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Teens Conduct Scientific Research at Ossining's Teatown

Eleven high school students from Westchester high schools conducted scientific studies at Teatown Lake Reservation this summer.
Eleven high school students from Westchester high schools conducted scientific studies at Teatown Lake Reservation this summer. Photo Credit: Anthony Pellegrino

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Teatown Lake Reservation celebrated another successful year of its Teatown Environmental Science Academy in Ossining.

This is the third year the program has been offered at Teatown, and this year the reservation hosted 11 students from eight Westchester high schools who each chose a research project to undertake on Teatown’s 1,000-acre preserve. This four-week program provided the students with an introduction to the necessary skills to undertake scientific research in the field.

Each student conducted research, analyzed data and presented their findings at a symposium at Pace University’s Environmental Science Center. Students this year were from Hong Kong International School as well as Briarcliff Manor, Croton Harmon, Horace Greeley, Lakeland, Mamaroneck, Sleepy Hollow, and Yorktown high schools.

Mike Rubbo, Teatown’s director of conservation science, and Hillary Seiner, conservation dcientist, mentored the students as they conducted their independent research. 

A wide variety of topics was selected for study by the students which included:

  • Becca Marcus, sophomore at Mamaroneck High School: The Effects of Triclosan on an Aquatic Food Web.
  • Mariam Nagani, junior at Yorktown High School: A Tale of Two Nutrients: The Effect of Duckweed on Water Quality.
  • Heidy Arana, junior at Sleepy Hollow High School: The Effect of Filamentous Algae on Water Quality.
  • Christopher Werni, junior at Lakeland High School: Frogs and Fish and Snakes, Oh My... and Water Quality. 
  • Emily Olivier, sophomore at Yorktown High School: Lily Pads: Helping Teatown Lake Since the Mid-1900s.
  • Amar Bhardwaj, senior at Hong Kong International School: Invasive Plant Leaf-Litter in a Lake Ecosystem.
  • Liam Cushen, junior at Yorktown High School: Algae-whiz! The Effect of Nitrogen and Phosphorous on Algae Growth.
  • Charlotte Brodie, senior at Croton Harmon High School: Recreational Trails Invite Humans and Invasive Species.
  • Matthew Mackenzie, junior at Briarcliff High School: A Camera Trap Survey of Wildlife on a Suburban Preserve.
  • Sarah Fant, junior at Croton Harmon High School: Could Garlic Mustard (Alliara petiolata) Inhibit Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) Success?
  • Freddie Mildenhall, junior at Horace Greeley High School: Roads: An Invasive Species' Favorite Mode of Transportation.

The program culminated in a symposium at which the student presented their research findings. At the symposium, students answered challenging questions from the audience, honing their presentation skills. 

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