington students have been presenting their research findings at numerous contests this spring. It’s been a fun, but pressure-filled experience for the teenagers. After many months of research, it’s enjoyable to finally be able to create a project display board and settle upon a polished presentation for judges. But answering probing questions, explaining research protocols and being challenged on findings can lead to tense situations.
The Huntington contingent that travelled to Molloy College included some veterans of the science research program mixed with many newcomers. One of the “rookies” was freshman Gabriel Medina. “When we arrived at the fair they had us set-up our posters and you could almost feel the intensity as everyone was glaring at each other’s projects,” he said.
Mr. Medina’s project focused on the “Effects of Cognitive Processes on Time Perception.” It was an advanced topic for a first year student in the program, but the teenager handled the research well and presented his findings like a pro. “I had people estimate when a minute had passed when reading a section out of a science textbook and compared the results on their perception of time,” he said.
The Molloy College science fair has always drawn well-presented projects and the 15th annual edition was no different. Projects covered chemistry, physics, ecology, biology and environmental sciences.
By the end of the long day every Huntington participant had presented their project to at least three judges, showcasing their work and explaining their findings.
Underclassmen in Huntington’s science research program are now turning their attention to future projects during remaining class time. Students are looking to broaden their interests and delve into new scientific areas. They are evaluating research opportunities and in some cases forming research teams. Some plan to engage in research over the summer.
(Huntington junior Nolan Piccola, an intern in the high school science research program, contributed reporting to this story.)