Ossining High School students who won Intel science competition awards said working on their Intel science projects has sparked their interest to go into scientific careers.
"It definitely got me on a track geared towards environmental science which is what I plan to pursue in college," said senior Hannah Kamen, who studied eel populations in tributaries of the Hudson River for her Intel science project.
Kamen, along with her field partner Liz O'Hanlon, sampled the Furnace Brook Stream, a tributary of the Hudson River in Cortlandt, every day for over one year using a net. They found that there was a strong correlation of greater eel populations in forested areas and less eels in urban areas.
"I knew I wanted to do an environmental project because I wanted to work outside," Kamen said. "(The project) defintely sparked my interest even more in environmental science."
For senior Jessie Brill, who spent three days per week during two summers studying cancers of the immune system in blood at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, one of her most rewarding moments was hearing of how a man with cancer had called her school to thank her for her research.
"He was crying and all broken up and he was calling to thank me and others doing this type of research because it really affected him and others with the disease," Brill said. "I kind of teared up and it was a moment when my research really meant something to me."
Brill plans to study pre-medicine in college.
Madeline Nocero was also motivated by her Intel project to study biology on a pre-medicine track in college.
She studied the effectiveness of a new anti-epileptic medicine called Nasal Nidazolan on patients at the Columbia Neurological Institute under the guidance of mentor Lawrence Hirsch, a professor of clinical neurology.
"I really liked the personal interaction rather than sitting in a lab working with rats or molecules," she said. "I administered the surveys myself and I got to shadow my mentor a couple of times."
Nocero said it was rewarding to be acknowledged by Intel for all the hours she had put in doing scientific research.
"Over three years, I probably put in 1,000 hours," she said. "It was great to be recognized with a bunch of my peers that I'm friends with."
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